Monday, September 22, 2008

Positive Communication

Okay, I admit it, I am still in last week’s assignment and observing without evaluating. This topic has been dramatic for me! As I mentioned in an earlier post, I read somewhere that we create negative evaluations (read: "jumped to conclusions" and "making assumptions") in areas where we lack self-esteem. I have found it so true for me and over the weekend I identified an area in which I created negative evaluations. (And, I mean "created". It was ALL in my head.) I also realized that it was an area in my life in which I have sabotage myself in the past. (No good comes of negative evaluations.) With that new information, I have been able to both shift out of my low self-esteem in those areas, stop sabotaging myself AND move into better communication. So powerful!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thought on Self-Esteem

I was recently reading that a sign of low self-esteem is interpreting things that are said as having negative meaning. In other words, confusing evaluation with observation of facts (our work for the month) is a sign of low self-esteem! So I have started paying attention to when I tend to interpret what someone says as negative. As I work on separating my observations from my evaluations, I am also working on my self-esteem.

So, tell me, where do you notice your negative assessments coming up? What do you learn from it?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Inspirational Quote

“People are disturbed not by things, but by the view they take of them.”

- Epictetus

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Communication: Choosing a Focus for the Month

Over the next two months our focus is communication. Our focus is specifically, being able to communicate in a more compassionate way; a way that connects us to others rather than alienating them. In this month, our smaller focus is learning to observe without evaluation. It is our evaluation that causes us suffering so learning this skill will help eliminate much or our challenges in our life. Of course it doesn’t mean never evaluating a situation, it just means being able to separate what is what is really happening (observing is objective) versus what you think about what is happening (evaluating is subjective).

Frankly, I find this month the most challenging for me to grasp of the entire year. Not only do I have a hard time separating my opinions with my evaluations (they are practically simultaneous), I find it tricky to remember to check myself in the moment. So, for this month, I am going to find a very small area in which to hold my conscious awareness around this idea. I have decided to use driving as my conscious time. Whenever I drive I will be conscious about observing without evaluating.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Your View, My View

It's important to remember that in every situation there really isn't a truth or reality, it is only your perception or view or evaluation of what is happening. Even so-called objective bystanders are only speaking from their viewpoint.
In any given situation one person may feel angry, indignant, laughed at or criticized. While the other person may be feeling the exact opposite! So which one is right? Is there a right?
Try watching a conversation between two people and see if you can observe without taking sides or forming your own opinion. Notice how each person has their own viewpoint and it becomes their own reality. Then can you do it in a conversation you are participating in?