What does it mean to communicate consciously? Well, first let’s consider the very purpose of communicating. What does the word ‘communicate’ mean?
It is obvious, is it not? It literally means to come to a point of unity, to be ‘like one’ (com une), in a state of complete mutual understanding. In this state we feel that we are completely understood. We feel as though there are no obstacles between ourselves and others. It is a wonderful feeling.
Therefore our communications should always bring us together in this way, because that is their very purpose. But do they always do this? Often they do the exact opposite – they create conflict, hostility and a sense of separation between us and others. Why is this? It is due to what we are choosing to communicate and where – in ourselves – we are choosing to communicate from. This is where we need to bring in more consciousness.
We all know how important it is to communicate with honesty, but does this simply mean telling people what you really think? Many people believe it does, yet thoughts and thinking actually occur on a very superficial level of our being. When we share our thoughts with others we are often just expressing our opinion, and because opinions come from the realm of the mind they can often be insensitive, unkind and harsh.
Opinions are plentiful in this world. We agree with some of them and disagree with many of them. This is due to the fact that opinions come from the realm of thought – a realm of duality and conflict, contradiction and inconsistency. Because of this, opinions can never, ever bring universal harmony.
Opinions are simply thoughts which we identify with and say “I believe this.” We invest part of ourselves into them, which is why we can become very defensive if someone criticises our opinion. We feel as though they are criticising us and what we believe is important in life. Our instinctive reaction is to raise our defences and strengthen our position. A sense of hostility arises within us, as we feel that part of who we are (our beliefs) are threatened. And we all know where this leads to… Conflict.
Have you ever been involved in a discussion, and everyone has a different opinion? It can easily become more of an argument than a discussion. Opinions often lead to disagreements, conflict, arguments and hostility of varying degrees. We really want to avoid such disharmonious experiences because they can affect us – sometimes quite strongly – in very negative ways. Usually after being involved in conflict, we carry a residue of disharmony around with us, mentally and emotionally – sometimes without realising it and sometimes for a long time.
So how can we guarantee that we avoid conflict and hostility in our communications, and consequently, in our Life? We must communicate from a deeper level than the mind. We must communicate something more to others than just our thoughts and opinions. We must strive to communicate to others from our heart.
This does not mean pouring out our emotions all the time, or being “lovey-dovey” with everyone we meet. Communicating from our heart means communicating honestly, attentively, sensitively and compassionately. Even when our emotions are strong – like anger – we can be careful not to project them onto another and apportion blame for things that we feel have upset us. This is easy to say, but when anger or frustration bubble over it requires us to be aware enough to take responsibility for what we are feeling, rather than blame another.
When we blame another, we give away our power to choose what we experience, and we position ourselves at the mercy of others. We then require others to treat us correctly to prevent ourself from experiencing anything that we might call a ‘negative’ emotion. This makes us feeling timid, emotionally delicate and afraid of the treatment of others. Such a power game (which is what it truly is, even if we are giving our power away) only prevents us from experiencing freedom.
By taking full responsibility for what we feel, we reclaim the power to prevent negative feelings occurring in our life. And we can prevent them. It is how we respond to things that leads to how we feel, and we always have a choice about how we respond to things, even if it feels like we are compelled to react in certain ways.
By developing our inner strength – that is, the strength of our heart – we become more grounded and stable in our sense of peace. This means that we are able to remain centred, to keep our attention in a peaceful place within us and remain unmoved when people are being unkind, hostile, judgemental and so on. This is true strength – the strength of our heart – which paradoxically has a deep gentleness to it. We can learn to communicate from this place of gentle strength.
When we communicate from our heart about what really matters to us (and why waste our time communicating about what does not matter?) there is a depth and passion present in our communication that reaches out to the depth and passion of the other person, or people. Whatever level we communicate from will be aroused within the listener, and they will be encouraged to communicate on the same level.
Heartfelt communications can be strong because there is deep passion in every heart, but they will never be unkind. It is only the mind which is unkind. When we are focussed on honouring and expressing what we are feeling internally, and putting it into words for others to understand, there is no desire to create disharmony. We are simply striving for harmony, inwardly and outwardly.
When we focus on other people, on their beliefs and their actions, it is far easier for us to become judgemental and unkind. Why? Because we are not in touch with the deeper part of ourselves. Our focus is actually outside of ourselves, looking at others. This is one of the mind’s favourite games – to talk about others (usually behind their backs) and pass judgment upon them. This creates within our mind a sense of righteousness that satisfies the minds need for hierarchy.
The mind and the ego like to take a position of either superiority or inferiority. By doing this they can continue to feed the sense of separation between us and others – a sense of being different, better than or less than. This is not ‘communication’ in its truest sense. This is actually division. Do we really want to experience this any more? Because this is not the truth, it is simply the reality we choose by ‘communicating’ from our mind.
