Several weeks ago as I was negotiating a peace treaty among the younger crowd on the family beach trip, I suggested my nephews ask themselves the following questions before speaking to one another: Is it necessary? Is it kind?
I could tell, from some of the children’s faces, these questions were a new approach to interpersonal communication and required a degree of thoughtfulness heretofore not explored. In other words, they thought Aunt Kim was crazy.
But because my nephews are basically good guys and because they like to humor me, they graciously played along. Good thing too because tempers quickly frayed during a hot game of miniature golf.
Picture me and five boys, ages 5 to 15, in the late afternoon (a.k.a. tired boys) with varying degrees of skill, playing an 18-hole course. (To give you a feel for the situation, one boy laid down in the middle of the green… while we were still putting.) Needless to say, we had plenty of opportunities to practice Aunt Kim’s new fangled notion about how to talk to one another.
While there were a couple instances of blatant instigation, overall I was impressed with the boys’ efforts to speak only what was necessary and kind and attribute the lack of bloodshed during miniature golf to their new awareness. Yay team!
This recent experience of interpersonal communication got to me thinking: What is mine to do?
In the past, I thought it was my job to fix things. In the past, I would have invested a lot of time and energy refereeing some intense negotiations to keep the peace. In other words, I would have attempted the impossible, so no one’s feelings got hurt.
But then again, in the past, I had a strong need to keep everyone, in particular myself, comfortable.
Now I realize my comfort is not dependent on another’s happiness. Now I realize my comfort is based on what is mine to do.
My job was not to negotiate the conflict for my nephews. My job was to offer another way to approach the conflict. Whether or not my nephews acted on my suggestion was ultimately up to them; however, I did notice that my willingness and my ability to model my suggestion is what turned the tide.
To model the new approach, I had to speak what was necessary and kind, not only to my nephews, but also to the other adults there. As obvious as this suggestion may seem, I, like many of us, struggle with doing what I say.
No one wants to be a hypocrite, and yet, how many times have you found yourself doing the exact opposite of what you tell a child or a subordinate to do? It is the old double standard and we do it with children and subordinates because we can. Because we have more power, more authority, and in some cases, more strength.
We are human. Fallible. It’s gonna happen. Some times we will be hypocrites. The key is some times. The goal is to make the some happen less and less. And to do that we have to know what is ours.
To know what is yours requires intention, awareness and commitment. You have to want things to be different. You have to want let go of the story that keeps you stuck – the story that says “this is just the way it is.”
You also have to be aware. Be aware of the emotions rolling across your internal landscape. Be aware of your needs, the spoken and the unspoken, and be aware of your triggers – those hot button situations and/or people that challenge your value and worth.
Lastly, you have to commit. Commit to the new story you want to create – the new lens through which you want to look. It is not enough to have an intention. You also have to commit to doing the work it will take (and it will take work) to see with new eyes. If you want the glass to be half full, then you no longer can entertain the idea that the glass is half empty. You have to make a choice.To know what is yours requires intention, awareness and commitment. Click To Tweet
I know this may sound like a tall order – only doing what is yours, so let me offer this consolation. You are not expected to do this work on your own.
You can be a part of community where:
- intentions are set on a regular basis
- awareness skills are taught and encouraged
- commitment is honored and supported
You can also receive individual support as you work toward doing what is yours to do. (I provide one-on-one counseling, immersion experiences for those people are ready to invest in their own well-being.) To learn more about how I can support you, schedule a Hope Check – a free, 20-minute phone consultation with me.
In the meantime, I hope you will join us at one of our next free events:
- Meet the author H K Wether and hear about the Heroine’s Journey
- Share in a potluck and create some summer garden magic at Midsummer Dream
- Join our next Shakti Book Club discussion on The Red Tent
- Listen to music at the next Shakti Summer Music Jam
- Explore goddesses and food at the next meeting of the Goddess Cookbook Project
Doing what is mine,
P.S. Shakti is raising funds for a new porch. To help the cause, go to our Indie Go-Go site and see what incentives we have for all who donate.
A soul-driven woman, Kim understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision – to create a community in which the feminine is valued and honored – lead her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Kim is a professional licensed counselor and certified yoga teacher. She safely and compassionately guides women in heart-centered, immersion experiences and encourages them to re-connect with their heart, mind, body and soul. Schedule a Hope Check with her – a free, 20-minute phone consultation and visit her at KimBushoreMaki.com to discover more.
[Photo Credit: Unsplash]