Dawning of the Age of Higher Consciousness

Happy New Year! Good bye to 2020 and looking to the Light for 2021…

As we transition from the year of “Torment” (2020) into the new year are we on the verge of the a New Age? Will this be the beginning of the New Consciousness or a further descent into separation and destruction of our home planet? Has the 2020 Pandemic offered us a chance to step back from cultural hedonism and conspicuous consumption or just a break from the headlong course over the ledge into mutual destruction? Will we learn from historical events regarding the decline of past civilizations or are we destined to follow the same path into a dangerous global decline? My hope is that we can remember the past human history and remember our Divine Spirit and so change course before we ruin our Earth irreparably.

Our leading cultures admire and seem to worship selfishness and individualism at the expense of the “greater good.” The power is driven by an economy (and the 1% of the population who control most of the wealth) which feeds excessively on natural resources and the servitude of a struggling working class which is an unsustainable situation. Greed of money and power is not the focus for a world growing in selfishness and is not healthy for our Global community. Future generations, if they survive, will look back on these very days as a moment of choice. These future cultures will either celebrate or demonize our cultures and leadership for the course of human civilization that is in the balance as we end the darkness of the year of 2020. Our Pandemic, our politics, our economy, and our consciousness will be revered as a positive time of growth and change or as the nail in the coffin of human civilization. Time will tell but our lessons will be critical for survival of life as we know it on Earth or as a “tear-down” and rebuilding era.

Metaphysical philosophers and Astrologers are suggesting the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. The potential for positive redirection into a higher consciousness which can change the path of humanity. We are polarized and fighting for opposite values. These are exciting and interesting times. The travel brochures for spirits in the higher realms read, “See It (our Earth) Before Its Gone…” The “Adventure Travel” from the Higher Realms into human incarnation seems fraught with danger, excitement, and peril. But, this is nothing new for living on Earth. However, today at the end of 2020, we have the technology to either take the Earth down and allow the cockroaches to rule our planet for the next million years OR we can work together to build a more evolved civilization and consciousness. Historically, humans are headed for a horrendous apocalypse as a pattern which will lead to destruction of current civilizations. (example: remember the Roman Empire’s demise…) Oh well. Nice Try!

There is so much room for “learning” as incarnated humans. And, we tend to learn more from hard times so this will be a great opportunity for growth… It does not have to be so dark and we may find, and then follow, a path toward the Light. So, let’s jump on board and see where this train will take us. Keep your eyes, and minds, wide open. Support your fellow pilgrims as best you can because we all in this together, sink or swim… And, Love is a great option compared to fear.

Consider, loving support over greed. Consciousness over narrow polarized selfishness. Do Not buy in to conspiracy theories or we are digging a hole (do REAL research before you believe what you read on Social media even from “trusted” sources.) Giving rather than taking. Be the Light instead hiding in the shadows or basking in someone else’s light. Connecting with the Divine rather than living in the 3 dimensional ego driven mind. Remember your connection and oneness with all souls rather than building walls of separation (and hoarding wealth and power.) AND, most importantly, know and Love our planet Earth as the Miracle Jewel it is in our Universe.

My Mind writes these words and finds form for the Human drama that is playing out in our Earthly world. My heart feels a seemingly opposite sensation. My heart dances in the light of Joy “Knowing” and “Remembering” the Divinity beyond the travails of Human drama. This part of my human consciousness has access to the “what is possible” in being alive in these challenging times of human history. These words may help to rally the souls touched by these blogged thoughts and we can reach out to support each other to most gracefully learn from these challenges and raise all consciousness by doing so. I ask you to look for, and find, Joy each day you are blessed to live. Look especially deep into the moments which seem darkest to find the Light of these important lessons. (We came to the Earthly plane for the human dramas our lives create. We desire these opportunities to learn and to grow beyond our 3 dimensional limitations.) Express unconditional Love, more acceptance, less judgement, and remember our connection to the Divine Spirit and all souls…

We can do this! We can create the “Light” out of the seeming darkness which pervades our human existence. And, this means finding Joy in the blessings of our challenging learnings while releasing fear and mind created separation.

