How to Communicate Hard Feelings Effectively

Our choice of words matter, and when it comes to close relationships, like our partners, our children, our parents, etc. it really truly matters a LOT!

communication

Today I would like to focus on the way we sometimes express our frustration, anger or disappointment to a loved one. First of all, it is totally normal to feel frustrated, angry or disappointed with the people we love, however, the way we express those feelings can be detrimental to our relationships or,  it can be constructive…

After many years of therapy, self-reflection, and serious work on becoming more conscious and mindful, I have found that there are ways to make our communication positively impact our relationships, but it takes some practice and awareness, for sure!

But, first things first, when we are hurt or angry, it is hard so see clearly and act mindfully, so the first thing to do is to take a little distance from our feelings and become more objective and more conscious.
Now, how exactly do we do that…. well, unless you have a well-established mindfulness or meditation practice, this doesn’t come very naturally for most people, so it is important to have some tools that can help us take that distance from our emotions (sometimes on the spot! before we jump at our loved ones with all our complaints and rage!)

I work with kids, and as a mom as well as a yoga teacher, I have found some techniques that are very helpful to calm down negative emotions, here are some tools that any adult can use and/or share with children in their lives:

1. Take 3 deep breaths before you react to whatever is making you angry
2. Go outside and take a brisk walk, run or kick a ball
3. Punch a pillow
4. Listen to music that you like or sing a song
5. Close your eyes and think of a calm place or pleasant thought or something funny
6. Draw a picture
7. Write down your feelings, or a letter to the person you are mad at (you don’t need to send it)
8. Talk to someone about your feelings (not the person you are mad at!)
9. Ask for a hug, make sure it lasts a few breaths! (Again, not to the person you are mad at!)

The first one is the fastest and most accessible one, for adults and children alike. As simple as it may seem, taking deep breaths is incredibly powerful, simply because when we breathe slowly we are counter-acting the “fight or flight” response that kicks in automatically when we feel threatened (in this case angry,) the brain gets the message to slow down and lower its guards, so we can see the situation for what it is and not for what our blurry vision – affected by our feelings – will make us see.

There is a difference between the reality and what you see as “the reality,” when emotions are involved. Knowing this, and accepting it, is the first step to becoming more conscious.

So, let’s say that you can efficiently distance yourself from the emotion (whether it is anger, frustration, sadness, etc.) so you are able to calm down on the spot, which doesn’t mean you don’t feel the emotion anymore, it simply means you are able to acknowledge it for what it is and take responsibility for it. This doesn’t mean you just ignore what the other person did or said, or the fact that you feel angry, but it is important to take responsibility for your feelings!

Nobody has the power to MAKE YOU feel this way or that, YOU are the only one with that power, in other words, what you feel is your responsibility alone, which in turn, does not mean that the other person has NO responsibility in the matter, they are responsible for their actions just as much as you are for your reactions… do you follow?

So, it is crucial that if you want the relationship to stay healthy and grow, you need to handle communication effectively. So now we come down to the choice of words.

See, once we have taken responsibility for our feelings, we don’t need to blame the other person, but we can, and should, point out the facts, and express our feelings in a way that does not trigger the other person’s defensiveness or other negative feelings.

If we communicate in a healthy way, it will be clear enough for the other person how we are feeling, and they will have the opportunity to take responsibility for their part, without becoming defensive.

Here is a simple everyday situation as an example of how communication can go wrong, or right depending on the words we use:

Case Study:

Husband and Wife are getting ready to leave the house for an invitation and they are running late, they only have one key to their car and they can’t find it! (The last person who drove the car was the husband). The wife is starting to feel angry at a familiar scenario, and she hates to be late!

Scenario #1:

Wife: “You have lost the key again! You always do this, why don’t you leave it in the key holder by the door, it isn’t hard, that is why there is a key holder there!!! Now we are going to be late!” (in an annoyed tone)

Notice the direct accusation and blaming: YOU have lost the key, YOU always do it!

Husband: “Stop blaming me! you are the one who was taking for ever to get ready, if you could skip your hour long sessions of hair brushing we could be ready much earlier and then deal with this with less stress, plus I told you ages ago to make another copy of the key!” (in an angry tone)

Notice how the husband, feeling accused and blamed, goes immediately into “defensive mode” and tries to retaliate by taking his turn on accusing his wife of the first thing he can think of.

