Start with the mind – how does the mind come into play?

PS Bhangu, personal conversation, 2015

When my children were young and they wanted to do an activity or for me to buy them something special, I always told them to convince me why.  Generally, it worked and I would acquiesce to their request.  But one of my son’s was the most adept at persuasion, he could change my mind.

It was not really about giving them what they wanted. It was more about helping them to develop critical thinking and not just reacting to their thought of what they wanted based on an emotion like not having what some else had. It was about getting the boys to:

  • Communication their desire clearly, not just ‘because I want it’;
  • Be able to see beyond the emotion and see the legitimacy of the need (like “I want this game so I can play with my friends in the neighbourhood”);
  • Through pointed questions about the desire, they could discover the ability to solve the ‘problem’ or look at the situation from another perspective, and
  • Finally self-evaluate the need to fulfill that desire.

I suppose that social media is much like that, but with a greater audience (I only have 3 sons) and more ‘desires’ that are being created at the speed of light.

My boys, MK Desrochers Khalsa


Having been, ‘hem’, back in mid-70’s, experiencing a bachelor’s degree in Social Communications, I recall a particular book called Hidden Persuaders (Vance Packard 1957) that I have searched for (oh sorry just a minute, there is one more easy place to look…ah no, later, it is probably with the Thayer. Never mind. I will probably find it on YouTube!) and Andy Warhol. Yes Andy Warhol…his view about art integrated the persuasion of selling that art[1].

In Packard’s time, persuasion, subliminal, hidden or overt, was a great worry and an exciting area for advertisers and businesses alike.  It was consider brainwashing by advertisers with claims of subliminal advertising on television and in movie theatres. Check out this interesting YouTube video on “The Truth about Subliminal Messages” from SciShow Psych.

The objective mind works in different realms, its workings affect outcome of body thus impacts productivity, relationships adversely or positively.  PS Bhangu, Personal conversation 2015

Generally changing our mind is part of the human condition and the use of our free will. We can change our mind on a person, for example. Until we stop seeing the negative and what we do not like about them and find out their real story, our belief is just a perception. A flexible, open person can look beyond that ‘half-informed’ perception and being to comprehend where the person is coming from. It does not mean that you agree with the person on a subject, but you can respect where they are.

So, you can say there is a context, a circumstance where persuasion contributes to changing your minds. It helps you to see the real in the seemingly skewed perspective.


Acquiring useful information from a target, convincing peers to share information, and spurring actions that promote desirable outcomes all require the ability to influence others through persuasion. (Cialdini, 2018)

Persuasion can act on your desires, on your weaknesses, on the shadow aspects that you would not like to reveal, on your motivation and focused attention or inattention.

Grocery stores do it (persuade) by the way they display products in the shop. When you enter the store, you will be attracted to the colours of the fruits and vegetables and how everything is neatly displayed. You may decide at that time that you want to buy the fruits and vegetables. It may not be in your conscious intent to do so, but you do.  Your response appears to be an automatic response without much thought. It is a temporary choice. 

If you had the intention of buying fruits and vegetables before you entered the store, you may end up buying more (that is what the shops want!). The display in the store will connect with your intention. That is also persuasion.

Manufacturers also create a similar kind of persuasion by packaging or the ‘trend’ words which will track your attention subtly or not.  ‘No trans fat’ was the in-vogue expression more than ten years ago and every manufacturer tagged maximized its use on packaging. Now we see more ‘gluten-free’, ‘free range’, ‘grass-fed’.  The industry recognizes that people are more health conscious and want to make the right choices, so they ‘guide’ them along.  And that is ‘convincing’ business, right?


Ours is the first age in which many thousands of the best-trained individual minds have made a full-time business to get inside the collective public mind. To get inside in order to manipulate, exploit, control is the object now. And to generate heat not light is the intention. (McLuhan[1951] 1967)[2]

Large-scale efforts are being made, often with impressive success, to channel our unthinking habits, our purchasing decisions, and our thought process by the use of insights gleaned from psychiatry and social sciences. Typically, these efforts take place beneath our level of awareness… (Packard [1957] 2007: 31)[3]

These authors were very concerned about persuasion as manipulation. Their developing views spurred on many studies that took this ‘new science’ into many directions. These studies have deepened the understanding from both perspective of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ persuasion from social, psychological and marketing lens.

