http://catmeyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/20170128_MiyokoandCat_©KABIRCARDENAS_021-e1490764226229.jpg 997 1155 Cat Meyer http://catmeyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/logo-e1504807596888.jpg Cat Meyer2017-02-07 15:37:172017-02-07 15:38:44Notes on Conscious Communication
This past weekend I was practicing acro yoga with a male friend I hadn’t practiced with in over a year. I recall when we first started working together how we both were so stubborn and adamant that we were right and the other person was causing us to fall out of our poses. Over and over we would fall out, and try to give the other person feedback as to what they could do differently in the next try.
Today, we were excited to reunite and play together again. We started out by calibrating with easier poses to get used to each others weight shift and engagement. As we started to get more complex with our poses, we found ourselves falling out soon after starting. Both of us admitted we were a bit rusty on our game and laughed it off, continuing to go at it again. And again, I found myself tipping and falling over. This time I decided to be the listener instead of trying to give comments, as I assumed my own contribution to the falling.
“Don’t lean so far back. Slow it down. Wait for me.”–were his directions.
“Ok” I said, thinking that I was taking in the suggestion.
“Don’t put your leg out until my hand is there.”
“Wait,” I found myself stopping mid-pose and putting my feet on the ground to look him in the face.
“I know you’re coming from a heart-centered place; however, I’m feeling myself contract to your instruction. I can see how I’m struggling with receiving direction right now because I want to feel like I’m competent in acro yoga and I can also see how I’m not as polished as I used to be because I haven’t been practicing as much. When you give me direction, could you be softer with me? I think my contracting is causing me to tense and us to fall out.”
My friend looked at me and blinked, “I didn’t even realize I came across like that. I’m so sorry you felt that. I’ll be more aware of how I communicate. That’s not how I want to come across.”
Instantly, I felt relaxed and I laughed, assuring him I know.
When we hopped back into practice, we nailed every single pose and configuration that followed.
This was an enlightening moment for me to see and experience the growth in my own practice in communication.
1. When we feel something is bothering or potentially harming to us, we contract. When we contract, we are not really seeing a situation or a person for what it really is, but instead we see it as threat to our ego. When we are contracted we are no longer present. Love is presence, contraction is fear.
2. When we contract, our thoughts, moods, and behaviors are influenced and we prevent others from being able to feel into us to work with us together.
3. To come out of the contraction, we must speak or call out what it is that we are experiencing so we can remove the power and it’s affect on our behaviors and mood. Notice any tightness in the throat, eyes, chest, belly, pelvic floor–as indications that we’ve contracted. See if we can breathe into these areas to promote release and relaxation for our self to flow more easily.
4. When we speak of our inner experience, we must own it as our own. We must come back to our own emotions, body sensations, underlying hopes and wishes, rather than talking about the other person’s actions and our opinions about them. No one else is having the exact experience except us, so it is unfair to assume that someone else has the intention or experience to harm or blame us, because chances are, they aren’t.
5. Ask for what we need. No one is a mind reader (unless they are), and they do not know our experience or discomfort unless we tell them. Even those of us in long-term relationships, please remember that our needs change moment to moment, so if our partner isn’t bothered last moment, but in this moment they are, honor that and see them in that need.
6. And finally. I realized gratitude for the people I’ve surrounded myself with, because they receive communication so well. They create safe space for me to vocalize what’s going on for myself and hear feedback as constructive and including them in on my experience rather than something that’s personal against them. But then again maybe group I’ve surrounded myself with is a reflection of how far I’ve come myself. Something to consider when we look around at our own environment of community.
I hope this stimulates your own self-reflection of how you communicate to others your inner experience and needs.
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