"Don't part with your dreams - when they are gone you may still exist but you will have ceased to live" - Mark Twain

"Do you know that this blog wouldn't exist if it wasn't for you being here to read it!?" - Bobby Gill

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Communication - Who's Responsible?

'Communication' is derived from the Latin word 'communis', which means 'to make common' and thus 'to make known', the same thing.  So the communication depends on our ability to understand the other person's point of view.
Good communication skills are necessary to creating and maintaining strong friendships, networks and contacts.

When you say something, it includes all your experience and filters.  When the message is received, it is perceived through the experience/filters of the person listening (and through their thoughts and little voice) before it is decoded by them.  You then get a response which shows if your message was received as it had been intended.
It helps if you speak in terms the other person will understand and you can elicit this by asking questions.

For good communication it requires both parties to actively listen, ask questions, answer them and respect the other person's model of the world.

With regards to the communication of the message, is it your responsibility or theirs?
Who is responsible for the perception and decoding?

What are the blocks to communication?
Not listening, not asking questions, not answering questions and forcing your model of the world on the other person.

Sometimes people say they want things but they really don't.  Questions are the best way to find out information. Their responses to questions and actions give them away.  If someone truly wanted something and was willing to accept your help, they'd listen to you and be prepared to give it a go - as it might get them the results they want.  When they won't answer the questions, start making excuses (disguised as reasons), then they are more committed to the way things are than to change.

Also people always know better themselves, from experience and are happier to continue doing what they've always done. It does mean they'll always get what they've got but that doesn't matter as it is easier and right to be that way for them.  They prefer their experience, model and what they 'know' to be true more than being open to any new information.

In practice coaching sessions with others, the instructor might have told you to be a good client - but what happens when someone chooses not to be a good client or prefers to make things hard - is the failing yours or theirs?

Have you ever noticed how family and loved ones and those close to you seem to ignore what you say?
Yet if a stranger comes up and says something you've already mentioned they are more likely to action or believe it.  Of course this only applies once they've established 'some' basic trust with those strangers.

It's not that they don't care, they have just taken you for granted because it is 'you' and that's the way you always are.  The other people and 'strangers' - who they don't know well enough to realise they are humans too and no better (or worse) than you or I.  

On a sidenote: I realised a while ago there is no point in helping someone who does not want your help. This decision made life so much easier and should be something that everyone thinks about carefully.

In coaching they say you should 'sack' your clients that don't want to be held accountable and make things difficult.  With family it's not so easy to 'sack' them.

The easier way to deal with these situations is to spend less time discussing matters with those that have taken you for granted.  Then next time you communicate they may value what you have to say more, if they've missed you.
If they don't though, then no worries.  They might eventually 'sack' you if you're lucky!

Do your best to communicate the best way you can and don't take the responsibility for the other people you talk to.  Like dancing it takes two to tango and have a meaningful communication!

Want people to listen? From the example of my friend Silent Bob - it might be best to talk less and only speak when it's important.  Then what you say will have a huge impact!
Jay of course disagrees but he's not a very good listener either.

(Here's a clip for Kevin Smith fans, expletives are for shock value only)


Wednesday, 9 November 2011

11:11:11 for Change and The Age of Aquarius

What is so special about 11th November 2011? Just because the numbers are all 1's based on a calendar invented around 2000 years ago? I'm not sure either but if some say it is auspicious, we should take all the good luck and positive vibes we can from it.

Looking at the Bigger picture, it is also the Age of Aquarius. Yes, when I'm not focusing on the little details I often float up and look at the bigger canvas.

Recently, for me at least, it has been a challenging time for being understood by others, even when I only state the obvious and truth. I've always been able to grasp new technology, systems and ideas easily, ahead of the curve. As time has speeded up, new trends come even faster as the latest, shiniest thing is obsolete, as soon as it is introduced. I thought I was born too early for my time due to not being able to show everyone the easier, simpler, truer way that things are.  I knew the answer to many things without having to think about it too much or over-analyse.  Thinking too much causes us to come unstuck and ego takes over, then the results are never pretty.

But as I'm discovering more and more every day, maybe I'm not too early, perhaps I'm just leading the way.  Why do I say that? Because my beliefs echo those described in the article below and always have done.

Now in the Age of Aquarius (or changing times or modern times or whatever makes you comfortable talking about 'the present') things are rapidly in transition to my way of life from the stagnant way that many people have been stuck in.

Hierarchies of control will give way to flatter and fairer structure of networks and information.  Just like the internet you're using, sharing information provided to you with friends and colleagues - to make things better for all.  Everyone has a voice that should be heard, it is our own responsibility to speak up and out loud.  It is up to us to shine brightly for others to see.  New leaders will rise.

We all need to embrace the change and polarities of good and bad that we are seeing, the honest and the dishonest, the truth we all understand versus legal double speak.  During these rapidly changing times you just need to be able to keep your own balance and focus, whilst everything appears to be falling apart, ready to rebuild itself better.  Stay true to yourself and those around you, don't get sucked into the media pop-News of doom and Political promises.  The leaders will rise from everyday people DOing what they know to be right and BEing the best they can be.

Is it time for a new calendar? Maybe or maybe not,  although it is definitely a time to being and doing things the new way, a different way and a better way for everyone.  Remember, a lot of spiritual people will agree everything was just preparation to kick it up a gear on 11th November 2011.  And even if you're not spiritual, (unless you like the way things are), it is definitely as good a day as any to CHANGE!

