Communication Matters!

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As the month of the archetypal Communicator winds down, I realize how absolutely central good, reciprocal communication is in life. What else is there, really? All of our lives we are in communication with others and internally. How well we communicate matters. How well we express and affirm who we are to one another, how well we listen, how much grace we give to one another… Matters.

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Matters of communication have consequences. From the largest to the most minute situation or transaction, how well we communicate depends upon and reveals qualities of our deepest nature. If we do not know ourselves deeply enough, as the spiritual beings that we are at our very core, we cannot communicate who we are to another except incompletely. If we are self-absorbed, do we really know who we are?  Withholding of honest, humble communication is a mode of violence and accompanies violence toward ourselves and others.

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I have a friend who has been like a sister to me for many years. Yet, she has become locked up in  anger and frustration toward life, so filled with what she regards as righteous opinions that she has forgotten what matters; she chooses not to communicate positively with those who do not hold her same political views. She isolates herself, which deepens her turmoil.

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Life itself I have come to realize requires healthy communication. Consciousness communicates with other aspects of itself through form, voice, action, and via silences. The cosmos itself is a macro-communication matrix that organizes micro-cosmic codes; a grand message constantly unfolding in myriad dimensions; what else?

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images are from pixabay.com

I welcome your Comments and Stories!

Believe in Yourself to Express Fully Who You Are

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Don’t allow anyone who does not know who you are most completely to affect who you know yourself to be. I write this in the month of the Communicator archetype and, for me, after having just watched the brilliant Broadway stage play about the life of Carol King, Beautiful.

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There are people who may think they know or understand you but who really cannot because they lack a complete picture or do not have a full or genuine interest in your life’s work. But you do. Stand true to who you know yourself to be and for the work that you have done and will do, for your purpose and mission in this world.

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Sometimes in fact it is those who are closest to you–family, close friends, even a partner–who think they know you best (and who  you believe understands you well) whose limited perceptions can hurt you most deeply or effectively, if you allow that. They are not to be blamed; they do not have a  full understanding because they have only seen a small portion of your work or service. They have known you for a long time perhaps though only see you on occasional visits, and their lives are much different than yours in terms of expertise and priorities. In the end…sigh…all you can do is love them and hold your own understanding close to your heart and shielded.

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In Beautiful, we see a brilliant young lady whose mother tries at first to persuade her to teach rather than to compose and sing. She begins a successful career in the pop music field, allowing a man whom she later marries to write the lyrics to music she writes. All well and good but it takes divorcing him after his philandering and unstable influence for her to ultimately return to the deeper reservoirs of her own talent, her own musical sensibility and brilliance, her own heart; and to her own voice. Once she writes her own lyrics again, she transforms not only her own self expression but the world, with songs and compositions unheard of in their purity and strength.

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images are from pixabay.com

 

Our Communicator speaks from the deep Heart Center, from Soul. Whether or not another person in your life has found that center, you have the responsibility and indeed the obligation to let your heart light shine as brightly and as passionately as you can.

 

Do you hear me on this one? Listen to Your Self !

What Sort of Communicator Are You?

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We are exploring the COMMUNICATOR Archetype for this month of June. Who are YOU as a Communicator? What archetypal Communicator character Strengths do you rely on? How well have you drawn upon and integrated these Strengths? On the other hand, have you developed any challenges or inhibitions in relation to your COMMUNICATOR potentials?

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Consider a specific situation that leads you to draw upon your best COMMUNICATOR abilities. Maybe it is a relationship matter that requires you to be a good Listener or to express yourself very clearly. Or maybe it is an opportunity or a responsibility to impress someone or a group of clients at your workplace.  Or maybe you are anticipating a major life transition? Listening to your SELF and communicating well with others can help you to proceed forward in a conscious, heartful manner.

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images are from pixabay.com

Below, I invite you to journal about your own COMMUNICATOR qualities in relation to one or more situations.

SITUATION                        Communication needs/ Strengths

(E.g. job interview)         (Use language of the field, show team focus and leadership strengths, good eye contact)

 

 

 

 

PRACTICE (Write or actively imagine a hypothetical communication expression by you in the situation you are concerned about, OR write out or actively imagine a conversation or dialogue you can anticipate. INVITE AND ALLOW your internal COMMUNICATOR Persona to guide you in what to say or how to respond.

