I think being a parent is an area of my life which presents a deep opportunity for growth and awareness. I have been humbled by my mistakes and enlightened by the teaching that my kids have held for me. I deeply want the best for my kids and I also want to shield them from the pain that I experienced. I often held the belief that because I was older and had life experience, it gave me permission to impose my beliefs onto my children. This belief would often lead to conflict.
In terms of communication, my kids would often talk about things that I had a difficult time relating to or topics which held little interest for me and that didn't align with my values. In these conversations I would often find it difficult to keep the ball in the air.
Parenting is only one example of relating where I have a need to provide answers or fix a person or situation. Even though my intentions are often good, the result is often not what I expected. Energetically, I would compare this to a game of ping pong where your opponent plays so well and always scores a point because the ball goes flying past you. You never have an opportunity to return the ball or volley. This is what our children, partners, employees or co-workers feel like when we shutdown or stay closed to what they are sharing.
Connecting with Yes
Connecting with yes, is about opening up the energy and creating a wide open space. Saying "Yes" is about accepting what the other person is saying and sharing. Listening without judgement or an energy of trying to fix or help the situation. This doesn't mean that you agree with everything that the other person is saying. It means you give them space to share, which is free of judgement. When you do this you are giving the other person a voice and allowing them to be seen and heard with unconditional love. As the listener you are saying "Yes" to things that you can't be with and you are saying "No" to your fears, personal judgement, expectations, past beliefs and experiences.
The speaker gets to be heard in a way that they may not have been heard in previous experiences or relationships. This energy alone can allow the situation to shift without support or guidance from the listener. It creates space for the person to be naturally creative resourceful and whole and reach there own awareness which is ultimately more powerful. Energetically you are volleying back and forth and keeping the ball in the air.
4 Ways to Connect With Yes
Acceptance ~ Emotionally and energetically create space for what is being shared. Without judgement allow the speaker to share. This doesn't mean agreement with what is being shared. Honour what the other person is saying and allow them to speak.
Listening ~ Often when listening we are thinking of what we will say next or we are judging what is being said. Listen at a deeper level noticing body language, emotion, energy. Feel what is being said. Listen as if there will be a test on what you have heard.
Acknowledgement ~ Reflect back what you feel, hear and see. I really hear what you are saying. This must be hard for you. I can feel and hear how important this is to you. I can feel how much you care about....
Trust ~ Put your trust into the unknown. At first this will be new territory and will not feel easy or natural. Allow the results to speak for themselves. Simply notice any shifts that occur in your relationships. Remember that change happens over time. Be gentle on yourself and patient. Everytime you practice saying "Yes" you are planting a seed.