Have you noticed in your own world that the home-stays we are amidst are creating some taxing confinement for some you know, and maybe you yourself? Is that confinement making you uncomfortable, as you forfeit so many activities you are used to doing, especially physical ones like going to yoga classes, the gym, and outdoor group activities that work some of that cortisol stress out?
I am noticing that around me a bit, some heightened tensions with people who really don’t like this inability to go about life as usual, socialize with friends at restaurants and bars or even at home. I feel fortunate to have a household of people, so there’s plenty of interaction for me on many levels. I love being alone and quiet more than others I know, and always have a few solo activities going. I could use a LOT more guitar practice. And I am aware that for some it’s not as easy being alone or doing things solo and it can be really hard emotionally. When this happens, tensions rise within and this can affect relationships and communication, and our sense of peace.
So without going into too much detail, and in the spirit of simple reminders of what you already know, here are a few tips to better navigate your interactions with equanimity, respect, enjoyment, and more productive outcomes:
1. Listen more — if you consider yourself a decent listener, maybe amp it up a notch. With heightened tensions, the other person might need even more space to communicate their needs, because their reality, or at least their daily groove, might be feeling a bit threatened right now. If you can be the one to rise up and give them even more space, you will probably see their tensions ease just by having it. From there, more space for harmonious communication;
2. Anaïs Nin said, “We don’t see things the way they are, we see them as we are.”
Consider that our position, our opinions, our very way of being, is motivated by our conditioning, perceptions, even ancestral patterns. And while we have a right to those things, they may not serve us in our interactions with others. And in conflict situations they are likely obscuring what is right in front of us were we to but see it. We call these Projections, and they reflect something within us. Some of them may have worked really well for us, until now. So one tip is to practice asking the question, “Where is my perception coming from and it is a universal need or my need, and does it serve everyone concerned or it is automatic conditioning on my part?” If you can give yourself space, before reacting, to just check in with this, you might find a lot of the edges softening. We can all give ourselves more space right now to respond rather than react;
3. Requests vs. Demands — Hahaha, need I say more? Making sincere requests about what we need rather than telling someone what they should do for us will go a long way in getting them on board with us. And it might teach us a little about what we actually need versus what we think we need;
4. No Assumptions — it’s so easy to assume we know where the other is coming from, and form a whole story around that. Going back to #1, the more we listen, and check in with the current reality, the more we can move forward productively. Rather than making statements about what we think someone felt, thought, or even said, we can check in for accuracy. Surprisingly, we will at least sometimes if not often find that they will say something like, “No, actually what I meant was…” telling us that we were at least partially off in our understanding. This goes a LONG way; and finally
5. The Way We Deal with the Issue IS the Issue…
Boy, this has been a major mantra of mine ever since I learned it in University in my Psychology program and worked with it over and over again in real time. I’m not perfect in my behavior, that’s for sure. But I have gotten really good at taking whatever conflict I might find myself in, stepping back, doing some inner investigation into it to see what within myself has contributed to this conflict. It’s a very detailed process I go through, and so satisfying. Everything gets adjusted up to a more compassionate, understanding, clear place, and I am able to heal the conflict within myself so that I cherish myself more and go back to the person resolved and clear. I can share what I learned with them, or I can just enjoy the clear space within myself, which I guarantee they feel energetically. And the whole process reminds me of the immense world that lives within each of us, and how much wisdom we can access when we put our attention there. I think that is good for everyone.
Okay, that’s it folks! I hope you are each doing well and making the most of this time at home.
I am here and happy to help if you need guidance with any of this. It's an incredible opportunity to go deeper and learn some great lessons right now, especially now. You can email me at email@example.com, or visit my web page at www.innertegrity.com/sessions.