No matter where you are on your human journey, YOU are a Miracle! Thank you for being you.

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Secrets to Happiness

Perhaps you have found that money, possessions, trips, your addictions, your career, even your relationships have NOT offered you the Happiness you expect and deserve. From research studies, a Yale psychology professor, course creator Laurie Santos, has developed and presented this class in person and now online (for free) to people wishing to explore the best possible activities to create a greater Happiness in their lives. (See link below for more information.)

One of the main findings comes from the Joy of Gratitude when engaged in “Giving.” Yes, your activity of serving another person in sincerity and with no strings attached, makes YOU feel good. More than buying yourself some new toy or vacation which tend to be temporary goals and distractions. The act of connection and giving your time and energy to another person is both satisfying and enhances your happiness. Of course there are many other factors in creating a life with more abundant happiness but this is a great place to start.

CNN’s story regarding this free online course from Yale University for their students, and YOU, regarding the secrets to Happiness. FREE course link and CNN story at: Yale’s Happiness Course If you take this course, you will wade through the theory of what has failed to make you Happy before you get to the application of the processes you can engage to make you more happy. Laurie states that awareness is NOT half the battle or the solution. Engaging in the positive alternative behaviors is what has the long term positive effects.

Perhaps you can begin by sharing your story and your wisdom. This is a gift which will reward you in many ways and has the possibility of expanding the perspective for your communication partner. It costs no money, but does require your desire to serve and your time. When sharing, make the story relevant to your witness and not as much about your ego’s need for attention… Perhaps, consider avoiding an over abundance of YOUR victimhood and instead focus on the Joy or Wisdom you have learned from your life’s experience. Be the Master of your Journey and share you wisdoms, or insights, freely. You will be happier for this service you provide…

On a deeper spiritual satisfaction level, you are a Master. Your Spirit is an important piece of the Universe and Divine Consciousness. Your choice to incarnate and enhance your consciousness through the lessons and drama you experience on the Earthly plain is of service to Divine Consciousness. Sharing your story and your wisdom is an act of service AND that is what you are here, incarnated, to do. When you can, look for the Joy found in the most challenging lessons and find your way to share with other pilgrims. By the Way, YOU get respect from other souls in the higher realms just for your choice to incarnate into all the Earthly drama… This makes YOU a Star!

You are a Soul having a “Human experience” and so realize that YOU are so much greater than your human existence can demonstrate. You are a Miracle! Thank you for being you.

Since this blog post is coming out near the end of 2020, it is important to note that now, yes right now, the act of giving is not only creating happiness for you but it is serving our world which is depleted by our pandemic and economic challenges. Your efforts of giving through service do not have to be financially taxing. You can give of your time and from your heart. Even the gift of listening, witnessing another person’s story is an act of giving. Please consider finding your way of being of service and reaching out to show your care and concern for the people you bump into. This is needed now more than ever… And, “Happy Holidays” to you no matter when you are reading this blog. YOU are Loved and Cherished!!!

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

“The Choice,” Your Choice

You have a choice! Perhaps you have been a victim of a bad situation but YOU have a choice to not live in victimhood! Recently, I was given a copy of the book, “The Choice: Embrace the Possible,” by Dr. Edith Eva Eger. It was painful to read her account of surviving the unspeakable horrors of “living” through her 16th year in Auschwitz in the last year of World War II (1944.) Dr. Eger tells her story of emotionally burying the horrors of her experience for decades until she sought out treatment and support and then to realize she had a “Choice.” She needed to do the work to free herself from her own prison. Her story is remarkable AND not an uncommon dilemma for many of us traumatized by the brutal lessons of our lives.

