Healthy, Mindful Dialogue
Updated: May 3, 2020
Summer has definitely arrived! As I write, the heat index here in Columbus, OH is 98 degrees, which is significantly above normal! So I decided to postpone the much needed yard work and sit here in the air conditioning and do some writing!
Much like the outside temperature, the political climate also continues to be heated. I gave you some simple suggestions last week for managing stressful moments when discussions with loved ones might become a bit too passionate and you risk saying something you can never take back.
I’d like to expand on this topic a bit this week. By no means am I suggesting you avoid dialogue and discussion about our government and world events with your friends and family. Healthy dialogue is good! But take note of the key word – healthy. This can be quite difficult. I would go so far as to say it’s a skill that we have to learn and practice continually. A key component of having healthy dialogue is being able to listen to others. Truly listen. Remain curious about what their point of view is. You by no means have to agree, but maintaining mutual respect as fellow human beings must be part of the process.
One of the key places to start with a practice of healthy, mindful dialogue is developing the skill of self-awareness. Learning how to check in with your mood and noting how your mind and body feels is the first way to keep yourself from getting in a situation that could be challenging. Are you tired? Did you have a really tough week at the office? Are your kids driving you nuts? If you are in a low mood state (or a low “vibe” as some of us like to call it ☺), now is probably not a great time to engage in political debate. If someone attempts to engage you and you have learned how to quickly assess where you are mentally, you can respectfully suggest that because you had a tough week, you don’t think you could give them the courtesy of truly listening, and politely exit the conversation or change the subject.
Now you may be wondering…how can I become more aware of my mind/body state? Remember that thing we talked about last week? Your breath! I am just going to leave you with that, and we’ll pick up next week on ways to practice becoming more self-aware of your mood, and eventually even regulate it and control it with the amazing, ancient practice of meditation and breathwork.
Have a healthy & mindful week!