According to Hoffeld Group’s article The Difference Between Persuasion & Manipulation[4] There are three ways to distinguish between manipulation and persuasion; here is a synopsis:

1. Intention: Is the idea, product, service in Your or the consumers best interest?

2. Withholding truth: As a consumer, is it difficult getting the full information about the person, the idea, the product or service?  Do your ‘Spidey senses tingle’ because you feel that you are getting played?

3. Coercion: this is the “removal of free choice”. This is forced upon the consumer. It is the trap!

My opinion is that today, with the inundation of a thousand pieces (or more) of information revealed to us in a blink of an eye, some of us have become savvier at discerning when we are being manipulated. Does that mean we are suspicious in nature until proven otherwise?


Persuasion does indeed involve moving people to a position they don’t currently hold, but not by begging or cajoling. Instead, it involves careful preparation, the proper framing of arguments, the presentation of vivid supporting evidence, and the effort to find the correct emotion match with your audience. Hoffeld Group

From his book 6 Principles of Persuasion cited by the Hoffeld Group[5], and Samuel Hum from Referral Candy[6] nearly forty years ago, Robert Cialdini advances that there are 6 principles that are part of a persuasive strategy. They are the following along with some examples offered by Samuel Hum:

  1. Reciprocity: We are social beings with some kind of innate manner to respond in kind to others. When we receive a gift, a favour, or other benefit from someone, we want to do the same to that giver. Like a pay back or even a pay forward. *To promote your brand on social media, you could offer something first or something exclusive o personalize the offer.
  • Commitment and consistency: Generally, when we adopt a brand, say like me and Burt’s Bees lip shimmer – I have been using it for years and there is one lip shimmer in every purse – and I will be ‘damned’ if I have to change brand (Lol). We stay with that brand. It works for use and keep it coming.  We are creatures of habit. *Customers could be asked to engage in a first step toward your brand or make a public endorsement or reward the customer for providing such commitment to your brand.
  • Social proof: People are more likely to purchase a brand because a friend they trust, or even a celebrity or expert in the field or peers.
  • Likeness: This is about being personable, demonstrating interest in the customer, potential or not. If the consumers “like” the provider, they are more likely to buy the product or adhere to the service or brand offered by that nice person.  It can also be a word-of-mouth endorsement or a blogger that you like. It is the human ‘touch’. *Factors that impact this ‘liking principle’ are:
    • Appearance, like a user-friendly, well-designed website or blog,
    • Having things in common with the person or brand
    • Having a one-on-one conversation on social media with a customer
    • Creating a cooperative spirit around the brand, and
    • The brand associates values that are dear to the consumer.
  • Authority: The brand provider is seen as an expert in the field of interest, so can be trusted about the truth expressed about the brand. Some factors that can give off this air of authority are clothes, titles, posture, projection.
  • Scarcity: This by definition means shortage. During the pandemic, people were running to the store to by ‘industrial’ quantities of toilet paper. It is what creates an urgency in the mind of consumers to act quickly, like time-sensitive or number-limited offers.


We have learned that persuasion strategies happen in every aspect of our lives.

It can be positive:

  • It connects to perception
  • It creates trust through the feeling of being guided by an expert
  • It creates commitment
  • It creates compliancy to requests because of the ‘friendly’ manner and common values promoted
  • It creates exchange or sharing as reciprocity – One good turn deserves another attitude.
  • We feel heard.
  • It uncovers our intended need. It taps into our free will.

 Or it can be negative and called manipulation:

  • It works with hidden truths to cajole the consumer into action
  • The action taken is forced and without clear intention
  • It can blindside you.
  • It is not in the best interest of the consumer.

