A Word to YOU from Me

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“…What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;…”

When it comes to nouns that’s usually the case though nouns can be nuanced – boneshaker/racing bike/sit-up-and-beg.  Even names can – Dave/David/Davey each say something about this particular David.  Despite the rose quote, Shakespeare was perhaps THE master of words and he knew and used the power of selecting and using exactly which one.  Think of all the words there are to describe being ill for instance – ill, off colour, queasy, terrible etc…  They all mean the same but each conveys something slightly different.   Phoning work to say you ‘are at death’s  door’ rather than ‘feel a bit off’ is more likely to get you a day off – and  with oodles of sympathy.  Equally, it’s likely that you’ll feel a lot worse if you tell yourself the former rather than the latter.

We hypnotise ourselves and others constantly by our choice of quite which words we use.

And that brings us to Today’s Word.

Ta da – My word to you is…….


Yup!  Humble little could.  Not Should or Must or Have to or Ought.  Just … could.

With ‘could’ whole sentences feel and sound and look very different.  It’s permissive, exploratory, enabling –

I should think about this                           vs                  I could think about this
I have to get some shopping                    vs                  I could get some shopping

I ought to do my tax return                       vs                 I could do my tax return
I must collect Daisy from school             vs                 I could collect Daisy from school

When it comes to things you’ve been telling yourself you must or have to do, I know you’re probably thinking, “Don’t be silly Suzanne – I REALLY have to do X”.  But – what happens if you dare to ‘could’ it?  However sacrilegious it may feel – just do it – try it now in your head.  Suddenly life feels a little softer, a little freer.  This is because you’ve given yourself the choice – you could – or you could not – do those things.  You’ve taken responsibility for this thing – rather than feeling dictated to by some head teacher/parent figure in your head constantly telling you what you ought to be doing.  ‘Could-ing’ it means you can decide – you’re in the driving seat.  Suddenly – you have choice.  You can decide whether to collect Daisy from school or not.  When you decide, as you probably will, that you ARE going to collect her, it will be because you want to (rather than you must), and that’ll feel good too.  That way is freedom.  That’s why it feels so good.

You could try it.  Whenever you hear yourself saying ‘should ”ought’ ‘have to’ ‘must’ out loud or to yourself, stop.  Repeat the sentence using could instead.  You could let me know it goes.

What’s in a word?  A whole lot!

Know that if you or someone you know want to come to see me you’re welcome.

With warmest June wishes,


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