In Asian languages, the word for mind and the word for heart are the same. So if you’re not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you’re not really understanding it. Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into it. You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.” Jon Kabut-Zinn
The practice of mindfulness can change the way we relate with the people in our lives, especially when it’s necessary to have what I call a difficult conversation.
Difficult conversations are just a part of life. Maybe you may need to have a talk with one of your coworkers or explain to your teenager why he’s grounded. Whatever the situation, you can use a few energy tools to set the space before you have a conversation, making it easier to give your wise and affectionate, full attention to the conversation.
Exercise: Mindfulness in Difficult Conversations
1. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine yourself in the center of your head—between your ears, behind your eyes. Be in the present moment, clearing any thoughts and emotions from your space.
2. Think of that moment in the future when you will have the difficult discussion. Bring to mind the feeling state that you want to have as you walk into the room. Maybe you want to speak with compassion and empathy. Maybe your intent is for the conversation to be truthful, concise and clear. Feel into your heart, deep down behind the emotional charge to the true feeling state that you want to express.
3. Now, use your energy tools to set your body and aura to a vibrational match with the message you would like to convey. See your heart filled with compassion and empathy. See your throat chakra open, allowing you to converse in a clear, concise, heart-felt manner.
4. Imagine a bubble floating in front of your closed eyes representing that moment. See the colors form in the bubble. These colors represent the energy that you and other people have unconsciously set for this time. Maybe there is some dread or frustration energy in the bubble. Whatever you see, this is the energy currently resonating with this future meeting. However, it does not have to go that way. You can change the vibration of that future event right now. You can set the intent of a future event well in advance, knowing that when the moment comes, your energy will flow in a vibrational match.
5. Look again at the bubble in front of you representing this future difficult conversation. Give the bubble a grounding cord. Imagine the dread and frustration leaving that bubble. Watch it drain through the grounding cord.
6. Now add some colors and thoughts to the bubble that represent the qualities you prefer. Maybe you add a color or thought of clarity, calm, and understanding. Set the intention that this moment in time will have affinity with everyone present and that all parties to the conversation come away with clarity, or truth, or whatever qualities will benefit everyone’s growth. See this bubble full of light, clear colors.
7. Now remove the grounding cord and allow this bubble to drift off into the cosmos, knowing that you have set your intention for this future event.
8. Right before you begin your difficult conversation, imagine your grounding cord around your hips, and set it on maximum release. Cover your aura in its protective coating, knowing that this will help you stay within your space and prevent others from entering yours. Open your throat chakra.
9. Intend to communicate all that you want to say, clearly and completely. Bring all of your awareness to the center of your head. Intend to be fully present in the conversation, listening for the deeper message from the other person.
10. Intend for your body and Spirit to be joined together in present time awareness, without judgment.
11. Now, as you enter the conversation, be in mindful awareness, fully present, offering your careful attention to the moment.
This heart-centered approach to conversing means letting go of any preconceived ideas of goals or objectives. You are meeting the person where they are, with an open mind and heart. It’s about empathizing and hearing the meaning underneath the words they are speaking.
Your responses are gentle, thoughtful and full of empathy and caring, without judgment and without the need to offer “shoulds” or criticism.
It’s about speaking from a place of truth, with compassion and gentleness. While this example has been about having a difficult conversation, don’t you think it would work well every time you converse with someone?
If you want more information on some of the tools mentioned in this blog post, download the first three chapters of the upcoming book: Tame Your Inner Critic. Learn to ground, blow roses, and tap out the energies that are keeping you from living a life full of joy and purpose. Join us in learning more and delving deeper.