So, in this scenario the angry and negative feelings keep escalating, and there is a full blown fight, which is not about the lost key anymore but about the couple’s feelings overtaking them and completely shutting off communication.

Scenario #2:

Wife: “You have lost the key again! You always do this, why don’t you leave it in the key holder by the door, it isn’t hard, that is why there is a key holder there!!! Now we are going to be late!” -Same as scenario #1

The husband feels accused, but takes a few deep breaths and realizes that his wife is really worried because she hates to be late and it is her frustration talking at him, he also realizes that she may have a point about him being a bit disorganized, in fact he was already feeling a bit guilty for the loss of the key… so here is his response:

Husband: “Honey, I understand you are mad because you hate to be late, and I am sorry we cannot find the key, you are right, I often put it in different places which makes it harder to find it, I apologize but let’s try to find it together and make a note to make a copy so we have a backup key in the future, and I will be more careful to leave it in the key holder”

To this, the wife’s anger immediately deflates and she replies:

“I am sorry honey, I didn’t mean to blame you, we don’t really know what happened, it is just that I really dislike being late, but never mind, we just have to keep looking and yes, we need to make a copy, sorry I have not gotten to do that as I offered. Let’s keep looking and hopefully will find it soon. I will call our friends to tell them we will be late.”

Scenario #3:

The wife is feeling really annoyed at her husband, but before she says anything, she takes a deep breath and notices that he is frantically looking for the key and probably feeling bad already about not finding it, so she says:

“Honey, I feel really frustrated because we are going to be late, I know these things can happen, but it is a good idea to leave the key always in the key holder to avoid this happening in the future” (In a loving tone, not an accusatory one!)

Husband “I know, I am sorry, I will find it and will be more careful in the future to leave it in the holder when I use it, why don’t you call our friends to tell them we will be a bit late and let’s make a note to make a key copy as soon as possible”

In scenarios number 2 and 3 one of the partners averted a fight by being mindful, but at the same time expressing their feelings and the facts in a very effective manner.

You can see how the example above can be applied in many other cases and with different relationships. The specific situation or facts don’t matter as much as the way we react to them, and how we choose to communicate.

So, here is how we can avert fights and grow our relationships:

1. Taking a step back, before our feelings take over our actions and reactions

2. Choosing the right words to express ourselves, here are some ideas:

State the FACTS instead of accusing the other:
We will be late, as we can’t find the key (fact) vs
We will be late because YOU lost the key (accusation)

Take RESPONSIBILITY for your feelings instead of blaming them on others
I feel frustrated when we are late, it makes me feel embarrassed (taking responsibility for one’s feelings) vs
You make me look bad, because of you we will be late, and it is embarrassing! (blaming the other for our feelings)

DON’T ASSUME the other person is guilty, even if it seems obvious!
I wonder where the keys can be. Do you remember what happened after you parked the car last night? (Unassuming) vs
You lost the key again! (Assuming the person is guilty)

If you take these simple steps and practice them over and over, I assure you that your relationships will grow stronger and healthier and that you will feel a lot better with yourself and others!

Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Understanding Love Communication

Did you know that we all communicate love in very different ways?

love

As Valentines Day fast approaches, I thought it would be good to reflect on how we are communicating our love and why sometimes we feel frustrated because we don’t feel loved or appreciated, and/or those we love get frustrated with us for the same reason.

The best way to celebrate Valentines is to understand love and improving our relationships through effective communication, whether it is with your partner, your children, your friends or your parents.

Some time ago, I read a great book called: The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If you are not familiar with it, this book talks about 5 different ways in which each of us feel loved and express our love to others.

We all have a primary love language (the way in which we most feel loved and cared about) and our natural tendency is to show love in the way we most feel loved.

Because we have our own way of loving (or showing love), we unconsciously expect our partners to “love us back” in the same “way”, and this can create HUGE misunderstandings and frustrations!

In his book, Chapman describes the 5 love languages as follows:

  • Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

  •  Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

  •  Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

  •  Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most wants to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

  • Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Once you know your primary language, you and your partner can discuss it and try to use each other languages more often. If you are not quite clear about which is your primary language, you can take this Assessment offered at the official 5 Love Languages Website.

Below is a great exemple of miscommunication.

