How to REALLY Communicate

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Photo taken at the Tor, Glastonbury, UK

If there is one thing that has room for improvement, its interpersonal communication. There are only a few people out there that are really good at it, and well, the rest have a lot of catching up to do — including me. That does sounds harsh, but lets be honest here, communication wasn’t taught in standard schooling and isn’t practiced enough in a constructive way. The majority of the time, learning how to communicate came from watching our parents and feeling our way blindly through society. The communication I refer to is the common everyday interactions that tend to lack any real substance. How to REALLY communicate, requires a few key elements.

Trust:

In society today, trust is the element that is dangling in the wind — the point of view of the city life style. In small communities, trust is a whole lot stronger because people tend to know everyone anyway. However, trust plays a major role when communicating, it requires a certain level of vulnerability in an individual. Human connection is lacking in our modern day and, as time progresses, this connection will become weaker and weaker, if we let it. Not only is trust among people suffering, trust within ourselves is wavering as well. Learning discernment, and paying attention to how you truly feel are important factors to building trust within the self — this, in turn, will be reflected in our reality when communicating with other people.

Thinking:

Too often we don’t think deeply enough before speaking. A lot of the time there are reactions to what other people say and not enough responding. To react means to take what the another person says personally and immediately reflect back to that person an equally or more hurtful statement. To respond means to hear what the person is saying, understand how the person feels and use empathy. Its also important to be as clear as possible when conveying ideas and feelings with another person, as well as listening carefully.

If someone is in the position of the speaker and is leading a conversation which involves requesting something of another person, it’s best to be as clear as possible in order to not create confusion. In a marriage, a wife may say to her husband, in an irritated tone: “We never talk about anything,” implying she wants to talk about something more in depth. The husband could take this as an attack or criticism. He could also think: “We just talked about what to eat for dinner.” To communicate more effectively, and get what you want, the wife could say: “It was such a beautiful sunny day, how did you feel during work today?” This has the potential to open up a person for connection, more than hearing something that sounds like an antagonistic statement, rather than a clear request.

If the person in the position of the listener is left in a place where he or she feels they have to react rather than respond, its best to pay close attention to what the speaker is saying and choose a response that appropriately fits the situation. For example: A customer may say to a store employee: “You’re an asshole for not letting me use the restroom!” As a response to that customer, the store employee could say: “It seems you’re very frustrated at the moment, since you really need to use the toilet, however, next door has toilets that are open to the public.” The store employee does two things here; first, he or she doesn’t take personally what the customer has said to him/her; and secondly, assists in providing a solution that would fulfill the customer’s need. We all know the need to use the restroom has the potential to prevent us from being calm. In other situations, listening could require additional empathy, refer to my blog about Listening.

Finding the Bravery:

To open up and connect with another person you don’t know demands a lot of courage. A lot of people out there, including myself, are genuinely shy people — undercover introverts. However, if the desire to make connections is there, certain steps need to be taken. The first step is to assure yourself that the other person is NOT going to destroy you. As a person taking initiative in starting a conversation, it can be nerve-wracking, as negative thoughts about how the other person will perceive you seep into your mind. You begin to sweat, stutter, or loose track of what you wanted to say to begin with — take your time. The second step is to be confident in who you are, that means don’t be afraid to talk about yourself, but don’t forget to listen to what the other person has to say about themselves too. Often times, when you start a conversation, you find a common interest and things progress organically — that’s the goal! The third step is to realise that not everyone is going to want to connect with you right away — or at all — and that is perfectly fine. Keep in mind that the people who come into your life are meant to, even if things look horrible.

In short, how to REALLY communicate requires, trust, thinking, empathy and responding. With these tool at your disposal you’ll see yourself much more clearly and thus you’ll see other people a lot more clearly, too. You’ll establish connections that’ll be much more solid and long-lasting — that’s what it’s all about. We’re here to connect with each other and grow, spiritually, emotionally and mentally.

True Stories: Gwongaga-go

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Photo taken in NYC, 2014

Disclaimer: Another story that took place in NYC a year ago.

It’s always nice meeting my friend Yunji in the city. She certainly makes a great person to just bounce ideas off of and allow you to speak your mind free of judgements — not many of those in the world if you ask me. However, today we were going to meditate together and I was going to do a chant that I dreamt about a few nights before. Yunji was very excited about doing this because she’s very sensitive to energy, and seems to feel a lot of it coming from me, so I thought — what the heck, lets see what happens.

It took us a while to find a spot, since at that time of day on 12th Avenue and the art district there are many people walking around and enjoying the last few weeks of summer. We eventually found a small patch of grass behind some tall bushes, our backs were towards a group of teenagers throwing powder at each other — only in NYC. The sky looked like it wanted to rain off and on as a very dark cloud decided to come over us, it seemed like some unknown force knew we’d be doing this today. We settled in and finally got started.

As I began my chant, “Gwongaga-go,” “Gwongaga-go,” a rhythm started in me, it felt like I was back in my dream. My shoulders swayed and rocked, I could feel the energy going down my spin and flushing across the grass we were sitting on. After a while, I completely blocked out the fact that people were walking around us, helicopter noises in the background and a few rain drops here and there — I was in the zone. Inside me, the energy felt so great I wanted to scream out my chant — but didn’t out of fear. I eventually slowed down and came to a gentle stop. I could feel my body vibrating and it felt so uplifting and filled me with positive energy. I wonder if I had let myself go, how much more energy there would have been.

