COMMUNICATING WITH AWARENESS
A. I always suggest to start with a notification or asking for an “appointment” to speak with someone. Whether the person is your significant other, your boss, your friend or your child, respect their time and space and ask for the best time to have a talk (timing is everything).
B. Remember the “P Sandwich”. Positive + Problem + Positive. Start with a positive statement then follow by the problem and then end with a positive note. When we start with the problem, the person we are speaking to will have their defenses up and would not hear what you have to say. But when we start with a positive statement, then we got their attention. When we have their attention, then we can tell them about the problem. We need to end the conversation on a positive note – a win win.
C. I understand it is a lot of work to communicate effectively. But if you want someone to listen, you need to start with your own self reflection first. Is it worth it? Is the person worth it? Will this bother me if I don’t say anything?
The way we speak with and listen to others can communicate love or hate, acceptance or rejection. I hope that you speak your truth.
You can try the following steps below to be able to communicate mindfully and openheartedly:
- Set your intention – being present, honest and kind in any circumstance.
- Let your body be an anchor – use breathing as your “grounding”. Return to it as often as you need to when you are getting anxious about communication. Let it be your reminder to be present.
- Listen from the heart – while others are speaking, try to let go of your own thoughts and pay attention to what they are saying. This means letting go of your agenda for the conversation. Honor the other person by being fully present and paying attention.
- Speak from the heart – try not to prepare and rehearse what you will say in advance, specially while the other person is speaking. In the present moment, speak what feels true and meaningful. speaking from the heart begins with inward listening.
- Pause, relax and attend – there is power in the pause. pause before and after your speak. pause to reconnect with your body and feeling. pause when another is done speaking, giving some space for what they have said to settle. with each pause, relax your body and mind. Rest in openness, paying full attention to this moment’s experience. Deepen your awareness as the other person express their feelings.
- Practice radical acceptance – the effort to be present and awake with each other. Forgive yourself and others again and again for being perfectly imperfect.
When Radical Acceptance is the basis of our relationships, genuine intimacy becomes possible. (Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach, PhD.)