Communication: Can We Just Talk?

advice-TaoCan we just talk?

Communication is the number one issue across the board in relationships – personal or professional. We talk at each other instead of with each other. We avoid addressing the things that make us uncomfortable. Even worse, we run from conversations that make us feel vulnerable.

Given our lack of coping skills and avoidance techniques that range in the thousands, how to do overcome what keeps us afraid, angry, ignorant and immobile? 

It isn’t like the subject hasn’t been address by those far greater prepared and the expertise, imho, spans several areas for drawing solutions. Daniel Goleman speaks of emotional intelligence. Howard Gardner address multiple intelligences and Peter Senge touts the learning organization and systems thinking to get things rolling in the right direction. There are many others that could be included as well. We tend to compartmentalize and segment our approaches when perhaps a holistic approach is what we really need.

Some years ago after giving the corporate ladder and my marriage the best I could possibly offer (or so I thought) and having both worlds crumble, I spent a year in self-examination and analysis with the help of a number of folks qualified beyond measure to assist. I love to go deep and knowing self is tantamount to understanding others, or so the story goes.

As I explored the depths, the same notion kept coming up…. just talk. Okay… How? Of course communication doesn’t happen by just talking; it happens from how we talk but more so how we listen. Communication is a symbiosis of gesticulation, words and understanding.

celest-meditationDuring that year I went from approaching $60K to less than $6K in income and the attending self-deprecating thoughts and feelings one experiences from lack of opportunity and/or performance. My life was in shambles and I let my family down. That sounds terrible, and it felt that way. I have to say it was also one of the best years of my life. I was able to get really quiet, listen and observe my feelings and thoughts.

I found an oasis in the desert, literally, and began to restore my life. Living in Phoenix seemed only too appropriate since I was living the legend. I also found a lot of unanswered questions about building relationships and, more importantly, finding fulfillment. My first attempts were devastating, mostly through no fault of my own. My own innocence and naivety of human nature brought the house down. So I had to rebuild and remodel with new material.

Then I got a break. I had the opportunity to produce a television show. I had gotten involved with the Christown Lions Club and a public access program they sponsored. When the time came, the opportunity literally fell in my lap without saying a word. I treated it with the honor and respect I felt it deserved and although I was asked to do a kind of ‘new age’ show I opted for staying more mainstream. I’d had a bad experience on the radio with a ‘new age’ event I helped produce and I didn’t think it wise to set myself up for more uninformed public trials and tribulations.

One World became an avenue to explore how we integrate inner and outer realities, work through common fears and learn how to communicate effectively across the gamut of relationships. It was an education of many lifetimes with over 100 shows over about two years, done live to tape and no post production. I was scared of making mistakes initially, but gradually loosened up. It’s actually where ‘Zen’ began to emerge. About a half-dozen shows in the crew started calling me Zen. It came from the ‘subtitle’ of Zendor that I was using as a tongue-in-cheek ‘door to what is’ reference. The latter is a story for another time.

In the process of production, I met a gentleman who had founded a homeless transitional facility called New Day Educational Center. I had interviewed him and a graduate about their divergent yet serendipitous engagement. A few months later he approached me with an opportunity to do a commercial show on community activism and, even though it meant giving up the public access show, I jumped at the chance. I thought I could begin to generate conversations that could help Phoenicians connect and build better communities of practice and service.

Obviously it was still quite the amateur approach, but I still like the intro to the promotional video we produced. It carries a message even today.

Sensibility and Sensitivity

Yellowstone_tourist_stands_on_a_precipice.Sensibility and Sensitivity

Approaching the Edge

Sensitivity to everything around you can cause you to feel like you are on a precipice, approaching the edge, ready to jump and fall or fly at any moment. This sensitivity is much more than just being psychic, it touches the very fiber of our core being. Sensitives of this sort often feel like they are a live wire with current flowing profusely. More succinctly – hyper-sensitivity of the sensory array.

Once on that precipice, however it is achieved, life changes drastically. One cannot really say for sure just what will happen once we step off into the unknown. We begin to ask questions that are begging to be asked out loud. You’ve got an idea of what is happening from the inside, but you have no idea if others around you are on the same page as you. In most cases, they aren’t. Deeply sensitive people aren’t as rare as you think. They hide really well, too.

