Welcome to Carolyn Cowan Online; Designer, photographer, teacher, mother, counsellor and bodypainter.
Archive for March, 2012
I am an unabashed feminist, a single parent, recently divorced, ex-drug addict and ex alcoholic…. Swearing is part of the programme, or at least it has been for me for a long time. I can honestly say that given the last few years’ experiences, swearing felt completely justified.
I have done so much work to stay centred, present, focused, de-stressed, calm and aware, yet swearing has just been one of those things that I gave myself permission to do.
I do not judge myself for it and my children who are used to it, do not judge me either, and rarely swear themselves unless “fucking arsehole” is completely appropriate to the situation.
I had no reason to think about it until recently. A fundamentalist yogi was staying with me and with a sneer, commented on my “nasty little habit” and then a friend mentioned it twice within a two week period.
These moments made me stop and think about it. Attempts to have an intellectual conversation about swearing with several friends were thwarted by judgements and the main thrust of why I wanted the conversation was lost in the melee of me trying to say I did not need the judgement, nor was I interested in their thoughts in my verbals, I just wanted a dialogue about swearing…. What it meant, why not, why, etc.
So I sat back and thought about it for myself. After a few days of mulling I decided to try life without swearing. No fanfare, no Lent-based support of Christ in the wilderness, just a casual attempt to see what it would be like to manage my vocabulary along with no drugs, alcohol, sugar, wheat, cigarettes, caffeine….
At first I was surprised by how much of my swearing was unconscious. I could put a gate in front of most of my swearing, but there was a surprising amount that I did not notice until it had galloped out, and I am happy to say that I can put my hand up and say that I am the queen of alliterated swearing. The amount that escaped before I had even noticed was quite extraordinary. So the next learning curve was to stop that happening.
Two weeks in and I am astonished. I am. I have reduced my swearing by 95% and find that my stress levels have also plummeted… So my expulsion of expletives was expanding my experience of what drove me to explete in the first place. A new verb: I explete… No longer.
Well, just 5%……. Must try harder. I will report back when I get to 100% no swearing. I am currently looking into Elizabethan expletives. Some are hilarious. If I sound out of time and place, you will know why….