Like my friend Gandhi said "BE the Change that you want to see in the World!"


By Santokh Singh Khalsa, D.C.
What are these ages? Astronomers will tell you that the Earth rotates on an axis and that this line going through the center of the earth has a slight wobble to it. It goes through a little circular wobble about once every 24,000 years. This cycle has been broken into 12 parts associated with the 12 astrological signs, based on which constellation the axis is wobbling towards. From around 2000 B.C. to 0 A.D. we were in the Age of Taurus. From 0 A.D. to the present we have been in the Age of Pisces. For the next 2000 years we will be in the Aquarian Age. We have been in the transition from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age for the last 50 years. The official beginning of the Aquarian Age is November 11, 2011 or 11/11/11. Some people have set this date as December 21, 2012. Considering that this is a 2000 year cycle, no matter which date you accept, we are in for lots of change in the near future!
Why is this so important? Many people go their whole lives not caring or knowing if they are a Pisces, or a Gemini, or what their moon or rising sign is. This change to the Aquarian age is so important because it changes the astrological conditions for the entire planet. Every person on planet Earth has been and will be affected by this shift. Let’s investigate what will be changing.
The Piscean Age has been dominated by hierarchy, and power. The key phrase for this age was from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “To be or not to be.” To make a successful and happy life, you needed to resolve this question. The key to the astrological sign Pisces is “I believe.” During this age, in order for you “to be,” you needed to find someone or something to believe in. When you found that thing, you attached yourself to that thing and were guided how to live. This could be a religion, a political ideology, a charismatic leader, work, etc. The keys to life were hidden and secret in the halls of power and in the monasteries and ashrams. But you didn’t need to know these secrets, only to follow leaders and guides who did. This created vertical hierarchies as a result, and it was essential to find your place in the pecking order.
This has been the foundation for human consciousness for the past 2000 years. Everything that you have learned from your parents, and they from their parents, going back 2000 years, has been colored by this Piscean frame of reference. And now that is all changing.
The Aquarian Age will be dominated by networks, and information. The key phrase for this age is “Be to be.” The key to the astrological sign Aquarius is “I know.” This is the age of information. Nothing is secret anymore. All information is available at your fingertips. Where the Piscean age was organized in a vertical, up and down structure of hierarchies, the Aquarian Age is organized in a horizontal network, opening the world up to true equality.During this age, the focus is no longer on your identity and existence (“to be or not to be”), but on accepting yourself as a whole person (“be to be”) who does not need to believe in something outside of yourself. You are ready to accept that you have the knowledge and wisdom within yourself. It is no longer necessary to attach to something outside yourself, but to become a leader of one: yourself. Instead of being a railroad car that is pulled by an engine, you become your own engine. It is your responsibility to stay on the tracks and to keep moving forward.
With this understanding, it is easier to comprehend what has been happening in the world over the last 50 years. On the inner level, since the 1960’s, there has been a huge movement towards personal transformation: self awareness, self improvement, yoga, meditation, tai chi, alternative healing, natural foods, etc. There has also been a major increase in depression, suicide, anxiety, stress, and drug use, both pharmaceutical and recreational.
In the outer world, we have seen amazing changes: civil rights, environmental consciousness, women’s rights, gay rights, global consciousness, etc. We have also seen the rise of fundamentalism, terrorism, partisan politics, racism, xenophobia (the fear of the “other”), and general fear mongering.
This shift is bringing out the best and the worst in mankind. Some people are preparing for this shift by opening their hearts and minds and embracing this new age, and some people are intimidated by the changes that they don’t understand and want to return to a “golden age” in the past, or to circle the wagons and trust only those who are like themselves.
Transformation is never a painless process. When you fast or cleanse to purify your body, at first you feel worse, because toxins get stirred up in order to be eliminated. Once these poisons have been cleared, you feel lighter and more energized. Now imagine that every person on planet Earth is going through this shift. We are heading into a time of radical change. It is a time of great potential growth and expansion, but it is also a time of great potential pain and suffering. The more that you understand what is happening, the more that you can go through all of the changes without losing your balance and stability.
What can you do to help make this transition into this new age of information and consciousness? Here are some suggestions:
1. Have a daily spiritual practice. Every spiritual tradition has one thing in common: a daily practice. This can be many different things: yoga, meditation, chanting, prayer, contemplation, exercise, journaling, etc. It is not important what you are doing, but that you do something almost every day, and do it with an intention to let go of your blocks and focus your consciousness. Kundalini yoga and meditation are the most powerful tools that I have found, but everyone must find their own pathway and collect the tools for their own toolbox.
2. Don’t give in to fear, despair, or anger. There is so much happening that can trigger these emotions: the media, the environment, politics, terrorism, etc. If you understand that these emotions are all symptoms of the Aquarian shift, then you can go through them without losing your center.
3. Don’t be a victim. You have the power to change your life. Don’t give that power away to anyone through blame or resentment. You are responsible for your happiness and grace. Don’t buy into any view of reality in which you are not 100% responsible for making your life work. The Aquarian Age is all about empowerment and consciousness.
4. Be a source of light. The more people who consciously choose to embrace the Aquarian shift, the easier this transformation will go for humanity. It is a spiritual truth that a small percentage of people who have shifted their consciousness can influence the rest of humanity. If you are reading this, then you are most likely one of these pioneers. Find a way to spread your light: teach, heal, create community networks, serve, sacrifice, love. Welcome to the Aquarian Age!

Article by Santokh Singh Khalsa - www.khalsachiropracticpasadena.com