As multidimensional beings living in a multidimensional world and universe, we need more than our dualistic mind to experience and compute what is going on. We need our neutral mind, which has access to subtle information from our Soul and the Infinite. Guru Rattana Kaur October 14, 2015[7]


How can you tell if you are being persuaded or manipulated? Please share your stories.


Did you catch some undercurrent message in this blog to guide you here?

Will you try this meditation to still the moving mind so you can find harmony within you and see through the machinations not only of others but of your mind?

Thanks for reading. Be well. Meherbani Kaur

FACEBOOK: Have your ever being curious about social media persuasion? Check out my blog on Convince Me!

TWITTER: What is persuasion and manipulation? See my Blog Convince Me!


Cialdini, Robert, Martin, S., August 2018, Power of Persuasion & Pre-suasion to Produce Change,

Rich media, The Science of Social Media – Persuasion Techniques,

Social Media Today, The Psychology of Online Persuasion, March 2015,

[1] Persuasion Blog, Artistic Persuasion, May 4, 2016,

[2] Soules, Marshall, Media, Persuasion and Propaganda, Edinburgh University Press, 2015, p.1,

[3] Idem, p. 2

[4] Hoffeld Group,, The Difference Between Persuasion & Manipulation,

[5] Hoffeld Group, idem

[6] Referral, Samual Hum, 6 Principles of Persuasion to Convince Anyone to Do Anything,

[7] Guru Rattana, The Power of Neutral: Soul Alchemy in Meditation, 2013, Yoga Technology LLC, 279 pages



IMPACT ON YOU (Collage2021-08-05 09_37_08.jpg MKKhalsa)

Since I have been engaged in this course on social media, the body of knowledge that I gave acquired has grown exponentially. Wow!

Most people of my generation, no I am not a Millennial, but one of those middle range (age wise) Baby Boomers (oh please do not cringe and hold it against me) think that social media is bad news and has taken over the younger generations’ minds. Well, that can happen but it is not necessarily age related. Social media is here to stay and my thoughts were why not learn more about what this creature is.

I have discovered that its use can be simple on the surface, but when you ‘unpack’ it there really is a whole new world exposed. In my past blogs, I discussed WORDS MATTER (check it out here) and look at why this is so by demonstrating misunderstanding and misinterpretations, then in WATCH YOUR WORDS I went a little deeper into how we can clearly and efficiently communicate.


This blog takes us from the consciousness and awareness of our words, to our ‘real presence’ on social media. In other words, what is your impact and why this is important to know. Obviously, if you have been using social media or even read about it, you know that it is not just a one-way street culminating onto a cul-de-sac (dead end).

It is not only an amazing two-way tool for sharing, but it is the ‘Autobahnen’ (read super highways) of communication. So, if you do not know where you are going, why and with whom, you may end up disappointed or disillusioned.

The impact of social media has touched every sphere of society: politics, work, commerce, education, personal, globalization and every type of relationships. Read this interesting article on Understanding the Impacts of Social Media (Pros and Cons) from April 2021 Digital Marketing.


Discussion #3 Ways and Means Sherlock! talks about the ‘external aspects of your presence’ on social media through monitoring strategies to understand the impact of our posts or tweets. Today’s blog is an ‘internal’ journey about our presence on social media. There are so many reasons that we open ourselves up on social media and ‘for’ social media. Of course, it is about communicating with friends, relatives, special interest groups, and promoting our wares.

According to Forbes in 7 ways to value yourself beyond social mediaby Glenn LLopis (2013), states that people approach the use of social media in two ways – ‘real’ or ‘packaged’.  The real is genuine – what you see is what you get – there is no fabrication. The packaged version supports the need to be seen as someone different than what one is in reality. The impact is built on a perception of how one would like to be seen and ‘valued’ – you can say a ‘fake persona’ or ‘gift-wrapped persona’. 