Afterwards, Yunji gave her thoughts about the experience, and she felt huge amounts of energy from it. She even talked about some of the visions she had received from it that completely related to the dream I had had. The dream was of me being on a Atlantean row boat as a tsunami wave was about to crush us; she gave some details about the ship that triggered more of my memories of the dream; a great time to share with a good friend.

As we were walking towards the train station, Yunji decided she wanted to eat at a restaurant nearby, as she had become extremely hungry after the meditation. I decided to go on home. As I was walking down the stairs into the subway, I was feeling really good about doing my chant in front of someone else. A woman with a baby carriage was single handedly carrying the carriage up the steps. I quickly offer my assistance, and I heard a young boy in the background commenting about my teenage mutant ninja turtles t-shirt. After reaching the top of the steps I faced the young boy. He had the most beautiful, golden hair, and by far, the most exquisite ocean blue eyes. I said a few jokes and everyone laughed, I said my farewell and proceeded down the steps. In the distance I heard, “I love you, BYE!” I quickly turned around and told him “I love you too!” as we exchanged waves. My day was certainly made.

Day 20: Blogging Thus Far

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Photo take in my living room

The days just seem to fly on by, especially when you’re having fun; I’ve certainly felt that way these past nineteen days of writing. Each day I choose my topic, find a place to sit, then watch the magic happen as the ideas are born in my mind; those ideas stream through my hands as they are translated to form words and phrases. In many ways, these are small miracles happening as I’m connecting with my readers in a way the world connects with me. Many of the subjects I’ve written were very scary for me to put out there, such as: Triad Relationships and What a Vibrational Match Means. I wasn’t very sure how those two subjects would be turn out, because of how intricate they are, however, I found the way. Of course it’s been with the help of my wife, who has proofread a lot of my blogs and is teaching me about grammar along the way — although sometimes there are word wars on how I want to say things.

The reason I’ve taken the 30 day blogging challenge is to build up my confidence. I wrote a book last year (2014) and I thought it was a complete failure, due to the grammatical problems. I also felt that anyone who read it, wouldn’t understand what I was trying to say, and the way I was saying it. There are many things that go on in my mind that I wish to share with the world. Many of which come from such a different way of thinking than our minds are used to, it wouldn’t know how to grasp them— a problem many artists face. So, I had lost hope, and I thought I wouldn’t be able to get my message to the world, and a very big message it is. However, my confidence has been rising greatly and I’m ready to face my book again, ready to make additions to it and fix all of the problems, plus, enhance some of the visuals and examples throughout the book.

What I’ve also seen with writing this much is that: I’m not really bad at writing at all. The things I told myself about having bad grammar and punctuation are exactly what were holding me back in the first place. I took it upon myself to read other bloggers on wordpress and I must say, my writing is REALLY good. So, I have to give myself enough credit and be gentle with myself. If there are people out there who think the same way as me about bad grammar and punctuation, take it easy. I’ve been writing a lot in the library and, occasionally, I look through a “writing in english” book that’s given me even more confidence in finding my voice through words. So the power is mine and I will use it to perform my purpose in this world and deliver my messages to all those it is intended for.

Get real world, I’m coming for you!

Authenticity and Blogging

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Photo taken in Dominican Republic

Throughout the last eight days, I have been participating in a thirty-day blog challenge with a close friend of mine from NYC. With each blog I’ve worked hard to produce pieces of writing that are authentic and close to me, however, some online magazines that republish blogs and articles have told me that one of the blogs I sent them for submission was in too much of a “bloggy” tone. Until this day I have no idea what that means, but it does raise alarm bells in my mind.

Being overall grateful to even get this kind of reply, I had to really think about my style. I strive to be as authentic as I can, writing in a way so that it feels like I’m speaking with you face to face. My favorite book, “Hector and the Secrets of Love,” has the style closest to what I want to achieve in my writing. The whole reason I decided to take on this blogging challenge is to practice how to use words in the best possible way. For the longest time, I believed my writing was the most horrible thing on the planet, and that my imagination can go far beyond the limitation of grammar and punctuation. However, being a film-maker and wanting to write my own scripts, I had to focus on creating texts that touch people’s hearts in a way that films can’t do.

I’ve spent a lot of time in my life being different and standing out; from presenting Japanese as a language portfolio in high school in order to graduate— Spanish being the only language taught at the time— to marrying my wife and taking her last name. I continue to ask myself: how authentic can I be when I do anything? As the years go by, it’s becoming harder and harder to be very different in a world filled with people all doing the same thing. Nonetheless, I still find some way to surprise myself and the people around me.

Blogging is certainly not an easy thing, especially on a daily basis. Spending a lot of time daydreaming, I tend to create things in pictures more than textual concepts. For so long, I’ve been training my awareness in order to take these daydreams and turn them into films, which was challenging enough. Now, bending my mind to be more aware of the philosophical concepts going on in my mind and translating it into text is new territory I’m venturing into. For those who know me, they would say I have a certain kind of wisdom to me. Blending the elements of blogging, visuals, philosophical concepts and wisdom into a 500 to 2000 word document without boring the reader sounds right up my alley for achieving authenticity and distinguishment — the joy of making my own words.

Only a few more days (21) until this challenge is over. I’m not exactly sure if I’ll keep writing every day after that but I’ll be sure to type away with a new heightened state of awareness. The keen desire for authenticity in all the things I do really drives my creativity and motivates me in life, and, it’s a fine time to take control and embrace this hidden talent in me. No need to worry, you have talents too, and they’ll be there until you are ready to see them.