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: A Milkshake

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Disclaimer: The following story happened a year ago in NYC.

For some reason after watching a T.V. show, I wanted to have a milkshake. After countless stomach pains I got from having milkshakes in the past, I was a bit reluctant about the idea of going through the discomfort. However, I still wanted to experience the sensation of sipping on a strawberry shake through a straw while watching more shows on Netflix. I decided to take a trip to Burger King, which was right across the street from where I lived.

Standing in line, all I thought about was the agony I was going to feel after drinking it. I questioned myself: Why in the hell am I getting this if I all I’m going to do is suffer after? As I was about to turn around and leave, I remember a experiment that Dr. Masaru Emoto did involving how thoughts, words and music change the molecular structure of water in both positive and negative ways; I wanted my milkshake to have as much positivity as possible so my stomach wouldn’t suffer. Since the people making the milkshake were behind the counter and did not have enough time to attach words to the cup or play music, I’d have to get positivity into it from a different angle. I figured if I got the people preparing the milkshake to do so with a positive intention then I could get what I wanted. But, how exactly could I do that?

Approaching the counter, still not sure about what to do, I asked for my milkshake but then proceeded to ask: “Can you put some extra love in it please?” The woman behind the counter looked me straight in the eyes and said, “What’s love?” I made a bewildered face and said, “You don’t know what love is?!” The woman snickered and looked over to another woman at the drive-thru window. She called out to her and the woman looked back at her. “Do we have love here?” she asked jokingly. The people behind me started to laugh, I tried to keep a serious face as I was determined to get love into my milkshake. The woman by the drive-thru said “I don’t know what that is.” The woman behind the counter laughed out loud, then walked off to find another person in the back. She continued to ask if there was any love in the store and everyone replied questioningly. Everyone behind the counter was smiling, their faces revealing a bit of confusion. I thought to myself, I must be the craziest person to ask such a thing; my arm pits filled with sweat.

From all the smiling and lighter movements the people behind the counter were making, I wasn’t exactly sure if I achieved what I wanted— but they sure couldn’t stop talking about it. I stood there the entire time it took for my milkshake to get into my hands, sarcastic remarks flapping around the room, like a sea lion at sea-world. Even other customers had joined in and were joking about how they wanted love in their food too.

It wasn’t until later, drinking my milkshake at home and watching my T.V. shows that I realised that it did taste a lot better. Also, after a few days I noticed I didn’t have the usual harsh stomachache like I always did. I wonder if it paid off doing what I did. Or maybe, it was all in my head.

The Inner Children 2

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Taken at the Glastonbury Tor, UK

Revealing another one of my inner work experiences, which involves taking a feeling to explore and guiding it towards integration. For this particular feeling some very new discoveries and old mysteries emerge.

I started with the feeling of unworthiness. A current situation that resulted in me feeling this was not receiving attention from the friends I consider close and dear to me. Moving to England had taken its toll on me and I needed them the most, those that were back in New York City. Once again I settle into my meditative state and allow the feeling of unworthiness consume me. It rushes over me like a flame on paper, sinking to my stomach (solar plexus) area, vibrating like the sound a rock makes as it hits the bottom of an empty drum.

“When was the first time you felt unworthiness?” My inner voice mutters, as I poke energetically through the darkness, waiting for an image to appear. In a matter of moments a memory appeared when I was about 12 or 13 years old, a girl I liked with long black hair and pale skin play-fighting with another one of my male friends. Play-fighting on my couch in the first apartment I grew up in, the younger me had invited her to the apartment because he was very fond of her, but because he was overly shy he asked his other friend to join them. The younger me watched as I could feel from him the unworthiness of being unable to have her touch and receive her playful smile. However, I knew it wasn’t the original birthplace of unworthiness. I watched it for a while longer as I could feel the emanating rays of unworthiness coming from the younger version of myself.

It took a little longer than normal. Since I do the process so much, I would automatically assume the origin of a feeling would appear around the toddler age — a thought of daycare emerged. This version of myself was roughly 3 to 5 years of age. At that age I was very attached to my mother, whenever I was taken to daycare I would become very upset when my mother left me there. I would cry because she left me, an aspect of the origin of unworthinesses revealed itself. I couldn’t believe how little it took to feel unworthy, just this action, but then something else revealed itself instantly. The head care taker, a beautiful woman whose name I still remember till this day, held me in her arms. I watched how this woman held the younger me as if I were her own. He, the younger me, looked at her with great intensity, he was in love with this woman. What I felt from my younger self lit up my entire body like a christmas tree, immediately, tears of uncontrollable happiness flooded out of my eyes. The tender feeling of concentrated love beamed into the younger me as the care taker looked right back into his eyes with the same intensity. A mixture of romantic love and motherly love filled my mind, her dark hair with fair white skin, the birth of my preference in women.

Part of the inner child work (if you choose to go further into this) is to change aspects of the past with a version that would better suit you. By recreating this memory you realign the energy of yourself that has been distorted. Watching the immense love coming from the care taker I decided to assign her as my mother. The current version of myself materialised in the room and I stood with both of them, my hand around my caretaker as the younger me in her arms. As soon as that happened I was propelled to the first memory of my 12-13 year old version of myself that had been watching the girl he liked having fun with his other male friend. I appeared behind him and put my hands on his shoulders. He looked up at me and we both looked at the two playing, my caretaker also emerged and knelt down next to the younger me. She stroked his cheek and the intense feeling of love encased him. This version of myself had dissolved into my being and filled the empty shell that had been displayed to me before (in previous post). I proceeded by asking the younger me: “What would you like to do now?” He said confidently, “I don’t want my friend to be here, I just want her with me.” And so we made it so that the girl was alone with him and it was revealed to me the possibility that that girl didn’t really find the other guy interesting but had wanted to be just with me the entire time. I felt an instant release in my current body, which filled my heart.