All human beings have a strong, innate desire for happiness, freedom and fulfilment, yet many have forgotten how to experience these things. When we separate ourselves from others and create distance between ourselves and them, we are virtually guaranteeing unhappiness for ourselves.
Because it is in joining with others, making friends, maintaining friendships and deepening them that we realise what is important in life, what makes us happy, what nourishes our heart. We are social creatures who need human warmth and positive interaction with others. Life is a shared experience, and we need to share it. But this can only happen if we open up to doing so.
We must remember the importance of sharing the goodness of life together – happiness, health, fun, enjoyment. Often people get together in negativity, and share their complaints about all the things that are wrong with the world, talk negatively about other people or talk about the negative agendas of other groups of people. This is what creates unhappiness and spreads it around. This is what feeds our feelings of separateness, loneliness and fear.
Imagine if we never spoke negatively. Imagine if we never allowed ourselves to speak badly of another person. Imagine if we refused to get drawn into the ‘complaining mentality’, and instead kept our mind focussed on creating the positive experiences that we want. Because, put simply, positivity creates happiness. Negativity creates unhappiness.
So this is why it is imperative that we become conscious of our communications. They can spread positive energy and influence many, many people in a powerful and beautiful way. If you communicate positivity to a person, you will influence them to do the same in their communications, and they in turn will influence the people that they communicate with. It is exponential.
It is impossible to fully understand the powerful effect of the words we speak on the world around us. And not only the words, but the energy with which we communicate them. Kind words are not enough by themselves. They need to come from a kind feeling within us, from our care for others, from our heart.
Equally, sometimes we have a feeling to help another, a feeling to express kindness, but we hold back and say or do nothing. Kindness is such a powerful and benevolent force that we should always let it flow outwards, through our words and actions, because it will never have a detrimental effect. Of course, it may be rejected, but if it is not than something special has occurred. An act of kindness should never be underestimated, or undervalued. It like a rare a precious jewel. Such jewels should be handed out freely. Then we will all feel the richness they bring us, and which they inspire us to share with others,
It is paramount in our communications that we communicate with respect and sensitivity toward the people or persons we are communicating with.
Another aspect of conscious communication is maintaining an awareness of who you are communicating with, and being responsive to how your communication is being received.
Often people speak without realising or caring about the effect of what they are saying on the other. Or they may talk and talk without leaving space for a response from the listener, perhaps assuming that what they are saying is more important than anything that anyone else might want to say. It is very important to communicate with sensitivity for others. If we do this, a more compassionate and interactive communication can occur. Communicating in this way brings a depth, an openness and also and sense of humility that benefits us, and others greatly.
If we are not communicating with sensitivity and awareness, it often means that we are just venting something – expressing an energy that has created disharmony with us, like anger or irritation. Expressing oneself in this way is not communication, it is just expression, and can be done without the need for another human being to be on the receiving end. In fact, it is probably best that nobody is, because unless that person is very conscious, they will simply take on board the disharmony that you are expressing. Nobody needs to be given more disharmony to deal with, and if we are careful with our expressions we can ensure this does not occur.
Venting anger is not the best way of responding to anger. If you feel like you must express a frustrated energy, (i.e. a build up of anger) then go outside and run, or do something very physical, like digging. This is the best way to express a strong energy like anger. Let it motivate you – creatively not destructively. There is absolutely no need to kick anything, break anything or shout out in rage, although you have that freedom if you really want to. But remember, for every action and for every expression, there are natural consequences.
How do we experience a sense of equality and understanding with others? What is the common ground that we all share? It is our humanity, the fact that we feel, that we care. Yes, we often have different emotions, but these are actually what unite us. Everyone has experienced sadness. Everyone has experienced anger. Everyone has experienced loneliness. Everyone wants to be happy and share their happiness. Everybody want to enjoy life and experience what life is really about.
These are the shared desires and shared experiences that form a strong common bond between us all, and when we focus on these instead of perceived differences, a sense of togetherness, understanding and compassion for others arises within us. This is the place where we are all the same. We all have a heart. We all care about something. If we focus on the fact that we do care, we can easily see the goodness within ourselves, and it is easy to see it others too.
Yes, we all make ‘mistakes’. We all express ourselves in inappropriate or hurtful ways sometimes. Again, this we all share, because it is human nature. We are all still learning to be tolerant, compassionate and sensitive individuals. So we need to be patient with ourselves, and not punish ourselves if we make mistakes. Always ask yourself this question: What is your underlying intention? Is it truly to hurt others and create more suffering in the world? I very much doubt it. Often, it is just to be happy, to try and experience some peace, or relief from the thoughts and emotions that disturb our peace.
