Big Toe in the Water

OUCH!! Words can hurt, IF we let them

I spoke before this wonderfully collaborative group of HR professionals recently (Southeastern PA (SEPA) SHRM chapter) and told them how I took my new dress that I was wearing into the dry cleaner. My cleaner responded by saying how much she liked the dress too and asked me, “Does it come in a smaller size?”

Yes, this is how I utilize Mindfulness since she is still alive and unhurt.

Seriously though, this did happen, and people say inappropriate things to us all the time. And yes, I did use my #Mindfulness practice, since I paused and noticed how her words stung. I noticed I was embarrassed and thought to myself, this is exactly why I had joined Weight Watchers and a new gym, since I am trying to be healthier (and get into a smaller size too).

Has this ever happened to you? A colleague making a simple comment  or even a relative, not realizing how it could be considered ? Yes, sometimes people are mean spirited, though more often than not, they are just unaware of the implications of their words.

In 55 AD, Epictetus a Greek philosopher said, “Remember, it is not enough to be hit or insulted to be harmed, you must believe that you are being harmed.   If someone succeeds in provoking you, realize that your mind is complicit in the provocation. Which is why it is essential that we not respond impulsively to impressions; take a moment before reacting, and you will find it easier to maintain control.” 

And my very sweet dry cleaner surely was not trying to hurt my feelings. And yes, I informed her the dress comes in many sizes and where she could purchase it.  

Harriet Stein brings Mindfulness Programs to organizations of all sizes to transform employee productivity, engagement, and satisfaction.


Mindfulness is now being incorporated by organizations to lower healthcare costs, support employees in staying focused which improves their performance, and reduce levels of stress.



Provide a life-changing program for your employees and create a healthier more collaborative and engaged workplace.



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