This process was so intense that afterwards I felt exhausted. The rest of the day I was depleted and slept really well that night. A discovery within discoveries happened in that session, one in which I’m extremely proud of.

The Catalyst (Originally 16-Aug-2014)

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Photo Taken at Boston Workshop  

I remember the very first time I saw this woman. She was standing next to this cool animator guy who created Spirit Science animation which explained various aspects of spiritually and human history. They were standing near a mountain it seemed and a lot of snow. I was deeply fascinated by her, not only by her beauty but her charisma. Her laugh, her smile and her energy reeled me in like a cowboy with his lasso. I had to know who she was, I had to see what she was all about, and when I did, I entered the world of Teal Swan (at that time it was Teal Scott).

I watched many many videos of her while my mind was blown into new corners of the universe. The way she explained things about, shadow work, inner child work, love, Source/Creational energy, different dimensions, I grabed onto the concepts extremely quickly. After a while, from watching her weekly “Ask Teal” videos, I felt as though she was in my head, when I thought up a concept or speculated about something in my life, a video would appear explaining those things and verifying my hypothesis.

From watching and reading Teal’s blogs, and through her Facebook group where I met my wife, I’m connecting with various people and creating a whole new family. As Teal, the catalyst to spirituality and connecting people, it wasn’t hard to build a network of friends that shared the same understandings of life, the universe and the realization of self as part of everything. Although I did run into Spirit Science and before that Bashar. Teal I believe I have a very strong connection to, much stronger than I had ever thought even after knowing her.

It was September of 2011 when I was in Park City, Utah and staying at a classmates, Kate, house shooting a short film for her. I was attending New York Film academy in the LA branch and was the final thesis film we were all working on. Walking along in Park City, where my classmates and I were meeting Kate’s father for dinner, I felt as thought someone I knew was there. Now this was before all the “New Age” stuff I am aware of now, you could say, I was just a regular guy then. I looked around curiously and checking out every person that walked by me, I couldn’t figure out who it was. I was fond of area around Park City because of it’s beautiful mountains and lushes wilderness. I knew I wanted to go back.

I told Teal this story and she nodded her head and said yes, “I knew it then”. It was the biggest relief, next to going to the bathroom after holding urine for an extreme long period of time. Meeting Teal was the most uplifting thing ever. It was like meeting a celebrity but actually having a form of connection to the person, especially on a spiritual level. This photo of her I took while she was meeting with people after a day workshop, held in Boston. I made it my mission to be around her a much as possible. I made myself available to people who wanted to take photos with her as the main photographer. I took people’s cameras (phones) and basically shared her space. I didn’t talk with her much, just occasional glances but she knew who I was and what I was doing. I could hear Sarbdeep (Her husband) and Blake (Her director, videographer and editor of her videos) by the door telling people they could give their camera to me.

Being in her presences is like being next to someone who is activating your highest potential on an energetic level. I had only speculated this but being around her I found it to be true. I was much more alert than I usually am and way more conversational (I’m also an introvert) and interacting with people I found it to be much more graceful for me. It was wonderful to simply be with her for an hour, on our feet sharing space.

The tattoo on her arm, when I first learned about it, is an Alchemy sign, each part representing elements for magical work in the quest for physical transformation and spiritual illumination. Teal, on the other hand said this:

    “The circle in the middle represents nothingness, the square represents thought, the triangle represents universal energy (God basically) and the outer circle represents everythingness…total unity…no beginning and no end.  So…if you put it together, the seal means nothingness (void) activated by thought and purified by universal energy = manifestation.”

By understanding this I was intrigued and wanted to get this tattooed for myself. So I found a nice shop where I lived with a cool Korean guy. At first I wanted the tattoo on my left shoulder, since on my right shoulder I have a spider, to have a bit of symmetry. However, the Korean tattooist pulled it down to the exact place Teal has hers because the print out I had, was too big. I tried to get the guy to make it fit but it looked too weird. I didn’t want to appear as a “copy-cat” to Teal or a plain weirdo, but when he placed it on my arm, it simply looked good. For the next hour, not one person came into the store and it was only him and I as this symbol was tattooed to my arm, this was done in August of 2013.

Tribe symbol

All in all, meeting this woman and her friends made me feel even more connected to her along with meeting other people I had become friends with over time. It’s interesting how life unfolds things, interesting how connecting to people you wouldn’t have known until a fews years after, placing the same tattoo in the same place, and meeting the love of my life who is from the same country Teal’s husband is from, England. I didn’t do all these things on purpose, but it sure is interesting.

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Anticipation (Originally made 24-Jul-2014)

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Photo take by George Washington Bridge, NYC

Upon a bridge I stand,
Not knowing how behind me connects with what is in front of me.
Searching for a place where freedom is common and loneliness, a memory.

Upon a bridge I am static,
Fearing what I project of the unknown, urging for movement in peace.
Contemplation, on what I’ve always known, of what will be accepted.

Upon a bridge I wait,
Strength, on which to place these heavy feet, on solid foundation.
Supporting the weighting doubts, abolished in the joy of new beginnings.

Upon a bridge I dispose,
Stacking all that is in my heart, to illuminate the purity of my soul.
Plunging into the depths of the unknown for my own virtue of external existence.