Exactly a month ago, I found Someone I Care About at the bottom of a flight of stairs, unconscious, in a pool of blood.
Long story short: there was no permanent damage.
The past month has involved blood, sweat and tears (mostly my tears – I’m an easy crier), three paramedic teams, three hospital wards, many many nurses, doctors, health care assistants, physios, social services people, many many phone calls, and much advocacy. And a lot of, well, hanging out.
I’m telling you this partially to explain (excuse?) my blog/email silence for the past month. Also, seeing as there has been a lot of high-stakes communication going on, I have, unsurprisingly, learned some lessons. [click to continue…]
So, I’m beginning to get worried about this word ‘peaceful’.
I bandy it about. It’s even in my website name.
If we use it to beat ourselves up, though, I don’t think that’s adding to the ‘peace’ in the world.
‘I’m in this awful situation where I’m being treated pretty badly, but I’m suppressing all of my needs so I can be respectful of everyone.’
If we take peaceful to mean ‘calm’ and ‘kind’ and ‘respectful of others’ that’s cool as long as it means calm and kind and respectful to you too.
The mind think it can just choose to be some Fantasy-Buddha, and then gets to be disappointed and ashamed and guilty when it doesn’t live up to it’s unconnected-to-reality standards. [click to continue…]
This week we’re experimenting with being more aware of feelings, our own and other people’s.
(By ‘we’ I mean those of us on the A Peaceful Resolution Weekly Focus and Advance Discount List. The APRWF. Are you on the list? You should totally be on the list. Why aren’t you on the list? Jeez. Get on the list!)
Anyhoo, I was working away and wandering the streets of the town I was in. I always feel like I should pay at least an hour’s homage to the place I’m staying in before I flop in the bath and watch internet TV. And I needed crackers and houmous and salad and yogurt and chocolate and shaving foam. So.
I was wandering around.
The reminder came up on my phone ‘What are you feeling? What might they be feeling?’ [click to continue…]
read listened some more to Thinking, Fast and Slow and a couple of things stand out for me that have relevance for our pursuit of peaceful productive conversations.
1. The automatic mind (System One) finds it easy to compare different things based on one aspect, but comparing several variables needs conscious attention (System Two).
2. System Two is lazy.
If you see Cox’s apples for £1.50/kilo vs £2.50/kilo, you automatically know which is the better deal. System One processes that for you, without the need for expensive conscious effort.
If, however, like me, you go try and compare mobile phone deals, it’s certainly not clear which deal is the best. This one has a 24-month contract, but 500 texts, and overseas calls are this much, but this one has truly all-you-can-eat internet, but you pay for the handset, but it’s a shorter contract and the reception is better and they promise 4G and.
Bleurgh. Conscious effort needed. [click to continue…]
Sometimes you plan a conversation that you’re hoping is going to be GREAT! and it is. I remember when I worked as a training manager (another life) and asked for funding for some training I wanted to attend and the conversation went exactly as I wanted it to go. You ask your boss for a raise, or you go in for that sales conversation with that client or you tell him that you love him (not the client), or whatever. And: fireworks.
Other times you’re dreading a conversation and it is just as bad as you expected it to be. The other person does blow up, or cries or storms off. Also: fireworks.
It’s good to be prepared for these outcomes, to set up the circumstance to encourage one and mitigate the other. It also makes sense to be ready to deal with extremes.
However. We can get stuck between the dream and the nightmare. And most conversations are actually kind of a let-down. [click to continue…]
In addition to my series of questions (Question!) on how to encourage quiet people to talk from yesterday, might I also suggest that there is also some thing slightly ineffable about opening a space for dialogue?
Difficult to lay out precisely (ineffable, innit?) but there are possible qualities.
Can there temporarily be…
~ a loosening of expectations.
~ a quiet allowing of disparate views.
~ a dropping of ‘team’ allegiances.
~ a letting go of past slights. [click to continue…]