Why do many of us feel more comfortable remaining in our pain filled life dramas? Sure, it is familiar. Sure, we may think we “deserved” this self-constructed prison because our self-esteem is less than it could be. And, many of us have learned a coping strategy which is successful in dragging other compassionate people into our web of “attention seeking” victimhood as a way to get our emotional needs met. BUT, (a big but) we can choose to not be a victim in our own self-constructed web. We can take some responsibility for how we respond to our life’s traumas.

As I write this blog, Dr. Edith Eger is 90 years of age and has found her way to serve humanity by sharing her story and then sharing her discovery of the choice she has had to make in teaching her lesson from this horrific life experience. This extreme example is supported by her clients working to recover from their life traumas. Each of these stories reflects different discoveries and the advances which she has moved through. No matter what nightmare YOU have experienced, even horrors beyond your control, you have a choice. How YOU respond from the lessons you have survived is up to you. No one else… Her book, for me, was hard to read in her recounting of the holocaust she lived through in the 1940’s. It triggered memories and emotions that could have been avoided but facing her painful memories puts many other life learnings into perspective. Taking personal responsibility is never easy. It is so important if you want to learn and grow most fully. Dr. Eger was opened 25 years after her release from Auschwitz by reading Vikto Frankl’s account of his time in Auschwitz in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning.”

Childhood traumas are reflected in many of the client stories which are shared. These are not an uncommon life experience even in sheltered childhoods. We come into our human lives to live, and then to learn, from the “dramas” and the traumas we experience. I was hit as a child by my father in his frustrations. I learned that I never wanted to hit my sons and perhaps this behavior has been extinguished for our descendants and future generations in our family. The world needs this behavior to be extinguished!

Consider the choices you have in your life, your behaviors, and your responses to the difficult experiences you have found in life. Even PTSD responses can benefit from understanding the possible choices you can have. And, if you are a reader,
“The Choice” is available online or locally. The link to the Amazon advertisement is: at Amazon.com and through many other outlets.

Perhaps consider, YOU have a choice to find Joy in every experience and in the interactions you will experience. Even if these encounters may be difficult or even painful to live through. The lessons which you find may be a main piece of your purpose as you follow your path through this life.
Hang in there….

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Whose Lesson are YOU Learning From?

Recently, I chose to join a team supporting a friend who is battling with cancer. Have you ever participated in a community of support persons for a family member or friend dealing with a difficult disease? Chances are you have or have become familiar with such a support community. My question to you asks, was there an important lesson for you in your desire to serve as a supporter? In every interaction we share, there is much to learn especially if you are conscious and viewing these interactions with awareness.

So, I discovered, upon my reflecting upon my recent involvement, that my desire to support my friend is more complicated than I care or that I want to send some positive energy. My lesson is a multi-dimensional learning. It does feel good to participate in sending Love or possibly healing energy to my friend but I have had to stop and ask myself why. Why am I involved? Why is my friend sick? What is her lesson in this disease process? What is my lesson in participating in her disease challenge? What lessons, experiences, or information will present themselves so I can increase in value toward the people I bump into in my future? So, how does this expand me with a story to share? I “know” that every person touched by this health event has some purpose and some important lesson to take away.

Caring about my friend is the simple reason and a small part of the answer. My history includes a battle that my wife and I “fought” with cancer over 8 1/2 years and there are many important lessons learned from this past experience that now resurface and contribute to my purpose in involvement in this present supportive community. The “first” time through (with my wife’s illness,) fear and anxiety of the situation and the unknown were on the front burner for me. Now, I can serve as a more experienced supporter or even an elder in the current “fight.” This is NOT about my friends health challenge, it is a test for me born out my past traumatic experience and for the lessons learned. At a level of spiritually, one of my purposes is to see a bigger picture and ask questions which are bigger than simply dealing with symptoms, healing my friend, and the current disease.

