This month we’re going to talk about topics around how to be authentic in our lives how to show up authentically, and today it will be communication.
I got five points for you today.
First one is let’s learn how to listen really well we often focus on being heard well, but do we really listen as actively and as intently as we would like to be heard?
It’s a good one to practice – that remembering: Can I listen as intently as I would like to be heard?
Second piece: Can I then express my truth authentically? Can I find my voice? You know sometimes, when we feel a frog in our throat, or a sore throat, that is just a physical indicator that we haven’t been speaking up, that we haven’t been owning our truth. So can we find a way of expressing that? Maybe that’s one to take away for journaling: Where am I not expressing my full truth in my life?
It can be tough to look at that one, and it’s so worth it. Yes, it is, I promise. Sit down tonight, even if you just take five minutes, to journal: Where can I express myself more authentically in my life?
Then it’s about owning that message, to own it in an unapologetic way. That doesn’t mean that I shout it out into the world in a way that is hard to digest, but it means I own my truth. When I come talk to you I show up fully. I will happily admit that I got the things that I’m still working on, and I pass on as genuinely as I possibly can what I would like to share with you – no holding back, owning my truth in that.
What does that really mean listening well and owning my truth?
I have three tools for you that I would like to to give you along the way for that:
Point 3) The first tool is a non-violent communication pattern. When we try to work with something where we’re not happy with the current status. This one is by Marshall B. Rosenberg, who encourages us to decompose when we have criticism about something. To decompose that into four pieces, so instead of complaining about the status quo of something:
i) Can I state the fact, can I state my observation?
ii) And then can I state the impact that that has on me?
iii) Then name the underlying need of mine that is not met by that?
iv) And then make a concrete request for how to improve that?
Point 4) A second tool are the four agreements. I love the four agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. They’re so simple, yet not always easy to implement.
i) The first agreement is “be impeccable with your word” so speak the truth. Sounds easy enough, yet when we’re really honest with ourselves, we may sometimes catch ourselves making excuses for white lies. So can we just listen really deeply how we can express ourselves authentically without needing to reach for any white lies?
ii) Second agreement is “take nothing personal”. Yeah, I get it, it makes sense – and yet, sometimes, that is really tough to remember to not take anything personal. When critique comes in to not take that personal against myself, but to to listen to well what is it about. What is the habit or the words or what was the action that was not okay?
iii) The third agreement is to “not make assumptions” – ooh, tough one – as soon as I get a text from somebody, I may have an interpretation about what prompted that, or what feeling was behind, or what else might be going on in their context that prompted that. So I start making assumptions. It’s so hard to not do that, and to catch myself in that is a daily practice where am I making assumptions and how can I release them.
iv) The fourth agreement is “always do your best” and the piece that I love about always do your best is that it has led me to making it a practice to also always expect of others to do their best and that is the _one_ assumption that I will allow myself to make about others: that they are doing their best. That’s the best assumption I could go for.
Yes, it’s a contradiction that I just said number three is “don’t make assumptions” and then yet I tell you one that I’m making, but see, I’m also still on my way of practicing this. Maybe one day I can let go of any assumptions. Maybe one day I won’t need the crutch of “oh, that person’s also trying to do their best”. Maybe I’ll just know and trust in it.
Point 5) The last tool, now that we’ve navigated through the conflict-y part of conversations, what about the positive ones?
We have five ways of how we express our appreciation for other people they’re called the “five love languages”. There’s a beautiful book written by Gary Chapman about this topic. Those five languages are physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, and acts of service. We each have one or two of those that we prefer that we value most and that we tend to express ourselves most in. For me, those are physical touch and quality time. And it’s a beautiful thing that we can all receive and give all five of those. Plus, it’s good to know that we usually have one or two preferred ones that we use above all others
So if there is any relationship in your life where you feel like you’re not being fully appreciated and yet the person says “but I do appreciate you” and it doesn’t feel that way – maybe look into what love languages they prefer how they express themselves and whether they match with yours. That piece gave me insight into a few personal relationships where I was being more appreciated than I had noticed, and just by opening my eyes to those different ways of expressing love and appreciation, I was able to to see and feel that more. So that’s a beautiful one.
If you’re not sure what your love languages are just look up in your favorite search engine “five love languages” and you will get to a free test that you can take for that.
Also, I’ll be hosting a mini workshop on that this week Thursday on Insight Timer.
Brief recap about communication today:
- Listen as intently as you would like to be heard
- Own your truth, express yourself and really own that message.
- If it’s critical, go for the non-violent communication pattern where you express your observation, the impact it has on you, then your needs, and then make a request.
- The four agreements by don Miguel Ruiz: be impeccable with your word, don’t take things personal, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best.
- The five love languages: five beautiful ways of expressing our appreciation and love for somebody.
If this has served you, send me some feedback – I love hearing from you, and join us for the little workshop.
Have a beautiful beautiful week, much love to you!