Nonviolent communication (NVC) is based in ahimsa (non-harming to yourself and others) teaches "how to put the values of right speech and satya into practice, so we can use speech to deepen our spiritual practice and carry that practice into a heartfelt connection with others." (J Lasater, What we say matters) Just when I think I'm making some progress in this area... I catch myself saying the first thing that pops into my head. (I don't think you want examples... but just today, buying a $7 lunch, I said, "wow, that's expensive! It better be good!" And, earlier, to my son, "You didn't wake your brother up AGAIN, did you?" (while I could have said, something much less accusatory. sigh...) Then, I had to follow up with "please don't shoot your brother in the head with the bow and arrow, aim for something less likely to shoot back!" It's just the kind of morning we tend to have.)
I find it dangerous to speak words better not said (words are power and come from an overflow of what is in the heart) and not beneficial to myself or those around me. To be able to speak the truth (satya) in a way that communicates a message that the other person understands (not simply what they hear you say, but when what you say conveys the message that you intend for the person to comprehend). I'm learning to speak less and less. The whole, God gave me 2 ears and only one mouth-rule.
Nonverbal communication... now that's a whole different trip all-together. I've been told that my face speaks volumes. I've never been good at hiding how I feel. It's generally written all over my face. Our body language speaks loudly what our heart says-- arms crossed (not open to hearing the other person), open face and stance (receptive to hearing), smile, frown.... I think sometimes we mis-interpret quiet for arrogance or loudness for ignorance. What would the world be like, if every person you saw- you smiled at. Try it. Whoever you pass, see, encounter today, smile. You don't have to say a word. Now I'm not talkin about the fake smile... but the kind that makes your eyes crinkle around the edges.
I took partner yoga yesterday with one of my eager to learn more yoga students, Manny. It's been really cool to watch him and many of my other students who are so new to yoga begin to really take it and transform. Just lovely.
For the first class that we took together, they had us sit back to back and simply breath. Listen to the other person's breath. Could we breath in sync? Then, as we progressed, flow in a sequence without words and lightly touch a heel or hand, then offer a hand for a simple stretch (in reverse warrior). Then, we flew. One is the flier, the other the base. Out of pure strength, Manny was the base more than I think he wanted to be... but well, you can see the photos... I think I now love to fly. And, communication, it's critical. Key word: down! Had to use it several times. : ) Thanks Manny- would happily be your yoga partner any day! And, thank you, Jenna for great photos!!