Whose lesson is it, really? How is my friend’s condition serving as an important learning process for every one of us who have chosen to be involved? And, with this perspective in mind, how is my friend, consciously or unconsciously, in a broad way of huge service to this extended community of supporters and caregivers. I ask this because I wonder if we all are more consciously aware of the broader lessons, we can ALL find more Joy in the amazing gift of learning we are all participating within!!!???…

Can this drama in life be viewed with less anger, anxiety, depression, fear, and concern for the unknown future if we bear this positive learning in our awareness? Can this positive awareness then bear a positive impact upon the results of this health challenge? This may be too complicated to fully determine in these few thoughts and words. You are participating with your concern and YOU are Loved for your positive intentions and attention.

Finally, no matter the outcome, can we find Joy in the challenge we see unfolding? Are we free to celebrate the Divine Wisdom which is being gifted to us as we plod along in our human drama?

By the way, in my opinion, one of the greatest gifts you can “Give” to another person is the “Gift” of allowing them to give to you… (Not manipulating another person but requesting a sincere assistance.) This can warm the heart of both sides of this request and can create a bond for two pilgrims walking the path through life’s dramas. Create a healing story by giving and by receiving a gift…
Thank you to all the souls who have allowed me to be of service.

You are a Blessing! Thank you for being you.

Thanks for your time and consideration. Your insights and experiences are unique and a blessing, so please share these…

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

The Masters of the Journey has events which are updated on our Facebook page which is found at: www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney Please comment on this blog and share, if appropriate. More of our blogs are based on spiritual consciousness and can be found at www.dstress.com/blog

Living in Your Drama

Has life treated you unfairly? Are you willing to share how other people have taken advantage of you? Are you distracted by these past injustices? Do you want to break out of this victim status, or does it work too well for you?

If you want to take back control of your life, YOU have have to change! You have to learn to let go of the old “victim habit” AND find a way to take responsibility. Perhaps you need to hear this message… YOU have made yourself a victim! It is your thinking which creates separation and thinks that some completely unrelated person is doing (or has done) something to you. No one can do something to you without you playing your part in this relationship! This event has happened, and will probably happen again, to you as a special learning that you are needing to learn. Yes, this is your lesson in this life AND it is your partner (the perpetrator) role and lesson.

You want to beat this? Forgive and take responsibility. Learn and let go. This is so easy for me to say AND so hard (difficult) for you to hear, let alone do, because you are so emotionally attached to the “drama.” Whether you know, or believe, it, we are ALL connected and we interact to share the lessons of life. We all have our roles to play and we are here to assist each other with these learnings. Your mind, your emotions, and your ego are taught by our culture to blame other people and to separate ourselves. It is not easy to step outside your pain and to see it from the “other side.” Why did this person do this to you? They have to learn their lesson of creating their Karmic debt so they can pay back this debt at some other time or in some other life.

We do not live in a “Random Universe.” There is a reason for every interaction and your lesson is to fill the “void” with forgiveness and then Love. Your purpose is to serve by role modeling grace, acceptance, forgiveness, and Love. I DO NOT SAY THAT THIS IS EASY OR FUN! This is a challenge and that is why we showed up in this life. AND, if we do not want to return, over and over, to repeat this lesson, we need to break out of the old pattern of response and appreciate all interactions in the most loving way. You can take control! You can be the vehicle for peace and acceptance. You are LOVE! Know the Divine Perfection within you AND let it shine. You are PERFECT!

Meditation in this incarnation helps a great deal! Finding the light of the Divine Spirit within you gives new meaning to your life. Your challenges are not easy or fun, you are here to learn. (This takes work.) You are a blessing! Whether you know it or not, you are a MASTER! You have much to teach and to share! The “Divine Spirit” can not exist without YOU! Yes, you are a small but critical piece of the whole of the Divine Spirit!

It is much easier to learn this with positive support. Please consider the connection with a positive community of acceptance and you may benefit from looking at Masters of the Journey. No matter what… YOU are a blessing and the Universe needs you to learn and progress through your lessons. We will support you BUT YOU need to make the choice to take responsibility and to choose Love over fear!

