Masters of the Journey’s Guiding Principles

The Masters of the Journey: Transformational Community offers you a list of our guiding principles. Would you consider getting involved with our new community to support you moving toward your spiritual goals?

1. Take responsibility for your life
2. Do not blame or make excuses
3. Love Yourself & accept all parts even weaknesses-flaws-imperfections. For these are the “lessons” you here to learn from.
4. Grounding (daily as a practice)
5. Meditation (daily as a practice)
6. Keep your eyes up! Look to the Horizon
7. Set goals – celebrate success. Honor and celebrate your challenges.
8. Never give up on your passion & your dreams
9. Love Nature & Mother Earth… Appreciate the beauty of life. Find Beauty Every Day
10. Learn to Listen:
A. Be Focused
B. Maintain Eye Contact
C. Mind clear of strong judgement/other thoughts of response
D. Ask Supportive, clarifying Questions

11. Be open for Love and Connection (learn to share and to love)
12. Learn better to control: stress, fear, anxiety – Learn to Let Go. Choose LOVE!
13. Practice the skill of self-acceptance- then develop self-love
14. Love and Protect all Children- Cherish their souls – Celebrate youthful enthusiasm, Innocence
15. Daily exercise and meditation is important
16. Build a solid Foundation – self-care/grounding, open your heart to unconditional love & then share it – Love unconditionally
17. Oneness: ALL of us are on the pilgrimage together some of us are more conscious than others – reach around & give all those you touch support and assistance so WE can all evolve together.
18. Embrace each moment as best you can! Each moment is a microcosm of all life & all consciousness – GRACE
19. Build a healthy support team –Find Your Courage – Celebrate your process & the success/gifts of learning.
20. Find Your Passion! Live your Passion! NO excuses! Along the way, do something good everyday- Perform a daily “Mitzvah” (a good deed)
21. Honor your mentors & healthy role models. Learn to bask in the wisdom they share (or provide to you)
22. Look to Create Good in the World. Do not miss the opportunity to acknowledge & celebrate good deeds & creative demonstrations of passion!
23. Turn off (or at least turn it down) TV & Media – Read – Discuss – Learn to THINK for YOURSELF!! Do not blindly accept other people’s perceptions NO ONE! (Certainly not mine….)
24. Follow Your Heart! Listen to your Gut! Follow guidance & honor these strong messages
25. If you are striving to grow up to the heavens find solid roots to feed, nurture, & build a strong foundation for your work.
26. Do not be Lazy! Consciousness requires effort. (It is worth it!) Do not close your eyes to the daily experience of life. Rest & meditation are good. Lethargy & avoidance are not nearly as helpful.
27. Never stop learning or challenging yourself… Do not pretend that you know it all.

Consider: A partner with common values can be helpful & also a trap. Do not be a closed system.

Live with no fear of Death or Dying. Or, learn enough about dying so the thought of this transition does not get in the way of Living! (Study the stories of people who have had Near Death Experiences (NDE.)

Get a mentor, BE a Mentor, who is old, wise, & can share their lessons from living through their challenges! Honor their insights & wisdom though you do not have to agree with all their beliefs and insights. Their insights can offer you perspective & depth to your thinking. (Masters knows the perfection which dwells within you.)

DO NOT Avoid people with handicaps & challenges. They can teach you how to overcome limitations. We are all unique & loved creatures!

    DANCE like no one is watching! Live with passion and reckless abandon!

Visit our website at www.mastersofthejourney.com for more information and resources. Masters of the Journey is a Transformational community.

Art of Listening

Is Communication Important?
Is Connection important?
Is Listening important to relationships?

Is there an art to effective communication?

At the core of good communication are two essential skills:
The art of offering a clear communication
The art of Receiving a communication

In this Blog, we focus of the Art of Listening:

Good Listening can involve:
Hearing what is being communicated but also of importance to receiving an interpersonal communication is the use of other primary senses. I will explain why, seeing helps hearing. Also why, feeling helps hearing. Even smelling and tasting can play a role in experiencing a communication.

There is a philosophy which believes that we have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen twice as much.

Hearing is much more than just registering the speaker’s words. It can also include: tone of voice, volume, choice of wording, pace of speaking, pauses and silences, and the unspoken content or what is left out of the communication.

Seeing: Non-verbal cues: gestures, body language, facial expressions, breathing patterns, the speakers presentation are things which we “see” consciously or unconsciously. Very essential to good communication is encouraging eye contact and attention. Being focused and “present” without distracting thoughts in the witness/listner will allow for better connection and comprehension of the communication.

Feeling: Will include listening between the words and feeling the impact of the words which are used. Interpreting the hearing and the visuals that are presented. If physical contact is a part of the communication, feeling your partner’s intent through pressure or movement can be a feeling which communicates volumes.

Humans use less of the sensations of smell and taste in communication but these subtle cues can also add to the experience of the communication. Consider how perfume or body oder add to the experience. Or, how the smells of the environment can enhance or detract from communication like baking bread or the pungent smell of antiseptic in a hospital room. And, what does the taste of a shared meal do to add to a communication.

