To centre ourselves, to create a space of awareness, to show compassion to ourselves and others, to integrate both good and bad experiences of our lives is all one massive task. The good news is we have loving teachers who can point us in the right direction. This post is on one of them.
To respond with empathy might be our intention but it’s not as easy it might seem.
Our busy and caring minds tend to jump to so many potential responses, yet we have to be aware that not all of them are what creates that meaningful connection.
So what is an empathetic response and what are the common mistakes we make?
Deep listening is a thing: if you’ve ever felt that you weren’t truly seen in a conversation then you know it’s real.
How can we improve our listening skills?
What frameworks and reminders can we use?
I have some suggestions for you. That’s a mix of what psychology, Buddhist psychology, and nonviolent communication point to.
Sometimes, fear, insecurities, and self-doubt take over. Whatever journey you’re on, it can get really tough at times. Here are some frameworks you can use to face your struggle with grace.
Fear is a companion we’ll always have. How we live with that companion is a choice: we can do that in ways that don’t serve us and we can put conscious effort to manage our minds just a little bit better.
Sometimes, the way to encourage yourself is to…discourage yourself! Among so many reminders to “keep on going”, we also need reminders to quit the thing that’s wrong for you. This article and podcast episode are exactly that: a kind reminder that you can allow yourself to quit the things that don’t serve you anymore. You can put the tool of quitting into your personal development toolbox.
Emotional manipulation is not always easy to spot. And to be able to set healthy boundaries, to feel safe and centred, we have to learn how to identify it. Terri Cole helps us here.
Doing creative work is hard. By default, there’s a lot of uncertainty and, potentially, doubt involved. Listen to what Seth Godin has to say about it: he will leave you inspired and ready to trust yourself.
To think about integrity can be extremely useful when you feel that “something’s wrong.” If we take emotions as signals – as we should! – one of the ways to analyse them can be asking yourself a simple yet powerful question: Are my actions aligned with my values?
The price of not realising the difference between shame and guilt – words that we sometimes use interchangeably, right? – can be a life of misery.