It is said that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” but this is highly inaccurate. Good intentions are the rock-solid foundation upon which we build our life. Good actions flow from good intentions, and good intentions come from our heart. If you do not have good intentions, you can be sure you are in the grip of your ego, which selfishly just wants to get what it wants, usually for the purposes of keeping us in unconsciousness.
Why does the ego want this? Because it wants to continue to exist and run (and ruin) our life, yet it can only exist in the state of separation, which is illusory. The ego wants us to remain unconscious of what is real, so that we continue to invest our awareness in what is unreal – the ego’s realm. Only through us doing this can the ego continue to exist. Yet we have the freedom not to do this.
If we are constantly giving the ego what it wants, it will grow and begin to dominate our life, fuelling selfishness and creating further isolation and unhappiness for us, as it has always done. And whilst we are responding to the endless desires of our ego, we are deaf to the vital communication of our heart, which is calling us in another direction.
Our heart is calling us to come back the harmony that exists within us, and to share this harmony through all our communications and amongst the people we spend our time with. Our heart knows that we are not truly separate. Every little thing we say, do, and think influences those around us, often on an invisible level. Yes, we do appear to be separate when you look on the surface at the external shell we call a ‘body’. But the body is simply the home for our consciousness, and consciousness is not limited to being contained within a body. It spreads out, so that we are aware of things beyond our body. Like collective harmony, for example.
We can be in a room with a group of people and feel whether there is a sense of harmony present or not. We are sensing the very real, non-physical interaction between the energy fields of all the people who are present. Each energy field contributes to the collective field that is created when people gather together. This is why it is important that we cultivate a sense of harmony within ourselves, because then that is what we will be contributing wherever we go, influencing all those who we encounter.
Collective consciousness is like a large pool of water that we are all immersed in. Each person, depending on their internal state of harmony (or disharmony) is either making the water warmer for everyone else or colder. When we are in a positive state, we make the water warmer. When we are in a negative state, or if our awareness is absorbed in thinking, we make the water colder for everyone.
This is a very accurate analogy, because collective consciousness is a pool of awareness that we all share. This is how we are all connected. Yes our bodies are separate, but our minds are not. And what about our hearts? What about Love? At some point in our lives we have all experienced the beauty of losing ourself in Love, even if it is just a distant memory. In Love, the ego disappears, and our awareness becomes immersed in the deepest harmony and warmth imaginable. This is accompanied by a deep desire to give, to be selfless. When in Love with another, there are no barriers or boundaries. We seem to merge into one beautiful heart, where the feeling of Love is our reality, our sole focus and total priority. It is beyond the physical level, beyond the sexual level, beyond the sensual level. It is a deeply spiritual experience.
This can be experienced in a group also. For example, in a room of people who are meditating together and bringing their attention out of their mind, back into the harmony and peace of their heart. A collective energy field of Love is felt, beyond the personal sense. There is a wonderful sense of expansiveness, of limitlessness, of being an important part of something much bigger than ourselves. Something so beautiful and radiant that it is beyond words.
Imagine if everyone on the planet felt their part in this greater whole. Indeed, this is exactly what is happening globally, as people remember the value of kindness, compassion, collective harmony and personal peace. Human consciousness is shifting from ‘separation consciousness’, in which we are all focussed on the apparent division between us, toward ‘unity consciousness’, where we are aware of being a part of the greater whole.
Love is the guiding force behind this shift in awareness, because Love IS that greater whole. We are all becoming aware of this, in our own ways and at our own speed. And because Love is simply the Truth of life – the highest truth – then becoming aware of it is unavoidable. This is the greatest news imaginable. We are being called home – or it would be more accurate to say our awareness is being called home – to Love, where it belongs.
This journey requires no effort. It just requires that we stay alert and aware that we do not take ourselves back into the illusory perspective of separation – a purely mental realm of isolation and loneliness. The good news is that this realm is not real – just an unreality that we have collectively been experiencing for a seemingly long, long time. But it doesn’t matter how long humanity has lived in illusion, because time is also part of that illusion. What matters is our tangible experience of being more than our thoughts, more than our emotions, more than our body. Something greater.
Our awareness expands beyond all of these things when it enters our heart, which is the gateway to our spiritual nature as a being of Love. This is the reality of who we are, and as we experience this, there is no desire to be anywhere else. Because, in truth, everywhere else is just a insubstantial and empty mental landscape, like the clouds in the sky. It cannot fulfil us and it cannot harm us, because it exists only in our mind, sustained only by thought. It is the dream, from which we are all slowly awakening. We are finally waking up to the beautiful truth of who we really are and what is truly real in this world. Love.