We have learned that this kind of approach can be deleterious to reputation, trust, and overall persuasion factor related to one’s personal brand. So even if your apparent ‘leadership’ seems great, based on the measurements of conversations and other metrics, it will not have a sustainable social media life, if even just one person catches on to your ruse.

This comes down to how much do you value yourself? It is true that you can get caught in the moment, in the glory of having received a great number of likes, and comments, but this emotional decision to post in that time and space does it really tell your readers how authentic you are? That you are trust worthy in what you present through your expertise?


Being true to your real nature is the best impact you can have. Knowing yourself with all the strengths and weaknesses make you genuine in how you communicate on social media and in life, for whatever the motivation and how you are received and remembered.  It becomes, to a certain extent, your legacy – even if short term on the platform – the imprint of you stays in the memory of the viewers, and that maybe for a long time.

LLopis (2013, 7 ways to value yourself beyond social media) explains that:

“People use perception as their reality even when it represents no real value at all. The perceptual power of social media has allowed people o position themselves as experts – while in many cases the real experts have yet to be discovered or have decided to share their content and leadership with others in private communities with no social media presence at all.”

When we come across true, we are saying to the readers that you value yourself for being who you are and not because they ‘like’ you. They may like your content, but ‘you’ well maybe not.

If I value myself, I will value you. MK Khalsa

7 WAYS TO VALUE YOURSELF (adapted from 7 ways to value yourself beyond social media)

1- SELF-WORTH – Social media is a great thing for communicating ideas and sharing content, but it is not what gives you the capacity to value yourself, or give you your true power of confidence in yourself or self-esteem. You need to find that elsewhere than on social media.

2-YOU ARE UNIQUE – Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You – Dr. Seuss.  Simply put, this quote is well expressed in this House Kraft blog:

When you change who you are to impress others, you’re still being yourself – you are just being the you that is scared of what others think. When you sacrifice your values to fit in, it’s still you – it’s just the you you probably don’t want to be.

Don’t compare yourself to others, this minimizes you being you, in your own way at your own time. Be comfortable with yourself. Remember that you are a precious manifestation of the laws of nature. You deserve to be where you are.

3- YOU ARE VALUABLE – BELIEVE IT: Take a step back. Look at your talents, the courage you mustered up to face the challenges in your life. You got this!

4- HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY – BUT SOMETIMES IT HURTS: Take another step back and assess how your regard and respect yourself through different eyes, with patience, with compassion, with appreciation and gratitude.  You have come so far!

5-PERSONAL BRAND – TAKE THE TIME TO GET ACQUAINTED WITH YOU: Ask yourself: what are my values? What uplifts me? What are the 5 things that really bring deep joy in my life? When do I know that my heart is open? Sit quietly anywhere you feel at ease and away from distractions and answer these questions. Manage it and stand by it authentically with the greatest regard for you.

6-TELL ME WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE AND I WILL TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE[1]: This quote has been attributed to many people, from Miguel de Cervantes (16th century Spanish writer) to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (18th century German poet), it suggests that like-minded people connect because the people in their environment help to shape them. Use your intuition or your gut instinct, investigate, explore the people you associate with and explore if they are the best fit to encourage and support you toward your goals.

7-TRUST YOURSELF – BALANCE YOUR HEART OVER YOUR HEAD: Trust your inner authority. Do not let your mind manipulate you and take you into a doubtful state, stay in your heart. When you can create this balance, you will tap into the opportunities around you to live creatively to your own potential.

I will add a few more to this list:

8- PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: Take time to gain clarity of what you are striving for in your life before you reveal yourself. Remind yourself that adopting a manner of being like enjoying clean living, reducing distraction to gain clarity which helps you live well and not in expectations and fear will bring you so much more than the shadow version of you.

9- EMPOWERED TO CREATE CHANGE:  You have a story. Everyone has a story that they think defines them. But maybe that story does not serve you any more. It does not really say who you are in your uniqueness. You have the power to change that story, so the suffering perhaps that was covered by that story can become a strength. You can do it! Try this on for size – no change can occur if there is not movement – movement of the body, movement of the breath, movement of the thought. What are you waiting for? Move!

