09 Oct

Key Practice 2: the A-B-C of Relating

Heart-to-heart communication:  

This practice supports us in resting with both ourselves and others when relating, and connect heart to heart in any situation that may occur.

We live in a world where many of us focus more on getting heard and on offering our well-intended comments and advice, and spend less time, energy and focus on truly listening to ourselves and others.

When we focus most of our energy on being understood and heard by others, we tend to totally forget or be superficial in our listening. We then tend to listen more to our thoughts and interpretations of what the other is saying rather than to be really there for what is alive in the other in this moment.

This practice is an invitation to become a listener.

The A-B-C practice is communicating with the following three intentions in this below order:

The A-B-C of communication can help resolve most of our relationship difficulties, and help create the kind of heart connection we long for in every moment when relating with others.

The A-B-C of communication can help resolve most of our relationship difficulties, and help create the kind of heart connection we long for in every moment when relating with others.

Seek first to see, hear, feel and understand my own reaction to whatever the other is saying or doing.

This step represents self-empathy; allowing myself to experience the feelings and needs that are alive in me in this moment. It means using 1-2-3 on myself, noticing and allowing what is happening in my mind and body, choosing to rest into what is instead of reacting, indulging or suppressing my experience.

From this deeper connection with myself I can listen and act – respond – spontaneously and creatively in a supportive way in the situation.

Then to see, hear, feel and understand the other (or others.)

‘Understand’ here means, as it does in step A, to understand with my heart. In other words, to empathically connect with the feelings and needs alive in the other in this very moment. This is not mental understanding, interpretation or analysis, but simply resting into the reality as it is experienced by the other in this moment.

Then to express myself and be understood myself.

In this step we express ourselves honestly with the purpose of being true to ourselves, and in order to enable the other to see us and empathically connect with us in this moment. We express what is alive in us here and now, without placing the cause for what is being experienced on something outside ourselves. In other words, we take responsibility for and own our experience. This makes us masters of ourselves instead of victims of circumstances.

The more we express the feelings and true needs (longings) alive in us in this moment, rather than just sharing thoughts and viewpoints, the easier it will be for others to connect with us in a heartful rather than a mental way.

Step (C) is an offering as a gift our reality as it is being experienced by us in this moment. This offering may include the gift of making a request to the other.

A request is a gift because it offers the other a chance to willingly contribute to our well-being. The gift disappears when it is mixed with expectation and demand.

A-B-C keeps us anchored in restful awareness while relating. It helps us avoid the traps of victimhood, criticism, blame, expectations and demands that often infect our relating with each other. It enables mutual gift-giving and enrichment of life to take place as a dance between us, through the unique power of communication that we are gifted with.

In this way relating can be a celebration of our power to enrich each other´s life. Rather than relating being a struggle to get our sense of lack and limitations compensated for through others, or avoided through avoidance of others.