Monday, May 10, 2010

Practicing the Dances of Life!

One of the things I have learned is that all of life is a dance and sometimes I am great a it and sometimes I am not. As a former gymnast, I learned some dance when I was young. I love dancing even today. It is a way to feel totally expressed, full in one's self and a way to be present with another human being. Dance as in life means working together with life's partners and those who cross your path on a daily basis.

For those who are professional dancers there is much practice. Whether one is an engineer, doctor, artist, parent or whatever, a large amount of time is devoted to practicing techniques and learn to do the job well. When I look at the dance of communications with other human beings there are few trainings teaching how to be present authentically as one's self in the moment to gracefully glide with the partner you are in the communication's dance with. Many courses teach techniques and tips that amount to mostly knowing how to get one up on the another or have great come backs. I find though that if you communicate from just that place it will fail pretty quickly. It is like learning the moves and not learning to implement authentically.

What if life period was a series of practices?!?! Nothing was ever perfect 1000%. How would you live your life? Practice allows one to fail, not do things right, learn to recraft you are doing to have the results happen. Practice allows for celebrating the small steps of mastery you gain. Practice allows for us to learn many ways to do things too!

I own a design and marketing company. I have to practice so many things on a daily basis to grow and develop myself. There are many new programs to learn, printing methods, marketing trends, web design tips and so on. One of my favorite things is to see what needs to happen, what is missing and on goingly practice and create what is possible. There are situations I am really great at handling and others that I am horrible at! It is the places I am horrible at that I am committed to growth and development in. What if like children, human beings could be hungry all of the time for the wonder and fun of learning?

One of the things I love to practice is how to just be present in a situation. To really be in the other person's world and listen to them. Gosh, we are all built like little machines! We can be counted on to react the same way every time we are in the same or close to the same situation when we are not listening...really listening.

For instance, even though I have trained for years in ontological conversations and dialogue, if someone really yells at me all of my reactions will come up. I will cry, feel ashamed and so on. Old patterns come flying out of the woodwork. It is an area of my life I am training myself in. Building some muscle in. I am gaining some ability to stay present in the moment and realize none of this has much to do with me. It is a place in life where I am still learning the communication's dance.

Where are you learning the communication's dance in life? Where have you gained mastery? What is the next level you are looking to develop? Where do you fail consistently? What training do you need? Are you creating the training or busily being a complaint about it all?

In the previous blog post I shared about integrity. Well having integrity is about creating an empowering context in any situation with our word. Where do you not feel empowered or inspired when you communicate? Where do you not feel heard?

Here is a simple practice and a place to start....
Make a list of all of the places in your life you do not feel heard. Sit with it for a couple of days. Then make a list of all of the general things about life you do not like to listen to or about. Let that sit for a day. Then make a list of what you hate listening to from your friends, colleagues and family.

Now....sit and compare the lists. With a highlighter mark what looks the same on each list? I find whatever I hate listening to may be something I myself am doing! I can either be a persistent complaint about it or do something to move it forward. What I get upset with others about just may be something I have no muscle in handling either. When I notice what those things are, I then have to look and see if I am committed to creating a shift in how I handle it. If I do then I get to work to train myself and learn to dance in settings like that! How awesome!!!!!!!!!!

Be kind to yourself while in training. There is no perfect. No one has mastery in this. We are not born with manuals that tell us how to be human. Being is learned. Whether we are fast learners or not...what is guaranteed is that we will learn, gain some mastery, slip up, make mistakes, want to quit, keep going, repeat the past or invent the breakthroughs we need to for transformation to occur! We get to choose!

In the meantime...all there is to do is have fun with it all...'cuz...life is magic!
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