10- CREATE SPACE: Creating space means that you give yourself time away from the job at hand at the appropriate time. Not because you are running away from the busy-ness of life, but you value your relationship with you. To achieve success and honour You as You: exercise, rest, eat, sleep, play and laugh well.  The following quote means that if you can calm your mind, make yourself empty, you create that space to live and to intuit the ways for effortless living and true success.

The Tao is empty but inexhaustible, bottomless, the ancestor of it all.

Within in, the sharp edges become smooth;

The twisted knots loosen;

The sun is softened by a cloud;

The dust settles into place.

It is hidden but always present.

I do not know who gave birth to it.

It sems to be the common ancestor of all, the father of things.

Tao Té Jing, verse 4

(Source: Dyer, Wayne, W., Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao, Hay House, 2007, page 20)


We have touched many aspects that guide you to connect with your true self. In doing so, your capacity to achieve your goals and have a greater impact becomes more accessible to you in life in general but certainly on social media. Here is a synoptic list:

  • Know yourself before you reveal yourself on social media.
  • Assess your environment and nurture the relationships that are equally authentic.
  • Remember you are unique.
  • Recognize your self-worth.
  • Know whose got your back.
  • Be clear on what you are striving for.
  • Get up and move.
  • Make time to be with yourself, enjoy life beyond social media.
  • VALUE YOU. Be real, genuine, authentic You.


A few last words on the subject presented.

As we recognize the benefits and the drawbacks of social media use, each and everyone of us engaged in making the world a better place can take action in supporting each other in staying real, in dealing with outstanding self-esteem issues, etc.  Here are a few questions to open up the conversation:

How do you deal with inauthentic personas on the social media tools that you use?

How do you keep yourself from falling into your shadow persona?

How do you keep yourself inspired to be true to what you value?

Please let me know what you think.

I appreciate the time you spent reading this blog and hope that you enjoyed it.

Please stay tuned for the up-coming blog on persuasion.

Cheers, Meherbani Kaur

Facebook:  What do you value in you?  Check out my blog on Impact? valued or fabricated value

Twitter:  Are you ‘staged’ or authentic. Check out my blob on Impact? valued or fabricated value #selfworth

[1] Source :


Watch your words (1) (


To clearly communicate your message and avoid the traps of misunderstanding part 2

Let’s face it, communicating clearly to be understood can be a daily challenge, whether it is in a face-to-face situation or email or social media. 

In my last blog Words Matter it illustrates by a real example on how words can be misread or misconstrued.

Messaging process

Let us try to understand simply just how the brain can process a message. The whole process of ‘encoding’ and ‘decoding’[2] the message ‘sent’, starts with the ‘sender’ with an intention, an idea that is encoded to transform that abstract idea into a communicable message. This message can be transmitted by using words, symbols, pictures and even sounds.

The receiver is the reader of that message. That reader will than decode or interpretate the message obtained.  Simple, right?

Where the challenges arise is in the social context of the ‘encoded’ and ‘decoded’ message. Here is what this could look like:


What is your intention?

An old Taoist story illustrates the hidden aspects or filters behind the intention. It is called the Old Gnarly Tree.  The story is about a very old twisted and knobby tree in a large forest filled with tall and beautiful trees.  One day a lumberjack arrived and looked around to see what trees would serve his purpose. He wanted the ‘finest’ and straightest trees to chop down to make planks to build houses and boats.

He appeared in front of this old gnarly tree and thought to himself: “What a useless tree. It is so ugly.” As his thought passed, a monk happened to be walking by. The old monk looked at the knotted tree and smiled and sat down beneath it to rest in its shade.

Years later, many people came to rest under that crooked tree to play, picnic, rest and just enjoy the only tree that remained from that once large forest. (The Useless Tree )

Did you get the message in the story about intention? What are the ways that you formulate your intention so your message will be clearly transmitted?

