Wanna say something? Do this first.


I created a nifty guide to, well, talking. Here it is . . .


Of note might be the breathing. I encourage you to experiment. Do your own A/B testing, where you hold your breath sometimes, do these stabilizing breaths sometimes, or even breathe normally, as well (A/B/C testing). The challenge with this is that in order to truly test efficacy, you'd have to do your trials under the same conditions, and that's not likely to be possible. But don't let that stop you.


The purpose of the experiment is to get you on board with the notion of breathing deeply with long exhales (try for double the length of the inhales), to prime you to breathe (which then becomes a habit), and to alert you to the reality that you can probably talk a lot less.


About Talking Less . . .


A few days ago I was meeting with someone who was having a heck of a time. Very negative (for them) experience with a client who is now a former client. This person is a mindfulness practitioner who was admittedly "off" for a variety of reasons and knew that was the case. They went into what they were told wasn't going to be a good conversation (as in, the topic wasn't going to be fun to hear), and they did it anyway, knowing they were that weird combination of over-tired and over-caffeinated, with back pain that just wouldn't quit. Having the conversation at that moment was optional; it didn't have to happen. And yet, it did, as the advisor wasn't clear-headed due to the exhaustion, caffeine, and pain. Doing a Sound Check (taking a moment to check in on their internal experience) didn't occur to them, which is perfectly normal as our priorities get skewed when there's noise in our system.


The conversation was a mess, and the advisor could point to all their choice points and unskillful words and decisions.


You know what I said?


Nothing.


They already had the answers, and the more they spoke, the more answers they came up with. I had the same information, and each time there was a silence, with them very upset, I still did nothing. For someone else, I might have reaffirmed or consoled. But this person didn't need that from me at that moment. They just needed a listener. Non-judgmental, no analysis of the situation, verbiage, choice points, facts, and/or emotions. Just a listener.


How do I know that was the most skillful thing to do in that moment? I was grounded and calm and open. I heard the words and the emotion, and, as Gregory Kramer's Insight Dialogue process explains, I "trusted emergence." I trusted that what I needed to do would arise. And it did.


The advisor thanked me, I thanked them for sharing, and that was that.


Breathe more, be open, and say less.


May ease find you.

mm