The struggle to speak our truth and share our voice in relationships is very real. When I reflect back on my early years in relationship I simply felt I could not say anything. The main reason would be that for much of my younger years I witnessed and felt just how deeply words can hurt someone. This experience created a deep fear around speaking my truth and hurting someone with my words. As we often do with our shadows, I went to the extreme opposite and suppressed my voice. When I did share my voice, I would usually share with anger just like I had witnessed.
Conscious communication is about awakening awareness of our impact on others and our relationships. The key is to become aware of ourselves and have a slow solid look in the mirror. The list below is intended to show the variety of ways that we can deepen our connection with ourselves and allow our unique voice to surface. When we truly know ourselves and love ourselves the voice begins to emerge quite naturally.
We judge ourselves and others and create stories that serve only to keep us disconnected from our voice. What we are actually suppressing is the gold and light that we bring into this world. It is through conscious communication with others that we are able to have these truths reflected back to us.
As you go through the list below, you will notice that the majority relate to Self (My World). When we change ourselves, we change how we show up, and in turn have a different impact on Others (Their World) and our Relationships (Our World).
Connect to Your Grounded Self ~ Breathe.... When we take time to truly breathe, we shut down our Inner Critic. Three, deep cleansing breaths can bring you back to center, back to yourself. Developing a relationship with your grounded self, is a practice, that can take time to cultivate. Taking time to reflect and process communication needs, can impact the outcomes. When faced with conflict, disengage when possible and connect to yourself.
Clarify your desired outcome ~ When we know what we want, we are more likely to achieve that result. Taking the time to vision the outcome of a conversation, creates an intention for a successful result. At the same time it is important to let go of our agenda enough to create space for the unknown to emerge.
Observe your Emotions ~ Our Emotions are Energy in motion, raw energy, that is wanting to move and release. When we suppress emotions, we are trapping energy that wants to move. Start by observing your emotions, notice, without taking action. Observe, what part of your body is holding the energy / emotion. Allow your emotions to "Be" without judgement. Getting in touch with our bodies and walking can also help, and of course breathing is a powerful tool.
Saying "No" and Setting Boundaries ~ When we say "No" to someone we are setting a boundary and we are saying "Yes" to ourselves. It is important to honour our individual needs and desires. Going against our internal guidance system, causes inner conflict and impacts the relationship.
Notice your Judgement ~ If your Inner Critic, is sharing thoughts about you or others, take time to notice these thoughts. When in judgement of others we are also in judgement of ourselves. By taking the time to notice and put your attention on your judgements, you are creating space for the power of choice. In communication our judgements and assumptions are usually blocking us from authentic connection and understanding.
Honour Your Intuition ~ Simply stated, Intuition is; the knowing of something, without prior knowledge or experience. Our intuition can be buried in our thoughts, judgements and beliefs. As we remove these layers we create space for the voice of our intuition, which usually shows up as a whisper or a nudge. A common way to experience our intuition is through hindsight. When we look back on a situation and say to ourselves; "I knew I should have listened to my thought..."
"Your intuition is always right. Your interpretation of your intuition may be off" ~ Unknown
Take Responsibility ~ When faced with situations that reinforce our feelings of disconnection it is a great opportunity to Notice The Mirror. Ask yourself "What is this situation showing me?" Responsability is actually our ability to respond. When we take ownership of our contribution or our part, we increase our ability to respond with authenticity.
Be Vulnerable ~ Sharing with someone how we are truly feeling can be a difficult task. It takes courage to share our truth with another human being because we carry shame and project our fear and worries onto our relationships. Being vulnerable creates intimacy (into me you see) which in turn creates a space of trust and is the garden of possibility in regards to finding your voice.
**When it comes to the topic of "Vulnerability" there is no greater teacher than Brene Brown you can watch her powerful Ted Talk here
Slowing Down ~ Noticing the impact of our energy and our pace can really shift our ability to communicate. Sometimes we bring so much excitement to our relationships that it can be overwhelming. Slowing down our words and lowering our voice can have a very powerful impact on communication.
Silence ~ There are times when we are connecting that the best thing we can do is choose silence. Perhaps we are driving somewhere with someone and we feel a need to fill the space with our voice. Being consciously silent with yourself or another person can create a beautiful level of connection.
Asking for What You Want ~ there are times when we need to ask for something which fulfills a need. For example; "When we are talking, I would appreciate it, if you could let me finish what I am saying before you start talking." Asking for what you want, creates space for a dialogue that leads to mutual understanding. Often, the request brings something to the surface that wasn't initially in the awareness of the relationship. It is important to note, that we may not always get what we want or need when making a request.
Listening ~ To truly listen to someone is a gift to both parties. Listening, can be difficult because we habitually process what is being said, filtering, what we are hearing, through our experiences and judgements. Anticipating what we are going to say next, reacting to something we don't agree with or creating ideas of how something should be or how we can fix a situation. To listen at a higher level requires a different skill set, self awareness and awareness of other. When we listen attentively, without judgement we create a wide open space of possibility.
Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.~ Sue Patton Thoele
Curiosity ~ Children are the greatest example of pure, genuine and innocent curiosity, bringing a natural state of wonder to every experience. This same state of wonder, can be very powerful in connecting with self & other. Curiosity has the power to illuminate judgement and break through assumptions. There is a level of truth that exists below the surface of most connection, which can be revealed by being curious.
Acknowledgement ~ To acknowledge someone is a powerful act. We can find ourselves in difficult situations, not knowing what to say or what to do. It is in these moments, that simply acknowledging something can be very powerful. As simple as saying; "This must be very difficult for you" or "I admire your strength for staying present during such a difficult time". The ability to acknowledge someone else is an act of presence that shows you are listening and deepens connection.
Gratitude ~ Taking "Thank You" a step further, is about sharing what you notice about the other person or situation. For example; "Thank You for being such a good listener, I really feel seen and heard when I am sharing with you". When we reinforce what is working, we contribute to the relationship.