Watch your words: they can sting or soothe

Ok. You understand the importance of thought process and how a meaning to your post can be coloured by culture, language, beliefs, attitudes, judgments, fear, and life’s experiences.  That sharing of a message also requires the close attention to the words used. Here is a quote that illustrates that very importance.

Look at a field of wheat. The minute it becomes ripe and heavy, it bends over. Nothing is lost by being humble and giving respect to others. Give respect and you get respect. Respect is like an echo.

If you say, «Hello, my dear bother, » you will get, «Hello, my dear brother, » in return. If you say, «Hey, you stupid fool, » you will get that back instead.

Sri Swami Satchidananda, 1977, Beyond Words, The Integral Yoga Publication, p139

Much research has been undertaken to show how words shape us, such is Masaru Emoto’s on how words could affect the human consciousness. He tested water in a glass and exposed it to different words, amongst other things like music and pictures. This water was then frozen for the designated time of his experiment’s protocol.  The different waters produced various crystalline shapes dependant on the words used – loving, pleasing, and negative intentions and various words. The images below show some of his results.[3]

M. Emoto’s research on water and the impact of words on it (4)

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC

We can interpret from this Satchidananda’s quote and Emoto’s experiment that words can break or make a person – feel bad about themselves or feel good.  Words then can have a negative aspect leading into the risks of social media use and the issues surrounding the user’s mental health.

Next blog will take us into the world of social media and words impact. Stay tuned.

How can we be more conscious about our intention and words used? Tips for success

Here are some tips to ensure that your communication is received by your follower in a clear, conscious manner. (Hopefully…)

1- AUDIENCE COMES FIRST: Be aware that your communication or your post is well-balanced on the “narcissism ratio[4]”, which is a way of accessing how many “I”, “me”, “my”, “we” are in your post to the “you” and “yours”. You want to engage the reader, so make it more about them, than you. This helps to develop real connections and open up your readership and conversations.

2- A SYMBOL CAN BE A THOUSAND WORDS: Use emojis wisely at the right place, at the right time and not a long list of them, where the reader is going to have to try to figure out what you mean. Be clear here too.

3- CLARITY: Write short sentence in 7 to 11 words, otherwise you are running the chance that the reader will not understand what your message is.  Simple language is best but if you know your audience use the terminology that is familiar to them.

4- BE CONCISE – Keep the reader alert and not bored. You do not want them to be trudging a long-winded paragraph to get to the point of your message.

5- FRAME AND REFRAME YOUR IDEA: Repeat your main points in at least three different ways. While trying to get a message across always focus on your potential reader by repeating your many points or highlights in a least three different ways. This is a lesson that I learned teaching, because sometimes meanings are not captured immediately, Reframe the idea in another way, the reader will catch it this time…if not it was not meant to be

6- BE CONCRETE. Offer some details and examples to support your message. Be focused so you can stand behind your words.

7-BE COHERENT. Be logical and organize your ideas in your post where all the points you have presented tie into your main topic.

8- FIT THE AUDIENCE – write for your audience – be sure that the language and level of education fit, have correct grammar, names, titles. Be precise.

9- KNOW YOUR COMMUNICATION STYLE: Ensure that your tone is consistent throughout giving it a readable flow and ultimate engagement on the part of the reader.

10- BE AWARE, APPROPRIATE AND INCLUSIVE: Use neutral, bias-free language. Check out Algonquin College’s Inclusive Terminology Glossary[5]

11- LET GO OF FILLER WORDS: Last for this list, is “to be frank with you” (that phrase is really one of my pet peeves…grrrr.) “You know” avoid the filler words “kind of” “basically”, “you see”.  Does it not give the reader the sense that you are struggling to get your message across or lack expertise? “Frankly” …


We value the connections that we create and nurture through social media by making the right choices of words. We have touched upon many elements on how to watch our words from:

  • Correctness of spelling,
  • Using bias-free language,
  • Knowing the audience to keep it alert
  • Clear, concise messaging
  • Your audience is number 1.

What is your favourite way for creating a clear message to engage your readers?