 

 

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I invite Comments about your use of this self-discovery technique or about the role or special qualities of the COMMUNICATOR Persona in your life.

(The Sublime Art of) Listening to Your Self

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Meditation, contemplation, active imagination, walking solo in Nature, non-directive prayer: all of these are excellent modalities for tuning in to your own inner guidance and for tapping your feelings and insights about life events and decisions. Some form of listening to your Self—in all its archetypal complexity and integration—is absolutely necessary if you desire to go “forward” in a mindful, conscious direction.

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Is this different from “going with the Flow”? Not at all, so long as the Flow is an internal one, springing up from your deep inner resources rather than being primarily reacting or responding to external stimuli.

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Maybee Alley

Just after writing the above paragraph, I took my dog Sophie for a walk. We are visiting at my sister’s in rural New York state and it is such a beautiful area for walking.  While meandering in the neighborhood of a Catholic church we like to walk around, I noticed a road sign for the first time. “Maybee Alley” was the name of the little pathway leading toward the Church property.

It was interesting that this sign caught my attention today. It was a “waking dream,” a significant outer confirmation about a decision I was posed with last night via email. Maybe this or maybe something else instead if something even better comes along (re. potential publishers for my book that is currently circulating for review).

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So I guess I am meandering in MAYBE ALLEY right now. I would sure like to turn the bend to CERTAINTY (A)VENUE!

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I welcome your Comments and Stories!

“Let’s Meet on the Inner”: An Internal Dialogue Practice

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For this month of the archetypal Communicator, I offer you a method for working with a challenging relationship conflict in a positive, constructive way.

For a difficult situation involving communication challenges, you can “go Within” to engage with the person(s) involved, or alternately, you can meet with an Inner Guide and have a conversation with him or her about a snaggly situation. This is a form of what Carl Jung would call Active Imagination.

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If you are having troubles communicating with someone because of a personality conflict or in relation to a sticky situation, you can set some quiet, private time aside. Go into a light contemplative/ meditative ‘zone’ (eyes closed in a semi-darkened space or in a natural setting) and imagine that the person or persons you’ve been having trouble with are present in a conference room (or create your own internal environment that is appropriate for your visit).

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Start a conversation. It can be very simple and does not have to be directly about the challenging situation you are facing. What is important is that this is a positive exchange. Allow the internal conversation with your ‘alter’ to proceed naturally, as if you and this person or persons are meeting Soul-to-Soul with a shared intention to move beyond your snaggles and to arrive at a positive, win-win solution.

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As an example to demonstrate the approach, around 15 years ago I faced a difficult situation with a workplace colleague. Coming from polarized theoretical approaches for teaching, the impasse between us reached the point—very uncomfortable for me—that we would avoid contact with each other altogether.

Then one morning I woke from a lucid dream encounter with this person (let’s call him Carl). In this dream encounter, I simply met Carl in passing. I beamed a positive smile, made Soul-to-Soul eye contact, and said, “Hello Carl!”. That was it. But it had the most amazing effect! That very morning at work, I was in the mail room when Carl walked in. Seeing we were ‘stuck’ alone in the mail room together, we made eye contact for the first time in several months.

               “Hello Carl!” I beamed, smiling.

               “Hi Linda,” Carl replied also with a smile.

That was our entire conversation, just as in the morning’s lucid dream. Somehow, it set into motion an immediate, significant thawing of our relationship. We no longer avoided one another, and in fact shortly after this encounter, Carl applied for and received an out-of-state position that would allow him to advance in his career. (I had put the job notification in his mailbox!) Within 3-4 months, Carl left, with the two of us in a much improved relation, as I even organized, as department Chair, a farewell party for Carl.

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I invite you to try this technique for yourself. Imagine an internal conversation with someone you seek to have a better relationship with. You are not trying to change this person, but you are simply allowing a Soul-to-Soul encounter that may be difficult to engage in “out Here.”

I welcome your Comments and Stories.

(P.S. I will be on a road trip for the next month, so blog posts may be on a less than regular schedule.)