Taken from the article: Six Ways to Keep Your Relationship Healthy By Dr. Ben Kim He writes:

“Margaret’s primary love language is quality time, while mine is acts of service. So while she appreciates various acts of service I might perform with her in mind, they don’t end up meaning as much to her as, say, spending an evening together just talking about this and that after the boys have gone to sleep.

I don’t know how many times I’ve forgotten this and spent one too many hours at the office, thinking that she would appreciate how hard I was working for our family, only to become devastated and angry in discovering that she was angry with me for neglecting her. The perfect example of two people looking at the same event with completely different perspectives and all the heartache that can be caused by not knowing and acting on your partner’s primary love language.

Know what your partner’s primary love language is. Act on it. Repeat as often as possible.”

Understanding that we all communicate love differently was a HUGE eye opener for me, it helped me feel more loved and love more effectively. And this is helpful not only in couple-relationships, but also with parents and children, and with all the people you care most in your life!

So, what is your primary language of love?

Have a wonderful week!

Sometimes a hug is all you need…

Continuing with the theme of body language, relationships, and connections, today I would like to explore another body language favorite of mine: HUGS. The truth is, the power of hugs is way underrated!

hugs

I come from a latin country, where we hug a lot, and I have to say that HUGS is one of the things I miss the most from my country, we hug our friends, our neighbors, our parents, our grandparents, our cousins, you name it, and we do it all the time!

I recently read a blog post from the Mars and Venus website (the official website for the famous book: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus
by Dr. John Gray). It is a short article written by a witty blogger, on: “How to keep intimacy alive in the day-to-day grind”

Basically the article talks about how hard it is to find the time to nourish our relationship on a daily bases, especially for busy, working couples with or without kids; apparently, the secret short cut to nurturing and connecting is as simple as a hug!!

According to the article: Studies have shown that hugging for 20 seconds raises levels of oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone. A hug re-establishes the intimate connection and trust between you and your partner on a fundamental hormonal level. If you wish to read the full article, click HERE.

Another story I love to share is that of “The Rescuing Hug” which had a positive impact in the way medicine and hospitals treat premature infants, the original article appeared on Reader’s Digest and Life magazine in 1996. If you have not heard about this story, there is a quick description of it HERE.

Also, I remember a few years back I took a course on personal growth and one of the things that stayed with me was an exercise that we did towards the end of the 2-day course, the presenter had us split in pairs and showed us how to give each other an “energy hug” we had to hug our partner hard, really holding them in our arms, and then we had to take 3 deep breaths together, silently. The idea was that we could use our bodies and breathing to raise our energy and establish a deeper connection to one another.

I really liked this exercise, and all the participants agreed that they felt very relaxed, very connected and happy after doing it, this was back in my country, however, so we didn’t have much of a cultural barrier against close physical proximity. Hugging is a natural part of our human essence, beyond cultural and social conditionings; it is the first thing we do with our human babies, we hold them, we hug them, we press them against our bodies and that physical contact is a very important factor on their survival. If you wish to read more about this, I recommend the article: The Experience of Touch: Research Points to a Critical Role by Daniel Goleman, 1988.

After moving to the US I slowly but surely stopped hugging people, to respect the cultural norm here and to avoid sending mixed messages, but this had a toll on my emotional well being, so finally, after many years, I have decided to allow myself to be who I am, and hope for the best. I still don’t do it as freely as I would in my country but I do it as much as I can and often find myself apologizing when people are surprised or taken aback by it, I just tell them I am from a different culture. I really believe Americans would greatly benefit from more free hugs!

I have shared many conversations about this with American friends who have traveled or lived in countries were there are less “physical boundaries” and they all agree that one of the things they liked and miss most about those cultures was their “warmth” and the hugs, kisses and other ways to freely connect to other people with our bodies.

I find that here many people are quick to associate this easy-body connection with the danger of inappropriate touching, so they try to protect themselves from it, and teach their kids to avoid touch because of this. I feel however that there can be a happy medium that is much healthier and that would allow people to feel a lot more connected and supported.

Growing up I had a very clear idea of what was appropriate and what was not, and I fully enjoyed the freedom of connecting with friends, cousins, relatives, etc. using my body in a healthy way. So here, I just wanted to start a conversation on how cultural and social codes may sometimes prevent us from getting closer and more connected to people around us. That said, I know a lot of Americans that are big huggers, thank God!