Meditation: The First Step to Higher Consciousness

Meditation practice regularly helps you to be more calm and present. When you release your thoughts in meditation, your body relaxes and energy is freed for you to use in other activities or to rest and heal yourself. Letting go of thoughts, fear, anxieties, and distractions allow an emotional environment where fewer mistakes are made and you save time. When you are calmed by meditation, you are less likely to be “Triggered” and you can be more available for positive decision making and better choices.

This is nothing new. Yes, it does take time and practice to learn to meditate but it saves you time and energy in the long run. I have found that people require less sleep and can focus better during their work day. Meditation also allows connection with the divine source of wisdom and unconditional love. You may not know this and even may want to argue about this, but if you quiet yourself and become more fully “present” you will find these benefits.

Or, you can continue to be caught in your emotional drama and allow fear & anger to run your life. This is perfect also. Being open and positive will help you to find more joy and contentment in the challenges of life.

Blessings to you on your path. Just remember to breathe slowly and feel the warm breath that you exhale assist you in letting go of unwanted tension and troubling emotions.

More information at:
Stress Education Center and
Masters of the Journey

Books on Meditations include:
Curt Remington’s Simple Meditation at http://curtremington.com
and
Paula Forget’s, “Guided to a Higher Realm at http://paulaforget.com/inspired/

Breathe and Be Present!

When all else fails and you find yourself emotionally spinning or anxious or angry, STOP, take a deep slow breath. Feel the cool air as you inhale and the warm air exhale as you slowly breathe out… Be present! Release the anger or resentment from the past. Let the future wait, without the fear and anxiety of the unknown. Sure this is easier said than done but with some practice, and willingness, you can learn to live more in the appreciation of the present moment.

It really is not that difficult to pay close attention to the cool air as you breathe in, then pause a moment, and then slowly release the breath while allowing the unnecessary thoughts and emotions to slowly, but freely, flow out and away. You have to breathe anyway. Why not do it consciously? And, while you slowly breathe, why not learn to take responsibility for YOUR role in creating the life drama that may be upsetting to you… Sure, there are annoying people and  incidents, but you have a choice to get sucked in to the drama or to not get sucked in. Yes, you can just watch the drama unfold and wonder what your lesson is and what you are supposed to be learning from the weird turn of events.

There are styles of meditation which are practiced for years and built around focusing on slowly breathing. It can take people years to master these styles but it does not have to take years to have important benefits for you in the present moment! In fact, if you walk out into a beautiful natural setting like by the ocean, or by a river/stream, or by the majesty of the mountains with the sky above reaching up to the heavens, you can use your slow breathing to find the beauty and appreciation of the present moment. This will change your attitude quickly, if you let it! You can let go of the fear and be present, basking in the love that accompanies the beauty of the present moment in nature. If you can not get out into nature then use a candle to focus on or maybe a beautiful photograph or painting as a natural mandala to soothe your mind and soul. Even a pleasant memory of a time basking in the beauty of nature will help to soothe you in the present moment if you find yourself slowly breathing deeply with the willingness to “let go.”

You can close your eyes and go inward to feel the cool air as you inhale, pause, and release the warm exhale, slowly. String together 8-12 slow breaths and your heart rate will begin to slow and your muscles will begin to relax. As you slow down, your mind will gently follow into a more peaceful and pleasant state. This is a great skill to share with the people you care the most about… And, also it is worth sharing with people who you do not care the most about. The calming with gently spread like a chain reaction and offer calmness to all of your environment.

The Stress Education Center has information at www.dstress.com . The Masters of the Journey has information and ways to find a spiritual tribe to support you at www.mastersofthejourney.com  Please take good care of yourself and find ways to be “Present.”

Connecting for Peace

This Summer, 2016, the world has been inundated by difficult news from around the world! Now, more than ever before it is time to come together AND to connect with the spirit of peace. To “judge” these developments as “bad” is easy for most of us who want the people of the world to get along and to work together for the common good of everyone on this planet (some think before it is too late….) Perhaps these man made disasters are not “bad” but necessary “wake up calls?” WHY do we need such “wake up calls?” My heart is troubled by the lengths people must take to be noticed! The innocent “victims” giving their lives, or their health, to the attention seeking, disenfranchised mayhem seekers.

