One of the skills or competencies that is needed in the work place or in a relationship is communication skill. Many people think communication skill is the ability to speak. In fact communication skill requires two abilities, speaking and also listening. That is why many have learned how to speak well. They attend speaking courses. But I never heard any listening courses. There are many talk shows but no listen shows. Many create podcasts or YouTube channels for them to communicate through speaking. Surely they need someone to listen and watch.
The ability to listen is often the missing one in communication. How often misunderstanding takes place due to this? This misunderstanding is due to lack of the ability to listen. The message is not properly understood. Communication is always in two ways. If someone is speaking and there is no one around, then no one is listening. It is not called a communication. No message reaches anyone (the listener).
Interestingly we have two ears, two eyes and one mouth. We should listen twice as much as we speak. Let’s start listening. I believe that all those good speakers were once good listeners. All good communicators were once good listeners.
Can a heart become empty? Sure. Have you experienced your heart empty? How did you feel it? You did not like it, did you?
When my heart is empty, I will expect someone to fill it with love. I am craving for love constantly until my heart is full. Love is the energy that is needed by the heart. The energy to live. Noone can live without this energy. And when someone gives me love, because my heart is empty, I will become selfish with that love. All I can think is that ‘You are loving me. You are supporting me. You are caring for me.’ At the same time I am creating fear in my heart. Fear of losing the person who gives me love, the source of my love. When there is fear, love won’t exist. Because love exists in the absence of fear. Both can not exist at the same time.
If you want to free yourself from craving for love from people, what you need to do is to deal with your empty heart. Make it full with love. Do you know how to make your heart full? You heart has the capacity to generate love. So do it. Learn this skill to generate love from within and make your heart full with love till stop craving for love. You will stop expecting love from anyone. You won’t create a dependent love on someone. You will keep giving love instead and stop creating fear.
Meditation is a self-talk. Noone but you involve in this. You need to do it alone. I understand that many people find it uncomfortable to have a self-talk. My friends learned meditation but they did not continue this because they do not enjoy having a self-talk.
How to talk to yourself? A friend asked me this question. You can’t talk to yourself until the self is ready to listen. The self is not ready to listen due to the noise in the mind. So you need to make the mind calm first. Observe what is going on in the mind. Just observe. Put yourself as a detached observer. If you can put yourself as a detached observer for quite a while, then you will notice that your mind starts to calm down. Only then you can start talking.
The following is an example of meditation commentary to help you to have a self-talk. This is not a mantra. Meditation is not not a religious practice, so you can free yourself to create your own, in your own language.
Meditation commentary – Body and Soul I remind myself that I am not just this physical body. Inside this body there is the true me. A pure spirit. I am the spirit living in this body. I am light. I am subtle. I am the energy inside this body. I am eternal. I am not growing older, I will never die. A spirit never dies.
This body is the vehicle for the soul. I am the soul, driving this body. I take the control of the body. I am aware of my mind and what it creates. I am aware of every thought that I create. I listen to my mind. I listen to myself. I am aware the 3 personalities within me. I am aware that they keep speaking. I listen. I observe.
I make this time to listen to myself. I listen to the voice in my head. The voice of the 3 personalities in me. I make this time to see myself inside. I make this time for myself. I take care of myself.
Meditation is one of my self-care routines to boost my energy level quite instantly. I have heard many questions on meditation like “How to mediate?” “How to focus the mind?” “How to make the mind concentrated?” “How to control the mind when it starts wandering while I am sitting to meditate?” I think many people have understood that meditation is an exercise for the mind. Let’s agree with this.
To meditate is not to empty your mind. The nature of the mind is to create a thought, to think, to be creative. Never expect that when your mind is empty (no thoughts) only then you will become peaceful, only then you can control it. Trust me it will never happen. In fact you need to let your mind be creative. When you start meditating, let your mind create some good thoughts. What kind of thoughts do you need to create? You are free to create any thought that elevates you. You are the creator. So you are free to create any thought. “I am a child of God. I belong to God. I am loved and protected.” “I am free. I am an angel for the world. I belong to everyone. I love everyone. I accept everyone.” “I am a giver. I always have something to give to the world – peace, love, courage, powers, support. I have what the world needs.” Never think that the thought you create is too high. Nothing is impossible for the spirit. After the mind creating that thought, let the intellect work on that thought by churning it. Let it extract a deeper understanding (wisdom) from that thought. Let it convince itself. Faith is then developed in the intellect. Then the heart will follow. It will generate very nice feeling. It becomes an elevated feeling to start the day, if you do it in the morning.
