Tag Archives: communication

How About A Hug? Part 3: Give your arms a Rest.

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When I decided that I would spend an evening hugging persons blindfolded, I had no idea what my level of energy and stamina would be. I had a hunch that I would feel completely invigorated physically, because of the excitement within me around the project. And, to some degree, I was correct in that.

However, there were periods of time that I was holding my arms up for awhile, and they would get tired. I would lower them for a few seconds, stretching them out, and then put them up again.

But, something really interesting happened along the way, and it happened a couple of times before I realized it. Even when my arms would get tired, as soon as a person would come up to me for a hug, and I would wrap my arms around them tightly, after they would walk away, my arms would not be tired anymore. If anything, they felt well rested and light.

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Now, some of that relief was bound to happen, because in one sense, I was putting my arms down, and resting them on another person. Yet, my muscles within my arms were tense and strong when I would hug the person, and the rest would literally only be for a few seconds. So, I feel sure that the energized feeling my arms would experience were directly related to the experience itself, my own opening of my heart.

At one point, I had a person come by, who told me as she hugged me that she had hugged me earlier, and came by for a second one. Then, she went on to tell me, that her purpose was to help me to relax.

She told me after giving me a second, beautiful hug, to give my arms a rest. Her voice was gentle, kind and compassionate. And, her words went right to my heart. Right to the core of me, and was yet another confirmation of why this project felt so fulfilling to me.

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To be offering a gift to the world around me, with little anticipation of what would happen, and little ability to see what would happen, was opening my heart plenty. But, to then receive from a person, in such a genuine way, was to understand that my offering was how I was to deeply receive.

My life is so full of magic, wonder and peace. And, that continues to expand every day. Yet, to be in that small chunk of time, and encounter so many miracles of humanity, has exponentially increased my awareness and deep appreciation for the humans in the world around me. Even when we are so bombarded with how messed up this world is, there is kindness and love at every turn.

What a miracle.

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It Doesn’t Matter.

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A few days ago, my fiance’ and I had a blip on the screen. At the time, it felt like more than that. We were having a variety of conversations, in which neither one of us seemed to be communicating to or understanding one another very effectively. As a result, by the end of the day, we were both annoyed, hurt and irritated. She felt like she wasn’t being listened to or understood, and I felt like I was not being listened to or understood. In the moment, it felt all important and serious.

A couple of hours later, when I was ready to take down my wall, and she was ready to sit and be still, we were able to come back together, talk about it, and reconnect. All was well, as it had been all along, but in the moments of what seemed like difficulty, it seemed all important.

What I realized at the end of it all, is that the stuff of life, which is everything, seems so all important when we are in the midst of it. But, in actuality, none of it matters at all. It doesn’t matter in the whole scheme of things if she seems annoyed by me, or I feel hurt by her. It doesn’t matter because none of it is the truth. However, as humans, it often takes us awhile to get to the bottom of something, because the story seems so all important.

For me, I wanted my story of importance to be understood, for her to not assume that I didn’t care about her love of music. I wanted to feel hurt that she would view me in that way. She wanted to feel that I don’t listen to her when she talks to me. We both had our buttons pushed by each other, our most vulnerable spots were exposed, and even though we know each other well, we still default to not seeing the real story at times.
So, I put up a wall of silence, and detachment, and she leaves for awhile. And then, when we are sick of ourselves, which doesn’t take long, thankfully, we come back to a common ground.

Our common ground is Love and Forgiveness. We always know that it is there, but there are moments when we forget. When we forget that we have a choice in how we interact with one another, and others in our world, and we resort to old habits and the need to be the one who is right. We want to feel justified in our anger, or hostility, or hurt. And, often when we as humans feel that way, we build a wall around ourselves and stop connecting with others. And, there is no feeling for me that is more lonely.

I don’t want to be lonely in this world.

So, after the tears, and talk, and connection, we realized at the end of the day that none of the stories really matter at all. There is no one of us that is right, or wrong; there is nothing that has to be justified or defended. All that matters is that as two humans swirling through this world, we get to keep coming back to a place of love, of forgiveness and understanding.

And, we get to remember that the one that we most get to love and forgive is ourselves.

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A Grown Up Kid Christmas.

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I love Christmas. I love the bustle, the shopping, the cooking and seeing family and friends. I love getting a tree and decorating the house. I love the feeling of warmth, love and goodwill that feels especially present this type of year.

Since I was a small child, I would look forward to Christmas for weeks in anticipation. Whether I was going through the Sears Christmas Wish catalog, bending each page that had a desired gift on it; or planning a special surprise gift for someone in my family; or eating Velveeta fondue with slightly stale french bread cubes on Christmas Eve, it was all magical. I always got excited about the arrival of Santa that evening, and what treasures would be waiting for me when I woke up on Christmas Day.

