Communication is a critical skill to develop in our lives. It is what allows us to receive and send messages, whether those be the inner dialogue within your own Heart and mind, or outside of yourself to one or many. It is like a multi-faceted jewel reflecting what we wish to express in all directions and dimensions simultaneously. It can build bridges amongst people, or tear them apart. Here I will focus on in-person and verbal communication.
One of the most essential forms of clear communication that needs to be established is that of the Voice Within. In Native American teachings it is said to be the Voice of Great Spirit that lives within you. It is the “place” where you can become centered and grounded. It allows you to differentiate your own soul, feelings, and thoughts vs. that of others so that healthy boundaries can be created. The best way to develop this is through meditation or practicing mindful movement such as yoga, or Tai Chi. I speak about how to develop this in detail in my “Introspection” Power Word and mp3 released in January 2016. Knowing where you begin and end will give you security and confidence.
Listening is a key component of communication. It is said that Great Spirit gave us two eyes, two ears and one mouth. This means that we should see and listen twice as much as we should speak. This means being fully present whenever something is being shared with you. It means focusing on what is being presented without judgment. Really listening is not being distracted by impatiently waiting for when you get to say what you wish to say. Listen with your entire being so that way you may capture what is being expressed energetically without words. I include with this being observant of what is going on in the environment, because this can influence what is being communicated. By developing this skill, you will have a much more complete picture of what is going on around you.
Just as you should listen with your entire being, be aware that you always are communicating with your entire being whether you’re conscious of it or not. Many times it is what is not said that people remember most.
First and final impressions are lasting, so it is important for you to be clear what you want to relay. Let me be very clear here: This is NOT about pleasing people! It is about expressing yourself and what you want to say authentically in a manner that will convey exactly what you mean.
Consider where and to whom you’ll be connecting with. Where appropriate, factor in environment and cultural influences. If this is a professional meeting, then keep in mind that each place has its own work culture too. Let me give you an example: Many times I’m asked to do cultural presentations. If I’m at an elementary school, I’ll dress as the quintessential Native American storyteller. If I’m lecturing to a college crowd, I’ll dress as one would expect a teacher of this culture to dress, but I’ll have my tribal insignia. If I’m at a pow-wow or sacred ceremony, then I’ll dress in full traditional tribal regalia. My manner of speech would cater to the group’s level of understanding without sacrificing the feeling, energy and essence of what I want to say. By making an extra effort to reach others in a way that is comfortable to them will make them more receptive to you.
Each one of us is a world within ourselves, each group an entity unto itself. As such, even with the best of intentions and planning miscommunication happens from time to time. Handle these moments with grace, tolerance, and forgiveness. Not doing so can cause a simple misunderstanding to escalate into painful fallouts, or rifts in relationships. If possible, start over using a different tactic and begin from a point of reference that your listener can understand. Then, ask the other party what they captured so you know what to address.
Communicating is a dynamic process! How you conduct yourself, your mood, and your body language will affect how others receive you, and what you’re relaying.
Communication Part II will focus on how better to connect with others beyond the present moment and how to handle others who may not be open to you. It will also have an mp3 support that will help you to better develop these skill.
Eagle Skyfire is a Native American shaman, seer, spiritual teacher and ceremonial leader. Her mastery of these practices allows her to empower people deeply in transforming their lives, and to gain deeper understanding of their soul’s purpose. Connect @EagleSkyfire, via Facebook, LinkedIn, or visit www.eagleskyfire.com.
All material written or recorded is the exclusive intellectual property of Eagle Skyfire.