For me, meditation is not a religious practice, it is a spiritual practice. This is a practice for the spirit. So meditation is for everyone.
A scoreboard is another tool you can use for your self-care. How to create an energy scoreboard? Make a list of your activities from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed, and then put a score on each activity. The score indicates the energy units you create or consume for each activity.
What is your morning routine like? What activities do you ussually do in the morning? You create energy through your morning routine, don’t you? We have been talking about this energy in the previous posts in this blog. The energy that we are talking here is renewable. So we create the energy for the body and for the soul to live . We renew it everyday. We recharge ourselves.
Which activities are physical (for body) and which activities are mental (for soul)? Start your day by filling yourself with energy, physically and mentally. During the day, you might be very busy with routines that consume your energy. So it is better to fill yourself in the morning with energy. Really make time for this. Don’t let yourself get distracted especially during your morning hours. For me, morning hours is my golden time for the whole 24 hours. Let me not miss this golden time for my own self-care. For this, I don’t check my phone for the first few hours in the morning. I do not want to let myself (my mind) get distracted at the first place.
My morning routines include meditation and journaling. I found these two activities generate energy the most – emotional, mental and spiritual energy. These activities are for the mind, intellect and heart. These three are the faculties of the soul. So meditation and journaling are exercises for the soul. They make your soul (spirit) very strong. When your mind is strong, you will not get easily influenced by people nor situation. When your intellect is strong and deep, you can extract wisdom from your thoughts. When your heart is strong, you create faith in yourself and with this faith you have courage and hope. This is what you need in your everyday life, right?
For the body, I include a workout or a walk in my morning routine. How about you?
If you have to draw your energy levels from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed, how is it like?
When we just wake up, our energy level is definitely not low. Because at least our physical energy is just recovered through sleeping. Our body is in complete rest when we are sleeping. A good quality sleep is needed for a better recovery. Though our mind is not necessarily resting during sleeping.
During the day we are either creating energy or consuming energy through our physical activities and mental activities. “Mostly consuming energy” said a participant of a self care workshop I conducted last week. In the evening we might end our day having our energy level very low mentally and physically. We might feel so exhausted.
We need to take care our energy levels. We need to know when we over use our energy, when our energy gets drained, when we need to rest and recharge our battery. So we need to be aware of this. We need to develop this self awareness. This might be the first step to take care of the self.
We need energy to live. Energy is created, energy is used and it is replenished. Each one of us has the capacity to do this everyday. It has to do with how we are using our body and soul during the day. Most activities we have during the day is using our energy. You might feel very exhausted in the evening after having a very busy day. Your energy gets drained. You need to rest or sleep, because it is how you will take your energy back, your physical energy.
There are four dimensions of energy : 1. Physical (the body) : sleep, nutrition, day time rest, exercise 2. Emotional : happy positive and uplifting emotional state 3. Mental : focusing on one thing and one thing only 4. Spiritual (meaning or purpose) : this is the why you are doing what you are doing
How will you replenish your emotional, mental and spiritual energies?
When I conduct a journaling workshop, I always encourage the participants to practice writing right away. I usually ask them to remember one particular situation that happened recently that created a very strong feeling. When the feeling is strong enough then it is very easy to start writing it out. It could be positive feeling or negative feeling.
Most of the people find it a lot easier to write the negative one and it is okay. A participant expressed disagreement to me when it came to write a negative feeling. She said that by remembering a negative feeling and writing it, the feeling would become even stronger. Then it is against the purpose of journaling. Because the purpose of journaling is in fact to finish the negative feelings and empower the self.
How can journaling finish the negative feeling and empower the self? When you are writing a journal, you need to sit on the seat of the ‘real I’. You are listening to the ‘false I’, either the ‘depressed I’ or ‘the arrogant I’. This ‘false I’ is in fact the ego. The ego is false. It is the ego that creates the negative feeling. Let the ’false I’ speak about the situation and feeling clearly and honestly and let ‘the real I’ listen. She is a good listener. She is very patient, mature and wise. She always listens very carefully. When the ‘false I’ finishes speaking, let the ‘real I’ speak or share some wisdom to your situation. Let her empower you.
You are not the feeling. You are the creator of the feeling. The feeling is your creation, but your creation is not you. You will become very clear about this. You are distanced from your feeling. You are detached from your feeling. Because you are detached from the feeling, so you can observe the creation better. You can write it in a detached way.
When you write your journal in this detached way, as if you are an observer of what is happening inside you, the feeling will become weaker and the ‘real I’ become stronger. Become a detached observer. It is said that emotion dies under observation.