You know those chats that leave you buzzing, the conversations that are energising, inspiring and make you feel like you could take on the world? Do you want to invite more of those into your life? Maybe your conversations feel more draining than anything, talking to people has become a chore and life is a series of one meaningless interaction after another. You crave connection, the feeling of being seen, heard and understood.
These days so many of our interactions are surface level. We’re terrified that if people knew the real us, they would go running in the other direction so we put on a mask to match the situation that we’re in. Before I started practicing conscious communication, most of my conversations occurred through a filter of self-consciousness. I would be half listening to the other person and half to my own stream of inner dialogue. Does he care about what I’m saying right now? Should I really be telling her this? Am I what they expected? I wonder what they think of me.
The other person would say something that triggered an unhealed wound and instead of being grateful for the opportunity to grow and evolve, I would lash out of my own unconsciousness and try to defend the mask I had worked so tirelessly to craft. On a micro scale, that’s why we find it hard to have meaningful relationships. On a global scale, that’s why we have world wars.
When you are living authentically and in the present, the mask becomes unnecessary. You know that what you have to offer as your True self is far more valuable than any identity you could project, and you show up with the confidence and grace of someone who knows that they are exactly where they are meant to be in any given moment.
When I started approaching conversations from this space, I was able to engage with people on a level I never had before. I was lost in their stories, riding the waves of their pain and exultation until the boundaries of time and space that only exist in the physical world began to melt away. That’s when you start to get a glimpse of the inherent connectedness of all living things. You pull back the veil of separateness and the illusions of this physical plane to find that we are all expressions of the same consciousness and beneath even the greatest differences, we are made of the same stuff.
I can tell now, in every conversation, if the other person is present with me or if they’re processing everything I say through a veil of their own insecurity; judging the situation, judging me, looking for ways to advance their own agenda or just biding time until it’s their turn to speak. When someone is fully engaging with you, there’s no agenda, no secondary dialogue going on behind their eyes. You don’t feel rushed or judged, you feel supported, heard, understood. Hours can pass like minutes and you walk away feeling inspired, validated and connected to the other person, yourself and the Source of all life.
These days, most of my conversations feel like that; epic exchanges of energy. There’s no time wasted on small talk or superficial gossip – we go from ‘Hello’ to ‘Do you think romantic relationships are a way to deepen our connection to the Divine within us?’ in 0.5 seconds, and I LOVE it. So how do we call more of these conversations into our lives and connect with one another on a deeper level?
These are the techniques that I used to take my conversations from superficial to sacred.
- Be secure in your own worth. It’s hard to engage fully with someone if you have put them on a pedestal. Likewise, you won’t fully connect with someone you are secretly judging as inferior to you. Stop questioning your right to be there by thinking about your hair, how your clothes fit or desperately searching their face for signs of judgement or criticism. Hold your ground. Show up. You have a something to offer this person, quit obsessing over the physical and focus on inspiring them with your energy.
- Approach every conversation as though it has been Divinely orchestrated (which it has) and as though you are exactly where you are meant to be (which you are). You are constantly being positioned in relationships and situations that will give both parties an opportunity to connect, learn and grow. Whether you’re talking to the cashier at Woolies or the love of your life, every person you meet has something to teach you.
- Come from a place of service. Rather than going into a conversation asking, ‘What can I get out of this?’ start asking, ‘What can I give?’ You have something incredible to offer everyone you meet. It might be a few words of wisdom, a new perspective or even just some much needed encouragement. You don’t have to always know what to say. Sometimes it’s our presence and not our answers, that are the greatest gift in the conversation.
- Practice active listening by clearing your mind and focusing your full attention on the person in front of you. Dont rush to fill the silence and trust that when the time is right, the words will come. When I’m coaching my clients, I imagine myself as a channel for Divine guidance to flow through me into the world. I don’t have to know what to say, I just have to be open to relaying the messages I receive. Anyone can be that channel, all it takes is an open heart and a clear mind.
- Ask questions with the intent to understand rather than to respond. And when you do respond, do so in a way that will serve the progress of the conversation rather than your own Ego. That’s what it means to hold space for someone – to momentarily forego your own ego to be fully present with another person. It invites a level of connection that can be life-changing for both parties.
When you seek the other persons value with the intent to explore it rather than exploit it, the conversation becomes a vehicle for the manifestation of truth, beauty and pure creative energy to be brought into the world.
- Open up. We form connections through vulnerability. That doesn’t mean spill your darkest secrets to the woman next to you at the bus stop (although I have done this on an aeroplane and she ended up introducing me to one of my best friends so there’s a place for everything), but when you feel that connection with someone, build up a foundation of trust by sharing something deeper about yourself. You would not believe the amount of times I’ve voiced my deepest shame only to have the other person turn around and say, ‘Me too.’
Conversation, collaboration and connection are the most powerful vehicles for social change we have at our disposal. When we realise how similar we really are, we stop wanting to kill each other. When we strip back all the false identities, we can re-humanise ourselves in a culture that is constantly trying to disconnect and distract us. Conscious conversations have the power to break down the walls that separate us; they are the key to freeing us from the insecurities that keep us imprisoned in our own minds. Yes it makes you vulnerable, but when you connect with the someone on that level, chains are broken, shame is lifted and the communion of your minds unearths wisdom that has the potential to move mountains.
The light in me sees the light in you.