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Funhouse Mirror Reality

Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.

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Funhouse Mirror Reality
(click for podcast)


Remember that saying: “perception is reality?” This seemingly innocent phrase is probably the most common cause of conflict and misunderstanding on the planet. Perception is perception; not reality. We have subjective experiences. We take in and organize stimuli in direct accordance with our ego-structure’s happy belief that “it knows” how to do this to best survive.
Coming to terms with how vast the chasm is between perception and objective reality is a great step forward in our ability to communicate and connect with one another more effectively and authentically.
Recognizing how and where our perception is a function of our current operating system “set-up,” we can take in more information (like other people’s perceptions, perhaps from another angle) and actually grow or evolve, as our own scope is widened. That wider scope includes more information, rather than forcing an either/or conflict.
There are a lot of reasons people hold on to this conception about perception. The clinging is often rooted in identity, a moral/ethos meme, or fear. More and more, holding on to the child-like “it’s all about me” is reinforced constantly by consumer marketing. The more you’re focused on you, the more I can sell you things to make you better or fix what’s wrong with you.
Holding on is rather like a bad habit, with similar limitations, and similar freedoms when we kick it. It’s like living in one place all of your life. You know where everything is - even in the dark, it’s comfortable, you can almost convince yourself that this is all there is.
To step outside becomes both exhilarating and frightening. You know that you're going to become more just stepping outside, but what if something bad happens? How can you stand your ground, if that ground can move? Do you need to stand your ground? Isn’t it safer when you have answers? Regardless of accuracy, any answers are safer, aren’t they? Not knowing might make you look foolish, and wouldn’t that be mortifying?!
Okay, take a breath and relax for a second. All of that anxiety and concern is just another sad bi-product of this early developmental stage. Your freedom and your ability to really connect are waiting for you just outside of that illusionary box of “safety” and “knowledge.” Step outside, relax, let go, and rejoice. You are faced with open space and the Empty Cup.

Ripples in the Pond of Narcissus
This belief that our perception is Truth, rather than our perception, forces an either/or confrontation when another person’s perception is met. Starting with the awareness that we're actually incapable of perceiving objective reality takes a lot of starch out of the argument before it starts. Once I start being conscious of my own Perception Lens filtering things in and out, I can see you as well. You have your own lens of perception filtering different things in and out, and between the two of us (or more) we can get more information, and a wider scope of what’s happening. It still won’t be “objective reality,” but the more pixels, the higher the resolution.
As I’ve often stated, communication’s greatest foes are assumptions and projections. The vast majority of these assumptions and projections stem from this one developmental aspect. Our inability to move from the “me” to the “we” blocks our path. As soon as we start putting motivations on others based upon “what ours would have been,” we’re on a sad course that prevents connection. When I don’t leave that empty space for your experience, and I fill it in with my assumptions and projections, I’ve disabled our interaction.
To be able to hear you, I need to silence Me. To be able to empathize with your experience, I need to stop being so immersed in my own experience (for that interaction). If I'm focused on my own fear that what I love will be taken away, how can I hear that your concern is about an appearance of vulnerability? I would just project my own stuff on you, and assume that you’re just like me.

"Oh Grow Up!"
Joan Rivers’ old comedy catch-phrase is remarkably accurate for how we can greatly improve our communication with one another, and let’s face it, improve our situation on Earth. We don’t even have to think of it as giving up anything. When we move/grow beyond this developmental stage, we become all that we were plus more! Our growth always includes the earlier stage, so there’s nothing to miss. No worries about losing anything; it’s all gain.

Seeing everything as a reflection of ourselves is a trap and a prison that keeps us separate. We miss out on experiencing each other - really experiencing each other. We derail our communication and miss out on connecting with each other.

As products and services become increasingly similar and harder to differentiate, our relationships will be all we have to leverage as Unique Selling Propositions. Communicating and connecting are the fuel of the future of business.



Quick Communication Tip


What if I Missed Something?

When we get caught up in our perception being The Truth, we get side-tracked. We get pulled into an “I’m right,” “no, I’m right,” argument that has little to do with what we were originally sharing. Defending our position of “rightness” becomes the most important point, and that position is usually not particularly useful.

There’s an old expression that you can either be right or married. You can extend that to virtually any relationship, including one with a client. This is where the “customer is always right” comes from. Arguing will just lose you the sale.

There’s no real prize for convincing someone that your perception is right and theirs is wrong. When we’re facing each other at the beach, one of us may see the ocean where the other sees only sand. Neither of us is “right,” and if we dispense with that argument, we can share the information we both have. This gives us a more accurate picture, and we don’t get stuck in arguments.

Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?  Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.


Resource Links:

Conscious Communication - the podcast series

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Personal Life Media - "Coaching the Life Coach:"
Communication Excellence (Podcast Snippets)
Communication Excellence (full interview)

Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain

Kind Ambition -
2nd Edition now available

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?



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The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
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Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
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