Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Be Careful!


How many times have I said, “Be careful?”

Anxiety rooted itself deeply within my cells.  From there it grew tendrils that encased my organs, muscles, and bones.

Despite the intensity of my repeated caution, “Be careful” never stopped life from unfolding.  My cat died, the job ended, and accidents happened, with precious moments of sweetness hardly noticed between.

How do you wake up from the illusion of control?  And then unwind the damage to your body, mind, and soul?

Ride this ever-changing river of life moment to moment with a smile, and the deeper knowing there’s nothing you can control.

Prompt:  100 Words on Saturday

What does the phrase “be careful” evoke for you?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Thank you for reading and sharing!  If you liked this article, please consider subscribing for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra

Image:  Public Domain


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Nothing Is Impossible!


  1. “Be careful” was the stern voice I heard throughout childhood, each time that I ventured outside of my home for something other than school. The implication was that I would be hurt. Hearing that phrase now, something inside constricts, because I would venture anyway then, upon my return, be disciplined, scolded, punished. Which hurt far worse than anything natural I encountered on my adventures.

    Reading “be careful” now, today, I feel a different tone as in move with *care*, love, joy , peace, awareness, intention…may your creations, connections, movements be full of care. It feels like infinite possibility and peace—an invitation for a heart opening, something to cultivate and celebrate.

    • Hi Joy,

      I can feel the tensions and intensity from your childhood experience. It’s amazing how you’ve overcome this to be heart-centered and grounded in the flow! I love the way you reframe words to give them a positive spin. May we all be full of care! 🙂

  2. jean sampson

    I love how Joy put a wonderful new meaning to the phrase, “Be careful!” I am not sure I got told that directly as a child, but I sure did get the message that this is a dangerous world and something would happen to you (bad, of course) if you weren’t always vigilant. My mom was a worrier and I “caught ” the worry bug from her. Because I was an asthmatic kid in the days when there really was no effective asthma medicine, and I almost died several times, my parents over-protected me big time! It is REALLY hard for me to overcome this being careful and wanting people I love to be careful—-I can feel how my mom felt when she was watching Dad or me leave to do something she was not quite sure was safe. I love Joy’s new definition—-thanks, Joy! I will keep that one with me whenever I think or say, “Be careful!” This is a really deep, old one, so wish me luck! 🙂

    • Hi Jean,

      I really feel how big, old, and deep this is for you, Jean! It’s good to see how aware you are of this. That’s the beginning of change isn’t it? That darn worry bug is so contagious. Joy’s new definition is a fabulous way to start undoing this brain track. Good luck! I’m with you.

  3. “Be careful” reminds me of both my grandmother and mother, an entreaty to live cautiously. An entreaty that made me cringe and feel suppressed. I prefer Joy’s version much more and will do my best to remember that from today forward!

    • You are so daring, Sandi. It’s hard to imagine you coming from a such a cautious environment. I’m glad your inner courage was on fire and not so easily suppressed.

  4. It’s a phrase I use too often, perhaps, but not excessively, and rarely without immediate application. I usually think of it in connection to children. For example, if my toddler grandson is venturing too close to the edge of concrete steps, I might call attention to it, but if he is climbing on something that is not likely to cause serious harm if he falls, then I let him explore.

    Your observation that it is often used out of fear and with little effect reminds me to check myself when I use it.

    • It’s really an appropriate phrase in some contexts, isn’t it Galen? It sounds like you are using the phrase consciously and not hyper-actively. It’s a delicate balance between protection and allowing with children. Your grandson seems to be getting the best of attention from you!

  5. I find myself saying “be careful” to my husband when he leaves the house to drive somewhere or to bike on the road, to my students when they leave for spring break. I think of it as a way to say “I love you; don’t get hurt.” I guess it is a form of fear, but one based in love. Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    • This is how the phrase comes up for me too, Beverly. I’m sure your wish is steeped in love. I’ve come to realize that using the phrase does usually stem from fear, in my case, and those words have little power to affect a positive outcome. Realizing this helps me go back to the source and work on eradicate the original anxiety. Thanks for your thoughts.

  6. Interesting post Sandra and no doubt my take on it. haha

    I’ve usually done the opposite of being careful in most instances. When I tell myself to be careful or feel I should be, I’ve taken big challenges, risks and gambles. When I’m doing advocacy or community organizing work especially, I come to the edge of careful. Then realize that I can’t be in many instances. Being careful means not agitating, not organizing and not fighting for vulnerable populations which I represent.

    In my work life, I can’t be careful because there’s too much at stake. In my personal life, I can’ t be careful at the risk of leading a dull life. haha 🙂 I do like Joy’s take on this too!

    • Thank goodness you are not (too) careful, Vishnu! Your work is precious and important. Now, we wouldn’t want a dull life, wouldn’t we? Joy definitely has given us a perfect new view.

  7. Loved the depth and meaning you brought to this phrase, Sandra. It’s true we can never be too careful – life goes on…The faster we realize this, let go and live life to the fullest, the happier we’ll be.
    Joy brings a whole new meaning to this too.
    I’m wondering what you’ll do with the new prompt ‘closed doors’! 😉

    • Thank you, Corinne. I love the 100 Word Saturday prompts. Thanks for offering them to us. They always a trigger a stream of words in my mind although I may not always get to writing it down.

  8. You can be as careful as you like but still get hit by lightning 🙂 Let the Universe take control and live a life of joy and meaning. Loved your take on this prompt. I have always tried to live my life being prepared for the worst but hoping for the best.

  9. Suleka,

    Being hit by lightening is a perfect example! Thanks for sharing that with us. It really gives perspective.

  10. I remember a morning when I was going for a jog and spied a crack in the sidewalk. I could almost hear my mother’s words, “Be careful, don’t trip” enter my mind, even though she’s been gone since 2002. Those careful words have a way of staying with us.

    • Hi Joyce,

      They do, don’t they! That’s such a long time, but the imprints are still there. At least, we can be aware of them and not so caught!

  11. I’m with Joy! Over the past few years, I’ve tried to re-frame “be careful” to myself as “be care-full,” as in full of care. It makes all the difference in the world. A friend once told me that she prefers to think of herself as practicing “care-fulness” rather than mindfulness, as it feels more heart-centered for her. And in fact, the etymology is similar… the word “couer” means heart… couer-full-ness! full of care and full of heart…

    • Maia, I would never have thought of that “reframe” without Joy. And, I love how you have underlined it here with a whole exploration into etymology. 🙂 Full of heart, full of care! I’m with you!

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