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December

2011

 
Consciousness and
     Pain Prevention

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

Feature Article 

  No time? Listen to the  podcast (9:15 min.) in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.

 

Quick Communication Tip

Resource Links

 

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Consciousness and Pain Prevention
(click for podcast)

 

Our less-than-conscious communication causes so much unnecessary pain for ourselves and others, and because it is less than conscious, it rarely gets addressed. We hurt ourselves and those around us with so much regularity that it fades into the background as normalcy. We put our energy into being tougher and more calloused, rather than increasing the consciousness around our words.

Ironically, this requires more energy in the long run, and adds the downside of further separation and isolation from one another. It also maintains an antagonistic relationship with ourselves that blocks us from achieving our full potential. The upside is that since the problem arises from a lack of consciousness, the solution becomes simply adding that consciousness back in
.


From the Inside Out
The dynamics of communication are like pebbles in water. The energetic wave flows outward from its origin point. The nature of the ripples are determined by the impact/mass of that originating thought/pebble. This means our best shot at affecting the nature of those ripples is to address that pebble.

This is where applying consciousness can have a profound impact on the eventual and distant ripples. There are countless “thought-less” things that we say to ourselves every day. Some are a little rough, and some are utterly debilitating; building walls between us and what we want. They do all this damage flying under the radar of our consciousness.

One of the most common examples of internal verbal abuse is name-calling. We do this because we observed it as kids, or we’ve internalized someone else doing it. Usually we do it when we make a mistake, lose something, or forget something. If you think about it, it’s absurd to conclude that an insult will fix a mistake or improve your memory, so it must be getting added by that lurking less-than-conscious, auto-pilot place that gets us in trouble.

Listen to what you say to yourself. How many times a day do you finish a sentence in your head with “you idiot,” or some such equivalent?

What makes things worse is the ripples. We're so accustomed to this kind of self-talk, that we don’t really notice when that “insult wave” travels outward toward other people. It doesn’t even have to be spoken aloud to communicate the energy.

Reversing the trend is a simple process, yet requires your attention. Start actively catching it when you internally insult yourself, and interrupt that pattern. Apologize to yourself if it already came out, and if not, try to re-frame how you talk to yourself. Imagine yourself as your own small child, and talk to this child who you love and protect. Saying “you idiot” will be unlikely.

From this pebble, weighted and shaped just so, the wave that emanates will reflect this different energy, and you will not be communicating disdain for other people unconsciously. This would be a positive ripple effect.


Adversarial Triggers
Another thing we do unwittingly, is create an adversarial perspective where none was intended. This in turn begins a reactive cycle of defenses, assumed intentions, projections, and more defenses, with nobody actually engaged in dialogue with the other person. This resembles “shadow boxing,” where projections on the wall are having the exchange.

So how does this happen? How do we create these rifts? It takes two to tango; there are the words spoken, and there are the thoughts, feelings, and pre-recorded reactions on the receiving end. Both can be filled with potential landmines. Your ability to affect someone else’s receiving end is tied to minimizing potential triggers.

Let’s say we had a plan to go to a Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning. Thursday night, you break your leg. Obviously this is not something you would choose to do. When I hear that we’re not going to the Farmer’s Market, I tell you that I’m “disappointed.”

Now this is a perfectly valid and genuine thing to feel. Ironically, without a little extra care, verbalizing that disappointment can create a rift. When I say that “I’m disappointed,” there are a couple of things that happen.

You very well may hear the unspoken accusation “you disappointed me.” Words like “disappointment” tend to be trigger words (one of those vestigial parent’s-voice-in-your-head things) which can evoke an irrational reaction and defense, that once again separates us from the engagement of dialogue. When what’s heard is “you disappointed me,” you feel bad. When you feel bad, you “cope,” you don’t communicate. Let's think about this for a second: you didn’t disappoint me by breaking your leg, and yet without me taking a moment to think about how my words could be taken, I delivered a message that was way off track.

What could I do differently? First of all, I need to create an “us” in my language. I haven’t included you in what’s going on. It’s all about me. That may not be my intention; I could have the opposite intention and want to express how much I wanted to see you, but my words were about my experience, my world, my view. No doubt you would be easily as disappointed as me, (plus you've got a broken leg.)

Let’s rewind the tape, and rather than speaking from the “me” perspective, I’ll speak from the “we” perspective. When I hear that we’re not going to the Farmer’s Market, I may well be disappointed, but how about you? What if after making sure you’re okay I said something like, “Well, maybe we can’t do what we planned originally, but it was more about being together than just going to the market, so what else can we do?”

Bringing it all the way up to full consciousness, we can see that much of the time there’s a child stamping his or her foot for things to go his or her way, to be seen, to be heard. And we are not that hurt child anymore, so we really can get past that. Once we do, there’s an amazing ability to connect with each other on a deeper, more adult level.


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Quick Communication Tip

Raising the Altitude

The lower levels of consciousness development are perfectly normal for children, and thankfully we usually grow up and evolve beyond those ways of thinking.  Early on, however, when we're very young, we view the world around us as truly revolving around us.  We are in the center of things, and everything is a reflection of us, how we feel, what we think, and what we want.  Our language is filled with I, me, mine, what I want, what you do to or for me, and so on.

When we reach an age where we become part of the social fabric, it's time for us to think about the we, the us, and what is good for the group.  We need to change our language accordingly.  Instead of what I want for me, it's time to think of what we want for us.  The more we are on the same side, cooperating and creating, the less we will be in opposition, selfishly involved in a tug-of-war.  It starts with our language, and moving from I, me, mine, to us and we.


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.


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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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Welcome to the Conscious Communication Chronicle, sharing how Conscious Communication results in success, and how you can achieve yours.   Enjoy!

 

 



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
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415.826.0478

 

 

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