Perhaps the most important skill in the Art of Listening is to be “Present.” This is easier said than done. Being “Present” involves using your focus to minimize your internal distractions. Avoid extraneous thoughts or the habit of finding an answer to what you hear until it is your turn to add to the conversation. Even if you get defensive, it is better to hear the speaker out and ask clarifying question to make sure you fully understand what is being said so you can answer most effectively. Emotions can cause “knee-jerk” reactions which often cause more harm than good in a possibly tense conversation. It would be better, in most situations, if you treat your communication partners as if they were a very important figure like: the Pope, or the President, or even God. With this intended reverence in listening to your speaker, you have the best chance of “Hearing” at all levels to get the very most from the communication. In other words, listen to your communication partner as well or better than you would want to be heard.

To sum up, the Art of Listening is more than registering the words you may hear. Read between the lines and feel what is really being communicated. Use every one of your 5 physical senses and your intuition (or gut feelings) to take in the full communication. And finally, in the Art of Listening give the greatest gift of respect which one person can offer another by being fully focused and present with the love and appreciation that comes from the deepest honor the “Sharing” that you are being gifted to receive.

Coaching and training are available at the Stress Education Center, www.dstress.com.

Key to Communication: Really Listening!

Successful communication in interpersonal relationships can be very important in business and in one’s personal life. This is not difficult to realize as a concept but it can be difficult to achieve. There are many variables that help a communication or make communication go terribly wrong. Some of these variables you can control and some you can not. An example, you may be very focus and clear regarding an important topic of conversation you may have with a client but you can not control the client’s focus or state of mind. They may be busy on “other” things and can not “engage” or focus on what you are saying.

So let’s discuss some of the variables that you can understand and control. Two of the most important ones in interpersonal communication are Timing and Listening. There are many other variables which we will discuss in other articles but let’s start with these two variables.

Timing is key in every aspect of relationships. If one side is distracted or unavailable, it is not fortuitous for the success of a communication. Scheduling the time and getting an agreement regarding this appointment are essential when your communication is critical. If you can not create an environment that is relatively undistracted and conducive to an appropriate exchange then your important message may be missed. Find the best time and space for you to communicate. At the beginning of the conversation, it may be best to ask again if this is a “good time” to talk, knowing that just because your partner has shown up at the appointment it does not mean that they are ready and undistracted. So, checkin. Make sure the table is clear and they are ready to participate. If not, and your communication is of critical value, you may have to reschedule or risk the failure of the process.

Perhaps even more importantly, is the skill to listen! It is easier said than done, but an essential key to great communication is not speaking but listening to your partner. If you interrupt, or think ahead, or find an emotional tangent to distract you, or simply lose your focus, your partner will sense your lack of “presence” and be distracted in a way which may make the meeting destined to failure. Use all of your senses to focus and to listen to what your communication partner is saying. Make eye contact. Relax your breathing to encourage your partner to relax. Respect your partners words and their opinion even if you may disagree. Do not interrupt! Keep your mouth closed until you can assist your partner by asking and “open ended question” to help clarify what they are communicating. Restate what you have heard to make sure you are very clear about what they are attempting to convey to you. Only after restatement and permission to response, is it a good time to find your appropriate answer. Show some gratitude to your partner. As a reminder, shouting someone else down does show intelligence, maturity or respect for a positive outcome.

Hint, for the best possible communication: Listen to your communication partner as if you respected this relationship so much it would be as if you were listening to the most honored elder or even, as if you were sitting in the presence of God. (Some people believe that you can find the perfect spirit of the divine in everyone, if you look for it.)

It has been said that we were given two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much. This is critical in personal relationships, friendships, family, and in business. Timing and listening. You are going to be more successful if you remember these keys to better communication.

We will have more to share regarding communication. This is a start. Please respond and try these two concepts in your next “important” communication.

Coaching and training are available at the Stress Education Center, www.dstress.com.

Leadership Begins with Listening

Both words begin with the letter “L” but these two concepts are tied together by more. All good communication training begin with the principle that to have a good communication you must first be ready to listen and to understand what your communication partner is attempting to convey. Good leadership involves good communication and so these management techniques are linked. With good listening and good communication a good leader will not only be able to develop the most successful course toward the goal but will be able to motivate the various team members to perform their roles with the highest level performance that they have available. If there are challenges and resistance to change then a good leader will listen, understand the issues, and be able to address these difficulties to help keep the positive movement toward the end goal on target.

Executives or managers who do not really trust or respect their team will micro-manage so they will still “feel” they are in control but they will not be able to develop the strength of a high performance team. These managers will not be good leaders and it often starts with poor listening skills. Managers who are “bullies” will not have long term success. In the short term, they may get progress through intimidation but then sabotage and burnout will develop and the cost of this negative leadership will reduce cost benefits. “Bullies” by their nature are not good leaders or listeners.

Good leaders will trust their team members to come up with positive solutions and answers when challenges occur. Good leaders will share the glory, the rewards, and the recognition with key team members as the goals are reached. This creates further motivation and builds trusting relationships that will endure into future projects. A reputation of good leadership will help advance an executive’s career especially when the good results and successes of their teams continue to polish their leadership image.

Good listening requires that your self-interests, self-needs, or self-distractions are kept to a minimum which is easier said than done. Keeping an open mind as you listen will assist the process. Understanding the background experience or perspective that your team member brings will help to give you the insight you require to develop the communication into the most productive interaction that is possible.

For more information and support with your leadership skills please consider the executive coaching approach used at the Stress Education Center which is found at www.dstress.com