My senses got blown open in college when my mind was so open it acted like a sieve, but with really good data mining from the flow through. I seriously thought I was going nuts until a friend had me shut up and listen really closely to the sound of the voices. They weren’t mine, but I had perceived they were in an all-out-attack on me because of hearing the “You….” preface the massively self-deprecating messages. I thought it was all about ‘me.’ That’s the kind of attention that makes one lock themselves in their dorm room and not come out for a while.

Over the years the sensitivity has become manageable, although sometimes the noise get a little annoying when I’m around people who have a lot of cognitive dissonance. They can be perfectly gracious and well-intentioned, but the sensation they exude is one of rapid vacillation and it’s a buzz I could personally do without. I have enough of my own challenges, thank you. My thoughtmospheric activity is already overwhelmingly complex, even in the simplicity of mindfulness. It still feels like I’m standing on a precipice when I engage others in conversation. I have a penchant for exposing bad habits and it always happens whether I like it or not. It’s how I’m wired… or wirelessed.

Those conversations spiral around the notion of being able to magnetize the thoughtmosphere toward passion with purposeful mission and have it resolve as the path revealed. We all would simply LOVE that to happen. When it does, though, the overwhelming majority of folks run for cover. The idea that things can be connected is one thing. When everything around one begins to show signs of a huge mirror, embracing them from all directions, it is a huge shock to the ego and fear-based life preceding that moment. When a ‘moment’ of complete connectedness is experienced and shared both verbally and viscerally, then there is cause for celebration. Celebration occurs for another ‘moment’ and then things move on. We don’t linger.

I’m always looking for ways to say more with less. I’m rather verbose, so that is an extreme challenge. However, in thinking about what is being shared in my particular areas of interest (consciousness & harmony among people and planet) I find the majority of focus is on the research and study of outdated practices and theories and the current ‘theme of the day’ takes precedence over direct experience and experimentation. If we are going to move forward we need to be experimenting with the abilities, skills and talents that are developing amongst us all.

I have done my fair share of research and study over the years. Heck, I’ve got two Master’s degrees and nearly a dozen books on various topics. Going into the litany of accomplishments any more would be boastful. I have to say that without the research and study we’d be bereft of understanding what has come before us. We’re in drastic times now as our people and planet are in peril. We cannot even get along yet, so restoring our eco-system is like an ad hoc system with poor interfacing at best. That is a much bigger issue, though. I’m looking at what is right in front of us, someone else. Face to face communication and experiential training is how the old guys and gals did it. I think we can do it through multi-media and the thoughtmosphere now. Ah, but what is ‘it?’

I like to share from direct experience, though, and engage others to create a conversation that blends our energy and perhaps may offer further evidence of just how connected we really are on multiple levels. Multiple levels span artistry to telepathy and wind through chemistry and quantum science along the way. How would that really look and feel? That can be pretty unsettling to some, especially if they aren’t used to feeling so connected. The symptoms of a paranoid schizophrenic could manifest easily. At least that is what the DSM V would have you believe.

In reality, it is the highly sensitive person who often cannot distinguish between the real and the imagined. If the onset of telepathic experiences isn’t recognized, the experiencer is challenged by even the most basic of choices. In close proximity, the open minded are hit with an onslaught of unhealthy habits. Those habits are the self-deprecating thoughts we carry with reckless abandonment. Our thoughts are unmonitored, let alone uncontrolled. Sensitive telepaths unaware of their ability become fearful and mistrust their intuition and presentation of the most healthy opportunities. They cannot let go and risk feeling out of control, so their actions seem counter-intuitive.

Now, back to ‘it’ for a moment. What do you think ‘it’ might be? I’m not sure ‘it’ can truly be defined in words on a page, but in the moment of experiencing it feels like being embraced by the universe. It feels like everything just clicks in or locks in to a moment of feeling completely connected. Maybe you’ve never had that feeling. I hope you have, because that sensation, however momentary it may be, gives us the courage to face our insurmountable odds with persistence and a positive attitude.

I just finished another book, expanding on some work already completed. It’s about the beginning of my sensitivity and how it came… Near-Death of a Different Sort.