Let me know your thoughts on this.

I appreciate your time in reading my blog. Please stay tuned for the up-coming blog on IMPACT.

Cheers, Meherbani Kaur

Facebook:  Bring clarity to how you communicate online?  Watch your words.  Check out my blog

Twitter:  Read my tips on Watch your words for the best sharing on social media.  #claritywithwords


EDUCATION EXECUTIVE, The seven Cs of Communication, June 28th 2017

[1] (

[2] Wikipedia, Encoding/decoding model of communication

[3] Emoto, Masaru, 2004, The Hidden Messages in Water, Beyond Words Publisher.

[4] Murphy, Mark, If you want to be more charismatic, stop saying this word, April 30, 2021

[5] Algonquin College Inclusive Terminology Glossary pdf



Tips to bring clarity to your social ‘media-ing’



The words we use can make or break our intent to deliver a conscious communication and getting our message across.

Today, as a global village, we can read a post on a subject or a blog originating across the oceans. The nuances that we understand, as a given, in our native tongue is not necessarily readily accessible to every one who even speaks that language. The interpretation can even be coloured by the receiver’s state of mind or where their mind is ‘fixated’ upon at that moment in time and space.

The words we use matter just as much as the message and the manner in which we deliver it. But there is more to this story…


Ok. I got it. It is clear now. My mind is in ‘learning about social media mode’.  I misunderstood the meaning of ‘select any social media topic that interests you’ for ‘select any topic that interests you on social media’.  Not the same, right?

But through this academic interpretation error, I learned something about social media communication/miscommunication and words posted, the intent and interpretation.

My misinterpretation can find many excuses for its existence – English is my second language, my mind was focused on preparing future training curricula in my line of work, multitasking to not being present to the words and intent on the assignment page.


When I realized my mistake, I began searching for clues on how what just happened could be applied to social media.  I began asking questions:

  • Words – do they really matter on social media (SM)?
  • How we use words on SM
  • Impact they have on SM
  • Is there an etiquette about word use on SM?
  • How can someone’s actual communication intentions and meanings of their message be well received if their text ‘sounds’ like something else to the receiver?

My research started by the terms ‘words matter’, then ‘language used in SM’, ‘miscommunication’, ‘misinterpretation’. There were so many dimensions to ‘words matter’ that the journey experience through social media gave me subliminal flashes of where this blog and the next 3 could be going. The research brought me to another level of understanding and conscious awareness of social media.


Text messaging cannot accurately convey tone, emotion, facial expression, gestures, body language, eye contact, oral speech, or face-to-face conversation, it is likely messages will be misinterpreted or misunderstood. The real meaning of your message gets lost through the medium.

(Hmmm…What would Marshall McLuhan say about this medium?)

(Source: Miscommunicating: the problem with texting,
Words fill us and shape us

We can never really completely know what is inside of someone’s head and their full intention behind their posted message. But we can, to the best of our ability, try to modulate our written voice before we post:

1. Take a deep breath (in case you did not see my blog#1 – 5 sure-fire steps to being at-ease

2. Think about what you really want to say or just go for a walk to clear your head first (also see blog#1).

3. Knowing your audience is a given, but what if you do not…

4. Put yourself at the receiving end; what does my post sound and feel to others?

5. Use the correct, carefully selected words (What’s your r.e.a.l. motivation).

6. Don’t react, particularly emotionally.

7. Place yourself in the other person’s shoes especially if you know them.

8. Be respectful even if your message is criticism.

9. Observe your body language, your tone when re-reading your text before you hit the button.

There are more tips to achieve a clear communication post. We will touch on those tips in a future blog and the impact of our posts.


We all know that humans are social beings and the need for connection with others is primordial to our well-being. Remembering that your words are powerful, do you know how much your words matter every time you post?

Thanks for reading.  Meherbani Kaur

Has this blog been useful to you?    Please share your comments

Blogs consulted


2- Harvard Business Review,




BLOG #1 COM0011

5 sure-fire steps to being at-ease (No matter what…)

What do you think about when you go for a walk?

