Can a hand-held digital recorder change your life?

My dear friends...

My Beloved Em, my Life Partner, came up with something this week that was so fascinating - perhaps even profound in its implications -- I wanted to share it with you...

We were having a casual conversation about life in general and the things we say to each other during the natural exchanges that occur between people, when she said:

"The other day I had an interesting idea, an interesting thought. I thought: I wonder what would happen if I went around with a hand-held voice recorder wherever I went, and there was a rule that I had to turn it on whenever I spoke. Then, at night, the rule was that I had to sit down and listen to everything I said that day.

"I wonder what would change if I had to listen every night to everything I said that day." I was mesmerized by that thought. I couldn't stop dwelling on it.

It occurred to Em that this could wind up producing a great discipline. Just listening to the words that pour out of our mouths every day, and the tone and the nuance with which we said them, would no doubt open us to a deep awareness of the energy we are putting into the world.

I started imagining it. And then I realized that it would be almost unnecessary to have a recorder actually with us. All we would have to do is bring the level of consciousness to each moment that we would have IF we had a recorder with us and knew that every word was being recorded. We could use our mind as the recorder, instantly playing back the words we're saying even as we are saying them.

Then, as a real discipline, we could play back our words the moment we are thinking them, but before we are saying them. And then we could consciously choose whether to say them or not. Or whether to say them in that particular way.
I know, I know, this is just a new take on an old adage, "Think before you speak." But the recorder idea never occurred to me. I mean, one could actually do that. We could buy one of those mini pocket-size recorders and -- for a week, say -- pull it out and hit "rec" every time we open our mouths. Then sit down and listen to ourselves every night.

After about seven days of that we would begin to get very circumspect every time we even reached for the recorder...much less turned it on. And...after about a week of that...we would not need to carry around a recorder at all, I'm betting. We would become circumspect every time we simply chose to speak.

I don't know about you, but I think this would do me some good. First, I think I would surprise myself with how many times I become negative in my thinking, as measured by what words I am putting into the space. Then, too, I believe I would be taken aback a bit by the times that I use words and tone of voice to show disapproval, to belittle or make fun of, to chide or reproach, or to "correct" someone. Finally, I think I might even be embarrassed by the number of times each day that I turn a conversation back in on myself, putting myself in to the center of attention, and showering praise and glory upon my personhood!

I can see myself listening to all of this now, sitting there at night on the side of my bed, shaking my head..."Who cares? Who cares? Just...shut up. Be quiet. Keep it to yourself. Geez. Look what you're doing to the space. Look what you're putting in the room. Look what you're putting in your own mind. Geez."

My former father-in-law used to say, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Hmmph. Such simple advice. Such good, sound, simple advice.


love and hugs and best wishes on your journey...



Cheryl 30th June 2008 11:57 am

I think this is a wonderful idea, although I would hate to play mine back at the end of the day. I know that I am way too bossy and critical. Guess I had better do this :>)
Thank you for the suggestion.

By the way, I have just purchased the Conversations with God bookset. I am amazed how it is connecting the dots for me so easily. It's a real treasure. I have much more to learn. I have always struggled with the divinity of Jesus but I had an epiphany this morning after reading several chapters! Jesus Christ WAS divine, but so are we! Yes!

Teddy Barker 30th June 2008 1:09 pm

I think that's a wonderful idea and I believe it could REALLY change my life. It would make me much more aware of the negative things I say, instead of couching them in positive terms.I just wish I could figure out how to carry it a step further and record all the negative head chatter of things we say to belittle ourselves. I sometimes find I am much harder on myself than others.

Ulrike Lyboussakis 1st July 2008 3:55 am

Recording what we say is indeed a wonderful practice to open our awareness! My daughter (15) and I like to record our "nonsenses" (we have very much fun together and are so creative in producing different scenarios)very often on our mobile phones and then listen to it together. It's always amazing what we hear. Though each time we record our voices we are fully aware of "being on air" there are all kind of surprises afterwards... "did I really say this???" or "is my tone really so harsh?" or "oh, I am a real good actor, I never knew..." or "after all my voice sounds much softer than I thought...". There are a lot of revelations about ourselves. A lot of understanding better who we really are.
So yes, dear Neale, your suggestion is precious!

Love and sunrays from Athens, Greece


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Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.


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