The Three Conversations is part of a larger process for
transforming experience into wisdom, living life beautifully,
making your unique contribution to the world,
and leaving behind a meaningful legacy.
I call this process:
Wording the World
We are all engaged in three great conversations: a conversation with our self, a conversation with others, and a conversation with life. Ideally, these conversations are genuine dialogues, in which we are learning from and contributing to each particular relationship. It is through these dialogues that we find our place and our path in life and, ultimately, our core intention(s). When the three conversations complement and support each other, we enter a sweet spot and things naturally go our way as if providence is in our favor and all the stars align for our destiny.
But, for so many of us, these conversations are not dialogues but monologues. We are telling life, others, and ourselves how it or they should be. Worse, the conversation turns into an argument, a battleground for a position or a defense against perceived injustice or mistreatment. We engage in a literal or metaphorical war with ourselves, with others, and with life. This incongruity, this splitting of oneself and disconnection from life, naturally results in mixed messages and mixed results in life.
The secret to success in all three conversations is to learn the art of deep listening and active engagement. Deep listening occurs when you truly turn your attention to the other. In this case, the other could be your own self, or life, as well as other people or animals. Deep listening goes beyond hearing or seeing signs and includes a fundamental and profound intent to understand. It includes a cluster of beliefs that “this” (the moment, the relationship, the message) is important; this has high potential value to me personally, and this is a profound learning opportunity.
Deep listening usually requires a kind of inner stillness or silence although this is not necessary. Sometimes the message you need to hear comes in the chatter and clutter of your own mind. Quieting yourself is, however, a good practice to begin engaging in these three conversations. Active engagement includes activities that open you to surprise. One part of this is dropping your own agenda and setting aside expectations. Creative work; such as writing, drawing, sculpting, dancing, etc.; is another method. The goal is to create a state and a space that is open to receiving something new, which is necessary for genuine two-way dialogue in all three cases.
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