Well, if you are like me, you probably think about how you are going to deal with a particular situation whether it is work, relationship related or just finding the right gift for your best friend’s birthday. Your mind ends up on overdrive and it stresses you out! How to get that clarity of perspective?

A good way is to step away from the issue momentarily and more often than not the solution appears.  Right? Have you not heard this before or even experienced it?  I have big time!

My story starts with that overwhelming stress from a marriage breakup, selling the family home, retiring from my job, diminished income and shifting to a new uncharted career. Oh, those life changing events!

I found Breathwalk…or rather it found me. 

Breathwalk is the science that combines your walking steps with different patterns and rhythms of breathing done in a focused attention.

Sounds complicated, right? It is so simple that you could just dismiss it as some new age gimmick.

But wait…take a deep breath… and please read on a little more…

With this practice, we correct and improve our breathing in a conscious way so that our mind will calm all its monkey business of keeping us stressed.

We breathe life and vitality not just air. Breathing experts have established through research that complete conscious breathing offers a number of real benefits:

•       Gives clarity and calmness

•        Reduces stress and anxiety

•        Helps eliminate toxins trapped in the lungs’ cilia from pollution around us

•        Increases patience and resistance to stress reactions

•        Boosts blood circulation

•        Optimizes Ph balance (acid/alkaline) (it is one of the things that keeps you healthy and not open to dis-ease

•        Facilitates the movement of spinal fluid essential to nervous system health and strength

•        Expands the flow of energy through the meridians (energy channels)

•        Enhances the aura – that’s your GLOW

•        Improves the body’s rhythms related to sleep, digestion, sexual urges and the other core functions.

If you have one of those scientific ‘give-me-proof’ minds, check out this article on the effect of proper breathing

Being aware of our breath has a deep effect on us, physically, psychologically, and even spiritually. When you walk and breathe like this, it becomes a meditation. That’s Breathwalk.

The benefits of Breathwalk are multilayered, but there 4 main effects for your well-being:

1. Mood control

2. Reduction of Stress

3. Increase energy and vitality

4. Connectedness

There 5 steps in Breathwalk to achieve these life-energizing and calming results. They are:

  • Awakeners – stretches to awaken the body and breath;
  • Alignment for the body, mind and spirit;
  • Vitality – the heart of the practice: steps, breath patterns with primal sounds and magic fingers;
  • Balance – more stretches to consolidate; and finally
  • Integrate with the innerwalk – walking your breath through visualization.

After you experience these 5 sure-fire steps, even once, you will feel so amazing and realize that you can deal be at-ease in your life no matter what chaos may be going about.

Please watch this video Introduction to Breathwalk

Remember when we talked about what you do when you go for a walk?

Instead of churning stuff with your mind, give it a break, give yourself a break and do Breathwalk.

On a closing note, I want to share with you a quote from my Breathwalk teacher, Yogi Bhajan:

There can be no change without movement: movement of breath, movement of body, movement of thought.

Now that you know, go for a walk and breathe well and with awareness.

Stay connected, next time we will learn to practice the special breathing techniques.

I would really love to hear from you. What did you think about this blog? Leave your comments or experiences below.

D. Meherbani Kaur Desrochers-Khalsa, Founder and director of the My HealthvMy Choice Holistic Services (1994 Canada, is an internationally certified Kundalini Yoga and Breathwalk teacher-trainer with teaching experience in Japan, Cuba, United States, South Korea, particularly in India and Canada.

She offers Breathwalk and Kundalini Yoga in-person scheduled and online classes, workshops and trainings in different venues.  For nearly thirty years, she has been providing person-centered lifestyle and nutrition (western and yogic) counselling and coaching services as well as presenting community and corporate seminars, locally, nationally, and internationally, specializing in Women’s health issues – from the first to the last breath –, stress management and dependency relief.  

Meherbani Kaur teaching Breathwalk at Akal University, Punjab India. Students checking their conscious brathing