Sometimes a hug is all you need

Have a good week!

Related Articles:

The Importance of Physical Touch


Announcements

  • Free Teleseminar: Interview with Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, author of the best selling book “The Power of Self Healing” September 30th Register now!
  • Free Events at BuddhaFest (Washington DC area.) Oct. 5&6 More info
  • Emerging Women Life stream 2013 October 10-13 Register here Free

Making Eye Contact

Lately I have been reflecting a lot on relationships and communication. It is a fact that relationships are built on communication, but having a good communication with others is not always easy to do, with some people communication may flow naturally, while with others it may be a total mess: filled with misunderstandings, frustrations, etc. Or it can be something in between.

eyecontact

Communication is the essence of human interaction and learning, and there are many ways to communicate aside from verbal language. We often get stuck in thinking that communication is based solely on our verbal exchanges, when it goes far beyond that. Every day we all emit and respond to nonverbal cues like behaviors, body language and more.

I have always been fascinated by body language, as I believe our bodies never lie, and there is a lot we can find out about a person if we pay attention to their body language: postures, facial expression, eye gaze, gestures, tone of voice, etc. What we express through our body is often more true and accurate than what we can express with words.

Today I would like to write specifically about eye contact, as I feel this is a really important element for good communication. There is no coincidence that the popular expression “Seeing Eye to Eye” means being in agreement with someone.

Human eyes are said to hold the key to the heart, and eye contact can relay our inner most intimate thoughts and emotions. So, in a way, making eye contact is very powerful as it allows us to truly see the other and be seeing by them, with no veils, no filters, no lies. The significance of eye contact vary widely between cultures, with religious and social differences often altering its meaning greatly, but deep down to our human essence, it is a powerful way to connect with others.

“The Eyes are the Windows of the Soul” Traditional Proverb

So why is it that most people find it so hard to make eye contact and sustain it for longer periods of time? Set aside cultural beliefs and customs, my guess is that we feel naked, we feel totally exposed when making full eye contact, therefore we may experience feelings of shame and fear. We surely find it much easier to make eye contact with a small child, because we know that there is no judgment and criticism in their minds, so we feel safe.

In fact, kids love and need to make eye contact, they demand it! My kids sometimes take my face in their hands when they are talking to me and tell me: mommy look at me, they need me to look at them in order to feel they have my attention, and they are so right!

We cannot lie with our eyes, at least not for long… like the popular expression: “Look at me and tell me the truth” tells, if we want to know the truth, we need to look at someone deep into their eyes and we will find out.

Not too long ago a friend of mine, who practices Kundalini yoga, shared her experience while doing a White Tantric Yoga retreat, which she found incredibly profound, transformative and powerful. I have not yet done one myself but it is definitely in my list of things to do! Apparently this group meditations are done in pairs and there is a lot of time spent making eye contact with a partner.

Interestingly today, my yoga teacher started our class by having us face our next-mat neighbor and basically look into each other’s eyes for a few minutes, without saying a word. Our teacher was talking us through the importance of feeling connected to others and seeing how similar we are deep inside. I found this practice very powerful and beautiful, so it reminded me of my friend’s White Tantric experience and of how difficult it is to maintain eye contact!

It seems that men have a harder time than women when it comes to making and holding eye contact, I don’t like to generalize because there are many exceptions (in fact I know many), but it does make sense to me since men have been socially and culturally trained not to be in touch with their emotions and therefore they tend to be less connected to their bodies and feelings, and less inclined to open up to others in a deeper way. Here is an interesting article about men and making eye contact.

The level of human connection as well as the quality of social interactions greatly benefits from making eye contact. I feel like if we were able to see into each others eyes more often, if we would allow others to see us a little more deeply, we could only build stronger relationships, more truthful conversations and a deeper understanding of one another.

So today I just wanted to shed a light on the importance of making eye contact as a way of positively connecting with others. If you are a man or woman who finds it really hard to make eye contact, I invite you to explore the reasons why, maybe you can try to step out of your comfort zone and do it more and more, and see the results. There are many great resources and tips online to help you with it.

Have a good week!


