To Understand as to be Understood

Understand7.13.16Have you noticed?  Everyone is very busy.  Busy busy – heads cocked toward their phones, thumbs scrolling through texts and tweets, Instagram and brain challenging “games.” Eyes on their computers, transfixed, clearly connected.  And not “really” connected at all.

The t.v. blares with the latest words of politicians who have sifted to the top of the country’s conversation, and yet, the words are not meant for two-sided conversation.  The words’ intent is to conquer and shame, blame and convict.  And when the politician or the athlete or the person in today’s spotlight of international attention steps aside, other voices fill the void.  Are they offering any real clarity?

Are they listening before they speak?

Are they enhancing productive communication?

“Too busy to respond to your text.”

Yesterday’s “caring and enthusiastic” playmate is today’s former “acquaintance” who resolved that “ghosting” would be the least emotion-averse method of communicating the timing is not right for me, I’m scared you are more into me than I am into you, I’m conflicted and I do not know how to effectively communicate that I am conflicted!

 When you communicate, are you being understood?  How do you know?  Did you see it in “her” eyes?  Did you even look your friend, your colleague, your brother, your mother in the eye when you spoke – or he or she responded?

The message and its clarity remain central to personal realization, to negotiation, to successful sales, to project completion, to – simply – effective interaction with all persons in our midst.

~respond to the text or the email – with care

~listen to the speaker and consider his or her intent before responding

~lift your eyes from the phone, the computer, the distraction that has truly captured your attention

~for just one moment give your attention to someone who wishes to be understood

~communicate with your eyes as well as your voice

“Seek to understand as to be understood.” ~ Francis of Assisi

What might it cost you?

What will it cost you?

Who??? Are You??? Living Your Truth

Whoareyou.7.7.16Go ahead – answer the question!  Who??? are you?

Male. Female.

Son. Daughter.

The layers of being pile on:

Student.

Athlete.

Artist.

Funny.

Serious.

Adventurous.

Pragmatic.

Ordered.

Messy.

Outgoing.

Shy.

Open.

Opinionated.

Active.

Reactive.

Bold.

Serene.

Best friend.

Partner.

Husband. Wife.

Parent.

Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.”

But the who IS important!  As the layers of identity pile on, our sense of self can become buried beneath the layers.  The more external influences on our lives and the more we live – the more multifaceted our who becomes.

Our experiences shape our who, but when we are out of balance or overwhelmed, we may find it harder and harder to be clear on who we are and if we are still living OUR truth.

Checking in on YOUR Value base from time to time will confirm for you who you are and WHAT is YOUR truth.

What is important to you?

Family?   A certain life style?   Beauty?  Health and wellness?

Security?  Generosity?  Self-expression?

Popularity? Laughter? Inner peace?

Professional or artistic achievement? Recognition?

Completing projects? Existing self-sustainably?

Honesty? Trust? Walking your own talk?

There are times in our lives when we are clear on what our inner voice believes and holds as truth.  We readily “feel” what is our truth – in the depths of our being.  Our gut speaks to who we are.

At other times, times of stress and transition: the death of a loved one, a move to a strange city, the quest for a new or a first real job, the beginning of a new relationship

 we find it harder to clearly live OUR truth.

It is rough stuff to go on when a human connection has been severed due to death.

No longer a child?

No longer an active parent?

No longer a wife? No longer a husband?

Too “busy” to walk the talk?

What is stopping you from getting to the pool, swimming the  laps, trying the new recipe, setting aside time to practice the guitar, having some fun with the piano?

A new companion is challenging your values? Asking the whys of what is important to you?

Are you standing your ground, living your truth?

Or, are you rethinking the whats of what makes you you?

Re-evaluating, learning more, evolving: yes, that is part of our growth and key to our development as thriving human beings.

But, if the demands of a negative relationship, the challenges of accepting and living through the stages of grief or moving on to a new professional phase – or a new town – is making you question who you are….

Isn’t it time to tap into your own intuition?

Take a walk in the woods.  Set aside time for a meditation practice. Write down, sing, strum, close your eyes and – be – YOU.

Return to the peace of living YOUR truth.

If you would like to schedule a session with Elizabeth, click here.

Wabi Sabi – A New View of Perfection

Wabisabicherry6.2016Wabi Sabi – it sounds fun. It sounds playful.

In Japan those sounds describe an appreciation for a very specific aesthetic.

Wabi-sabi: to see the beauty in the impermanent, fleeting exquisiteness of a cherry blossom.

To see the beauty in things modest and humble, things used in our day-to-day lives.

To see the beauty in things not yet complete.

To see beauty in the imperfect.

There is a gentle acceptance in the wabi sabi view of beauty, a flipped perspective that sharpens all the senses to treasure each and every moment in a day, to treasure that which is “still in process.”

How many times in our lives have we been at a standstill because of our notions of the superiority of perfection? Yes, striving to do or create something perfect is a worthy aim, but isn’t perfection by definition never fully realized?

More often than not our perception that we cannot complete the project, air the Podcast, take the website live – until – it is perfect, is just the internal block that stops us from taking the steps needed to move ahead.

“I can’t get a job, until I lose weight.”

 “I can’t teach cello, I can’t teach yoga – until I play – or know the many philosophies of teaching – perfectly.”

 “I shouldn’t enter the training program, until my scores are – perfect – even better than – perfect.”

 “I can’t cook for friends, open my home to them, until my menu and cooking skills and apartment are – perfect.”

There is no waiting in a wabi sabi view of living.

The process of creation – is – beautiful.

You have the skills to do the job? Do the job – to the best of your capability – now – that is perfection.

You know enough to share your knowledge? Share your knowledge – there are those who know less than you know.

Your heart has called you to write, to sing, to imagine a fresh possibility?

There is a perfection in the state of your inspiration – right now.

Where in your life is your hold on the notion of perfection holding you back?

What would you start, finish, share, try, if you saw the wabi sabi in your world?

Today. Now.