Humans have a great capacity for communication.
Yes, animals can communicate in other ways with unique sounds (probably telepathic ways we aren’t able to tune into…), but because of our cerebral cortex, we are capable of communicating complex plans about the future, stories about the past, and lots of amazing, abstract ideas.
It’s a real evolutionary gift.
But this level of communication can also get us into a lot of trouble. We can really hurt people, or act in ways that aren’t in alignment with how we want to show up in the world – especially when we’re not being mindful.
When we talk about mindfulness, we tend to talk about a sense of awareness, both of ourselves and our surroundings.
Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is geared towards observing our thoughts and where we are in the present moment.
But what about the other aspects of ourselves?
What about speech? What about listening?
Words are powerful, and being mindful about what we express is as vital as paying attention to how we behave or how we think.
Today, we dig into what mindful communication (as both speaking AND listening) looks like, and I offer some tools and exercises that you can try in real time to start figuring out what this means for YOU.
True – this work is a lot easier said than done. So we talk about some practical tips that can help us communicate more mindfully.
In a nutshell:
Being mindful about speech simply means slowing down and choosing our sentences with care.
It helps us recognize and undo patterns that create separation.
It helps us cultivate empathy in communication.
The goal of mindful speech is not to police your sentences.
And it’s not to silence speaking out against injustice (quite the opposite).
The point is to be conscious of the words that we often take for granted.
Some people worry that mindful speech is too restrictive.
But that has to do with one’s attitude around mindful speech – how we are relating to it – when really mindful speech can be a shift from an encumbrance of a rigid set of rules, to one of adventure.
When we bring attention to what we’re saying we can have unexpected possibilities of how we communicate with another person; how we connect with them.
It’s not the opposite of spontaneity – it is what makes spontaneity possible.
Truth is, we have to know that we are not going to nail mindful communication right out of the gate. If it was that easy, we’d all already be doing it.
But I invite you to look at it another way; to see the work of mindful communication as an opportunity to create more freedom in your life.
Because that’s really what it is. So go on.
:: Learn to free yourself from your habitual patterns – your autopilot.
:: Open yourself up to a more creative way of being in the world.
:: Embrace the self-compassion necessary to actually grow from any fuck-ups along the way.
Mindful communication will allow you to be more present, more authentic and more humble in every relationship and every facet of your day-to-day life.
I can’t wait for you to get started. Life is too short not to.
In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- What mindful communication looks like, and why it differs from the more broad mindfulness
- About the three questions you can ask yourself to be more thoughtful during conversations
- The art of the pause – why it’s important to remember that we can create the pause, and how the acronym WAIT can help us build this reflex
- Why mindful listening is more than just hearing what another person is saying – it’s bearing witness to another human’s experience
- The reason self-compassion is crucial to engaging with this work on a deep level
- Some exercises you can practice in real time to help you identify where your own roadblocks lie
- Why mindful communication is one of the best ways to create more freedom and spontaneity in your life
// If you’re new here, grab the starter kit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll get access to the private Facebook group where you can ask me questions! Once you join, there’s also a weekly FB live called Wake the F*ck Up Wednesday, where you can ask questions that come up as you do this work – in all parts of your life.