Announcements

  • Access the life of your dreams. Free LIVE Global Webcast with Panache Desai. Begins Tuesday Sept. 24th Register now
  • Find your Calling with Martha Beck, Lissa Rankin and Amy Ahlers. Class starts on Wednesday Sept. 25th Register now
  • 21 Days of Healing and Prayer Register now The program starts September 28th and the last day to sign up is September 27th at 9:00 AM ET!
  • Free Events at the BuddhaFest in the Washington DC area. Oct. 5&6 More info

People and Screens

We are living in times where new gadgets and thrilling technology can easily rob us from quality communication and sharing with others, which is what builds true and meaningful relationships. We need to be more careful about the way we spend our time.

screen

What actually inspired my post today was an interview I heard about the modern epidemic of loneliness and lack of meaningful relationships that many people in developed countries are victims of. Part of this loneliness has to do with the concept of individuality and boundaries which is predominant in the first world, but it has been extremely aggravated by the almost inescapable invasion of screens: TVs, iPhones, iPads, Laptops, Wii etc.

A lot of people, including myself, spend an incredible amount of time on the computer, small kids spend way too much time in front of the TV, and then of course there is the time spent with our smart phones and other devices. If we calculated the amount of time we spend with all these devices every day, we would be SHOCKED.

I grew up in the pre-computer era, where the only screen around was the TV, and even then, my parents didn’t allow me to watch much of it. I was often surrounded by cousins, friends and family, we visited each other all the time, and when we run into a neighbor or a friend on the street, we always, with no exception, took the time to chat with them. At home, my parents made sure we shared three meals around the table and a nice conversation about our days. There was only one TV in the house and it was in a TV room, not in the social areas.

I also remember my grandmother as a wonderful story teller, she could keep me and my cousins totally absorbed while recounting stories, legends, fables and bible passages. And there were those friends gatherings where people would tell jokes and laugh with pleasure and abandon, like kids, for hours.

When I look back to those days, I realize with great nostalgia how much communication I enjoyed with so many people, with whom I still have very strong bonds in spite of the distance that separates us and the time that has passed.

When I moved to the US as an adult, I had to start building my whole network of friends from scratch, and although I still talk of course, still share, the quality and amount of communication and the depth of the bonds is not the same. On one hand there is the cultural divide, but on the other hand there is the clear impact of the time spent in front of screens or on the phone. This problem is all over the world now, even in my home country, people spend lots of time with their screens, big and small.

The most serious problem arises inside each home, where couples are totally disconnected from each other because they are too connected to their devices. And kids don’t get proper attention from their parents because they are in front of the TV or the computer or because when they talk either the kid or the parent is half listening and half checking their smart phone, so there is no room for true communication.

To go back to the interview that inspired this post, the presenter stated that many families nowadays end up having “small talk” or “no talk” with each other and the members of the family loose connection with one another little by little without realizing it, they think that is just the way things are, or that they don’t get along so well, but the truth is that: communication which is the pillar of a relationship is not cherished, not respected and not used enough! in many homes.

People wonder why when their kids grow up and leave, there is not much left of a relationship with one another (Parents and kids as much as siblings) except for the blood ties. People carry this “loneliness” deep inside and it affects their lives and their capacity to build strong relationships in the future.

Communication is not only talking, but also body language and physical connection, so not only the verbal connection is lost, but so is the body language and the physical connection that is so crucial for couples and so important even for siblings and parents with grown children.

One day, I was watching a documentary on TV about a couple that had moved to a tiny remote part of the Patagonia, they had left a busy city life behind and moved to a simple small house with no electricity. When they were interviewed for the documentary, one of the questions they were asked was: what do you do with your free time? to which they replied with a huge smile in their faces: we make love, we talk, we visit with friends. WOW I thought, how nice is that!

Another big problem brought by modern technology is the prolongation of our workdays almost to no end. With internet and cell phones, people can not properly disconnect from work once they leave the office, work follows them all around, and that also takes away from building meaningful relationships and spending quality time with families.

I remember not too long ago, Ecuador (my home country) had electricity rationing, we had no electricity for days on end. I truly enjoyed that time, because it brought us back to the basics, with no electricity, there was very little we could do, so, we spent more time with our family and friends, we went to bed early, we enjoyed long candlelight dinners and heartfelt conversations, we relaxed about the work not done, because it was out of our control, so we let go of it peacefully, we slowed down the pace… it was truly a gift!