As I get older, I still enjoy the aspects of Christmas that remind me of being little, that excitement and joy. Yet, there are parts of me that are growing up, and getting more soulful about the holiday. I don’t mean religiously, although that is good for some people. And, I still have a fond recollection that Christmas represents the birth of Jesus, and that feels powerful in my heart to this day. What has grown up for me is the perspective of what, and why, to give gifts to one another.

I love giving gifts to the children in my life especially at this time of year. Toys, clothes, and other items that they most love to receive. For the grownups in my life, though, I find each year to want to make it more simple, and more meaningful. I have spent many years, buying for many people, and enjoying the process, but going way overboard and not really considering what the gift giving is all about for me.

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This year, most of the gifts that I will be giving to the grown ups in my life are homemade gifts. Ones that took care to put together, and have a personal touch for me. And, next year, I want to expand it more and more. I keep deepening into the realization that if I am going to give something to someone, I want it to say something about me, as well as be something that I believe they will enjoy.

I still love putting out the cookies for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, and waking up on Christmas morning with an excitement to see what is in my stocking and underneath the tree. But, what becomes more clear every year, is that I receive so much more, in the gifts that I give to others.

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Numbers and the Ego.

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I have been dealing with numbers in my life, for all of my life.  Numbers that reference a variety of aspects of my self.  Numbers related to age, related to weight, grade, income, and miles from home.  Numbers that all have some significance in a positive, or negative way.

 

Numbers are a tricky deal for me.  With some numbers, like income for example, the higher the number, the more that I like it.  The lower the number, the less I enjoy it.  Other numbers, such as age or weight, the lower the number, the happier I am.  Or, so I think.

 

Today I am in the business of sorting out the numbers of my life, and what they really mean to me.  What I have discovered very recently, is that every number that I have in my life currently, whether I view it in a positive or negative light, is directly connected to the ego.  To the way that I view myself, and how circumstances impact me.

 

In other words, What About ME?

 

So, in the numbers game that I play with myself regarding money, when I have more money, I tend to be happier, and when I have less, I am less happy.  At least, that is how I have approached it for most of my life.  Today, I am learning to let go of my ego, connected to what I want to have, do and buy with my money, and instead, be truly grateful for what my money enables me to do, and have, in terms of my everyday needs.

 

When it comes to age, that has been more tricky for me as of late.  I have been mistakenly referred to as the mother of grown women, in their thirties and forties, on two occasions in the last month.  My ego is what responds first, wanting me to believe that I need to do something to appear younger, because a higher number, in terms of age, just doesn’t work for me.

 

WHAT ABOUT ME?  

 

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So, to start getting my ego in check, and not letting numbers define me or tell me what I am about, I have been viewing life in a more balanced perspective.  When I want to bemoan having a number higher or lower than I would like, I am more consistently loving myself, for right where I am, as I am.  I am expressing gratitude more, for what I have, instead of focusing on what I don’t.  I am loving the wrinkles that I see on my face, rather than figuring out how to appear different.

 

Although the Ego will always be with me, I am finding ways to not let it rule me, but rather, how I get to be humble, happy, and loving, no matter what it tells me.

Communication: Art or Science?

As I have evolved throughout my lifetime, gaining knowledge and understanding about myself, others, and the the interactions that result in the world, I have had varying views about aspects of human behavior. One in particular that I have thought on at length is in the area of communication. Besides love, open communication to me, is the key to success of any human relationship.

I have trained many people in the past on the subject, how to communicate effectively, how to express your needs clearly, how to be a good listener. It really is technically based; state specifically what you are trying to convey; listen acutely to the person speaking to you; say back to them what they have said so that you know that you clearly understand. When done in this manner, very little room for error, right?

I always felt so empowered and effective at teaching others about these most critical ways to strengthen relationships, because I took great pride in what an effective communicator, as the speaker and as the listener, that I have been in my life.

What a bunch of BS.

It is so interesting to me that even though I believed myself to be so good at this, that my relationship did not succeed, and I have come to realize throughout the last few months how little I communicated important things within that relationship. Deep things, that I accused her of not telling me. And yet, I wasn’t telling either.

Even though I know and understand the technical aspects of communication, I never used them in my closest relationships, especially in my intimate, partner relationships. I always wanted to have it be peaceful and loving, so I would withhold telling how I truly felt rather than create assumed conflict. I would not save what I really wanted to defer to someone else’s wants and needs, but then not say so. I would say and feel love, and not say when I was unhappy or unsatisfied.

I really viewed communication in the context of intimate relationships, as an art. That which just flows naturally and easily due to the love that exists. Like the falling in love itself, it just happens and you go along for the ride, so clear communication just comes with that.

Nope, doesn’t work that way. I have come to understand very distinctly, that communication, no matter what relationships we are talking about, communication is truly a science. It is saying clearly and intently what it is we want to say. As a listener, it means listening actively, and saying back what has been said for clear understanding. It means calling out our disappointments, hopes, fears, and dreams all of the time, not just when the going gets rough.

It means opening up, showing our heart, being vulnerable. Scientifically, of course.