This quote about using “filler” words touches on a larger struggle that I have with Right Speech:
Become aware of the use of “filler” words and phrases and try to eliminate them from your speech. Fillers are words that do not add meaning to what you’re saying, such as “um,” “ah,” “so,” “well,” “like,” “you know,” “kind of,” and “sort of.” Additional filler words enter our vocabulary from time to time. Recent additions might include “basically” and “anyway.”
In addition to eliminating filler words, see if you can notice why you tend to use them—in what situations and for what purpose?
From How To Train A Wild Elephant, Jan Chozen Bays (via HuffingtonPost.com)
The further down this path I travel the more conscious, aware, or awake I am to wasted words. It’s not simply speaking without thinking but about speaking without awareness. This isn’t a rant against profanity. The right four letter word in the right moment may be the right thing to say. It’s about making our words meaningful and speaking them mindfully.
I think the real struggle is get your awareness ahead of your speech. Often we hear ourselves saying something and wonder why we said it the way we did. It would be better in many instances to pause and take even one breath before responding to others. More than that, I think it’s possible to place our attention on our words just as we would place it on our breath or our steps… to feel ourselves forming them and speaking them, to be the observer of our busy minds choosing what to say. It can be an opportunity for mindfulness, for words that are meaningful, and speech that is true.