So, to sum up, most of us definitely spend way too much time with our devices, so I encourage you to reflect on what are you missing because of this and how you can take some of that time for building meaningful relationships, reconnecting with loved ones and also connecting to nature, pets, etc.

Remember that we do have a choice, and although it is not easy to go against the current, you CAN take control of the technology and not let it take control of your life. I have heard of couples for instance that decide to turn everything off past 9:00 PM, they do not take calls, nor check their computers or phones, not even watch TV after that time, which allows them, sometimes even “forces” them to spend time together and reconnect.

The same can be done with children, we can minimize the time we allow them to watch TV or play video games, this is hard, because we will likely encounter resistance, tantrums and we will also loose quiet time for ourselves (I admit I really enjoy the peace and quiet when my kids are in front of the TV) but it is important to teach our kids how to stay grounded on human reality as opposed to living a virtual one.

For my US readers, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Enjoy time with friends and family and don’t forget to put your gadgets and screens aside!

Have a great week!


Announcements:

*Sign up today for an exclusive training session with Chakra Master Carol Tuttle: Is your energetic ecosystem helping or harming you? Don’t miss this opportunity TODAY! Sign up!

Every word matters!

In our rush to react, to defend ourselves, to prove someone wrong, we may say things that are not conducive to anything good. It is therefore important, as my mom always says, to stop and turn our tongue 7 times inside our mouth before we speak.

orangeflower

A few months ago I shared a quote in Facebook that I would like to copy here, I am not sure who is the author, but I really like it:

Before you speak, THINK!

T – Is it True

H – Is it Helpful?

I – Is it Inspiring?

N – Is it Necessary?

K – Is it Kind?

So basically, we need to think about the value of what we say, if we don’t know it is true for sure, if it won’t help anybody, if it won’t inspire anyone, if it is not necessary, nor kind, why would we say it at all…?

The problem is, we are often overtaken by emotional reactions and that is when we are not able to really control what we say, or we think we do and we don’t care about the consequences. But a word that has been said cannot be taken back. This is especially true when talking to young children or teens, as they are highly vulnerable to what other people say to them, more so if it is coming from people they love or look up to.

I read a very cool piece about a teacher who had her students do an exercise to make them realize the effects of bulling. She had them all crumple a piece of paper in their hands as hard as they could, then she had them open it up again and try to make it flat, then they had to write an apology to the paper, saying how sorry they were to have crumpled it so much.

At the end of the exercise she made them realize that none of the papers were back to their original flat and smooth state, and she told them that is what happens with bulling, the harsh words and actions we use, can break a person and leave deep scars in them for life, no matter how hard we try to fix them and make it right again, no matter how much we apologize, they may never go away.

As a good friend pointed out to me one day: “A word can make someone shine or wilt.” So it is important to reflect on what you say and how you say it, BEFORE you say it! This is of course easier said than done, but as we gain awareness of our inner peace we can more easily stop before the emotional reaction takes over!

That said, I should also point out that the ultimate power of the word falls on the person who receives it. It is our personal responsibility not to let what others say to us or about us define how WE feel.

So, no matter what others say, it is up to us to let those words hurt us or not. This is harder for younger people to do, because they are in the possess or forming their character and they are often not capable of separating their feelings from others opinions, but as we get older it is a great skill to learn and practice.

It is also very hard to predict someone else’s reaction to our words, in certain cases, for instance when there is a past buildup of resentment and conflict between two people, even a word of praise may be taken as an insult. In other cases, if we feel strongly about a given issue, any innocent comment, even by a stranger (regarding the issue) can deeply affect us.

Knowing this, however, does not mean we can freely say what we want and not feel responsible for it!. Whenever possible, we should try to use words that are conducive to strengthen relationships, building bridges, ending conflict and showing kindness to others.

Have a great week!


Announcements:

*Hip Mamas, Awesome Kids: Register Free for this online event that will inspire and strengthen you as a mother and find confidence and ease in the great task of raising your kids. Program starts on August 20th

*Silva Life System in the DC area, September 1&2 For more info call Diana at 703-866-4030 or email her at silvamethod@cox.net also, for spanish speakers there is a special conference:“Reencuentra tu Alma” y “Tener Razón o ser Feliz”on Oct. 13th

*Eckhart Tolle is coming Washington! October 4th, 2012, Get your tickets here.