It is NOT time to feel powerless or to wallow in the Media driven frenzy. It IS time to find the peace and the deepest seated LOVE to send out through your thoughts and prayers to all humankind. Now is the time to picture peace in the world. When enough of us focus on this highest level of unconditional love, knowing that we are all “one” with each other souls, we can begin to change the consciousness of others spirits, even the ones suffering with anger, rage, and hostility. A daily dose of blessing seems more appropriate than time spent watching the “news” on TV.

At the end of my daily meditation, I picture the golden white light of love going out from my heart to envelop the world, the solar system, the galaxy, and then the Universe. Why not? It can do no harm to focus upon LOVE and to pray for peace for ALL! I have no way of “knowing” with my mind if this helps, but I KNOW that my heart and my soul feel good to offer these positive energies…

Blessings to you, whether you work for peace or not. We are all in this together no matter what your mind tells you. We are ALL one with the Divine Spirit.

Please take good care of yourself and find the best way for YOU to go out and do good in the World! Be the shining beacon of hope as you role model the goodness of spirit!

No matter where you are, connect with a “Loving” community and collectively meditate on a Universe filled with Joy, Happiness, Love, and Supreme Consciousness. Mankind may be just a brief “Blip” in the history of our Universe but I wish that we can learn our “lessons” and more fully “Remember” the blessings of the Divine within our souls and spirits. YOU are NOT powerless in the face of the world’s challenges. You must fill the void with a positive thought and your positive energy! Broadcast LOVE!

Peace.

L. John Mason, Ph.D.

Founder of the Stress Education Center and Masters of the Journey, Transformational Community

Growing the Garden: a Reason to Live

Do you have a good reason to live? Is there something motivating you that may help you to live longer should you find yourself with a terminal illness? I have seen mothers with young children use their love of their children to fight off near-death experiences. When asked why they chose to come back from their near-death incident, they have answered they could not leave yet, knowing that their young children would be left to grow without them. This experience has surfaced when severe accidents and terminal illness were involved. Some people are ready to pass into the next consciousness and “let go” more easily. Some people fear death or for other reasons stubbornly hold on to living. I had a male client in his late thirties who had anger as a motivation to keep living years beyond his prognosis. His wife and younger children suffered the torment of living with this angry, frustrated husband/father. When he finally did let go, there was some relief felt by caregivers and family. In this particular case, his death-defying behaviors were actually viewed as a torture for his family. Sad, but true.

Then there are people like my late wife, Barbara. She lived beyond her prognosis. She appreciated and celebrated every day that she lived with her cancer. One of her positive motivators was her passion for growing plants in her garden. Like the Winchester Mystery House, she continued to add more garden and more plants every chance she got. She rejoiced with every blossom that developed. She celebrated every vegetable that matured. She had weeding projects and building projects that never seemed to end. When she cut her blossoming flowers and brought them inside to decorate our home, I felt her joy and saw her beaming smile. She took all of our visitors on a tour of her gardens to celebrate her creations and the sensation of life that these plants symbolized. Their appreciation bolstered her energy. This energy kept her stronger for her treatments and helped her to maintain an exercise regimen. She kept her focus on living and did not discuss her condition. She did not want to be known as a cancer patient or someone struggling with a terminal illness. She did not want sympathy but wanted to bask in joy, health, happiness and the Light. She planned future dates of positive events with family and friends. She looked to the blessings in the future and not to the gathering clouds.

If this is relevant to you or to someone you know, I encourage you to help them bask in the Light of life’s celebrations. Enjoy the happiness and joys in each new day. Focus on what is working and keep moving forward.

Thank you for your attention and your time. With my love and my challenge, please keep moving closer to the light of unconditional love and higher consciousness… Find joy!

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.