( photo credit to my good friend Kimberly Selvege :)
I feel like I do a lot of deep work. I meditate daily. I’m committed to using my skills cultivated in my “practice” session during my day as live life. I am committed to being present in conversations, listening, and connecting. I want to help others do the same.
and then I have these conversations that I realize after-the-fact I could have been more present and done better. I get heated. I get defensive. I don’t listen. I try to prove a point.
the mindfulness I try so hard to cultivate and work on, sometimes goes out the window when I’m in a conversation that triggers me, makes me defensive, takes something away from me, or I feel is accusatory in some way.
I heard a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh in a book I’m reading. I literally cried the first time I heard it. I modified it slightly, and now I read it every morning to remind me about how important it is to be present in conversations. this is modified to fit my language and what we are doing together, but the essence of it comes from Thich Nhat Hanh:
- I am aware of the suffering that can come from unmindful speech, and the inability to listen to others.
- I am committed to cultivating presence in conversations and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve myself and others of suffering.
- I know that words can create happiness or suffering. I am determined to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope.
- I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain, and will not criticize or condemn things for which I am not sure.
- I will refrain from uttering words that cause division, or discord, or words that can cause the family or community to break.
- I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile or dissolve all conflicts, however small.
I think this is a worthwhile vow: vow to have mindful speech and connected conversations. and then notice when you’re not :)