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A Woman Alive

June 29th, 2017
by Diane

July Monthly Activity

Please share your experience with these activities
through out the next month.
Share Your Story on my Website.

The Open-Ended Question versus the Assumption!

We cultivate assumptions in our relationships pretty regularly. I found this example of how to re-work our communication to cultivate clarity rather then assumption. Read through the example and then find places this month where you are making assumptions and work to clarify with asking open and non-judgmental questions.

EXAMPLE:

My teenage daughter has a curfew. Lately she has been late – she has a new boyfriend and I think that is likely the problem. He lives on an acreage and I know there have been a lot of parties in that area. The police have been out there. I don’t know his family. I am worried that she is going to get hurt by a drunk driver or get herself into an unsafe situation. Her curfew is midnight and it is now 1:00AM and she hasn’t called. Why did I get her that cell phone anyway?! Has she been drinking? Why hasn’t she called? I am going out of my mind!!!! Daughter walks in looking haggard.

Take one:     I blast her for being late and tell her she is grounded for a month and she has to stop seeing her boyfriend. Doesn’t she get it?

She walks stone faced up to her room.

Take two:      (Open Question)  I say, “Hi. I am glad you are home safe. It has been an hour after curfew – I hadn’t heard from you and I was worried, and I am wondering what happened.”

Daughter: “I’m sorry Mom. I was on my way home when Annie called me. She was talking crazy. She said she was going to take some pills. She just broke up with her boyfriend, so I went over to her place and talked with her and made sure she wasn’t going to do anything stupid. Her parents are away this week. I called her older brother and he came over and is staying with her. I am really worried about her.”

FROM: Gary Harper, The Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains, and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home (Gabriola Island, BC; New Society Publishers, 2004) at p 48 and 49.

June 29th, 2017
by Diane

July Daily Ritual

OBSERVE YOUR THOUGHTS: 5 Minutes a Day

Share your experience with the Daily Ritual
on our Facebook Page.

Learn to Observe Your Thoughts rather then reacting to your thoughts.

This is why I love Savasana at the end of every yoga practice. We lay on our backs and just let go into stillness and quiet. It is a great place to notice thoughts. They come in, they go away. There is no reaction, nothing to do except observe their passing. I like to say at the end of my classes, “allow your thoughts to flow through your mind like a river – you notice them and they just float away on the current.”

For the next 30 days make a commitment to sit in stillness for 5 minutes a day. Focus on your breath (counting), a word or a phrase. Notice when a thought comes in and distracts you. Instead of continuing with that thought go back to the breath or the mantra. This is observing your thoughts. And the more you practice the more you will be able to notice when you are making an assumption and switch gears to clear communication!

June 29th, 2017
by Diane

Don’t Make Assumptions

How and where do we make assumptions in our lives? Ahh – let me name a few examples you may be able to relate to:

  • We assume we know an answer so we do not ask the question.
  • We assume we know the result so we do not even try.
  • We assume what other people are thinking and we take it personally.
  • We assume something to be true and do not seek out our own truth.

We make assumptions to explain things to ourselves. We make assumptions because we do not have the courage to ask the questions. We make assumptions because somehow we believe people should know automatically how we feel, what we are thinking or why we are acting a certain way.

  • Making assumptions leads to misunderstanding and miscommunication.
  • Making assumptions often allows us to cast blame on others.
  • Making assumptions enables us to be the victim.

I am vividly aware of how I make assumptions in my own life. My daughter just graduated college and is now in LA, started a new job and in the first months of her new adult life. Every piece of me wants a constant up date, to hear about her job, to know how she is doing, how is the commute….. Mostly I just want my own fears for her to be squelched by her telling me everyday that everything is okay!

However – my daughter is on a communication hiatus. And of course my mind decides to run wild with all sorts of crazy assumptions: She is upset with me for something I did. She is in some kind of trouble and avoiding talking about it. She is really unhappy and does not want to share that with me. I could write a paragraph about the things that are going through my mind.   All of these assumptions are swirling and spinning in my head everyday creating a lot of chaos, some raw emotions and making me mad that she does not WANT to speak with me (another assumption.) Read more »

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