Wordplay as Swordplay: The Communicator’s Artful Sport

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As writer-Communicators, we engage in wordsmanship. This week while playing some games of Words-with-Friends and Scrabble, I got to thinking about my former days as a competitive fencer in relation to “wordplay/swordplay” or “wordsmanship/ swordsmanship” and realized the two have much in common.

As a wordsmith (swordsmith!), playing word games certainly mirrors swordplay. You need to scan the field of play (cf. the piste or the game board) to discern where your opportunities appear, then plan your attack and implement effectively (et lá!). If your attack has right of way and lands on target (I was a foil fencer), then touché, you win the point. If not, and your attack lands off target or misses altogether, your opponent may have an opening to take an advantage.

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Writing is like swordsmanship on a grander scale as well, not only in word games. Writing, like fencing, takes practice-practice-practice! You need to hone your skill at whatever genre you are composing within, editing-editing-editing.

Both writing and fencing reward creative contemplation and envisioning, too. As fencing is in large part a mental or Mindful sport, I would spend a lot of time between lessons or between practices and tournaments mentally envisioning fencing strategies and possible responses. In practice we often even shadow-fenced against a phantom opponent. Likewise with writing, you may craft whole sentences or dialogue apart from pen and page. You might envision the structure of a chapter or play a whole story out in your imagination, crafting alternate storylines or voices, then delight in placing the envisioned episodes into your narrative form.

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And so, in wordsmithing as in swordsmanship, enjoy! Keep at it. Gain new skills, try new approaches. Writing is such a satisfying, constructive activity at every level and at each stage from envisioning and preparation to execution and revision that it will never fail to support and reward your effort, regardless of extrinsic outcomes.

 

June, Month of the COMMUNICATOR

 

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The COMMUNICATOR Archetype

 (per Debra Breazzano, LPC)

Mission: To link, be a messenger

Shadow: Chatterbox or silent treatment

Strength Qualities: Synthesizing, curious

Being a Communicator is a fundamental capacity of being human. As we learn about how best to communicate, or also how worst to express ourselves, we develop and cultivate a “Voice” which is distinctly our own yet which may represent as well a style of communicating which feels natural or effective. That part of you which has the ROLE of being The Communicator is a member of your Archetypal ensemble cast of personae that together comprise your personal Self. This month, I invite you to explore and celebrate your own COMMUNICATOR nature.

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What have been some of your most significant positive (Strength mode) and negative (Shadow mode) role models for developing your Communicator persona? What characteristics have you learned from them that are embedded in your own Communicator part-of-self?  For example, from a high school English teacher mentor, Mr. Scelsa, I learned alot about communicating as a teacher: asking good questions and listening from the heart to help students progress from wherever they are at to a next level that suits their own interests or needs. From a graduate school mentor, Betsy, I learned about how to simplify academic writing in order to reach a broad interdisciplinary audience.

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From blogging I am learning how to use common language and very open prose to communicate with a public readership. I highly recommend blogging to all writers and artists! Also from a friend, Jan, I learned many years ago and continue to try to develop the art of sharing feelings and engaging deeply in friendship. Yet, I have also observed in myself and others communication faux pas‘s and miscommunication, usually involving generalized mistrust; these are ways of communicating that I prefer to avoid.

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Communicating about what matters to you, and listening from the heart to what matters to others, is important in and of itself, always. Communication allows you to exteriorize your thoughts and feelings. Often it is best to start that process inwardly, though, or by means of journal writing.

One technique you can use to increase your facility with communicating about what matters to you is to have a conversation, either in active contemplation/meditation or in writing, with your own Inner Guide or higher consciousness. Just this afternoon, for example, while waiting for food at a restaurant, I journalled an internal dialogue about something I have been worrying over in the form of a conversation with my spiritual Guide (I call him Zee). It worked wonders! He helped me envision more flexibly about some future concerns, and said: “Do not let externals determine your level of happiness or fulfillment.” Thanks, Zee!

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So try it, you might like it. Just start a conversation on paper, and allow it to proceed naturally, perhaps in question and answer mode. Let it continue until you have arrived at some insights that help you progress in a positive way with your thoughts or concerns.

I welcome your Comments and stories!