November 18, 2016
My wife and I are back from a four-day trip to CA to visit her mom, who is in her final chapter, maybe paragraphs, of life. What follows is a slightly edited version of notes I dictated this morning to my phone. After taking out the obvious goofy translations, I decided to post this to this blog, because, why not? No one need read it, but one can if it’s here, so, here it is. Editing is by far the most challenging aspect of writing for me (probably living, too!). If I publish a book or an essay, I’ll invest time in concision. For now, I’m simply going to share what I’m doing in this less-refined way, and see how that goes.
Among other things, I’m getting back to exploring, examining, reviewing, and thinking about communication. I’m renewing my R&D of Clarifying, Caring, Curious Communicating (“C-ing Communicating.” There are many other C words that go well before ‘communicating’, so I’m experimenting with simply calling it “C-ing –pronounced “seeing”– Communicating or Communication.” More later on that). I’m exploring how I can, how we can communicate better, and how that can foster flourishing and enjoyment for all of us.
One important element is learning to communicate using those “C” qualities with myself, that is, between the various points of view and patterns in this particular brain-mind-body. There is seemingly one particular, conscious, verbal aspect of mind that wants to call itself “I.” And the other Pods (Parts of Dave) appear to be fine with that. I applied that self-talk this morning as my “jackal” element (cf. NVC, which uses a Jackal to stand for that part of us which is aggressive, critical, impatient, etc.) was quite agitated about me not getting into gear. “We” had a “conversation” out loud, which led me eventually to prioritize this researching, writing and sharing about communication, in front of getting into the weekly review of getting things done, and getting things organized.
One of the essential elements of that conversation was to understand what Jackal was saying, feeling, and wanting. I ended up putting the clerical work that he was agitated about after this communication R&D, and at the same time “he” seemed fine about that, because he knows I’ll get to the processing of papers and other matters afterward with renewed enthusiasm.
This R&D process can be seemingly messy, which is to say that when one explores things that are not set in stone or completely understood, which many things are, especially in the realm of psychology and communication and wiggly subjects like that, there is no clear map. That was a long sentence.
So, communicating, and learning about communicating, is a practice, a skill that builds on itself, and that we learn to do over time, along with practicing with other people, and listening and being curious about ourselves.
So what am I doing? I’m learning about, researching, and applying, all that I reasonably can about communicating, influence, compliance, negotiation, and related matters. I’m sharing what I find in person, and with as widespread as I reasonably can. Or unreasonably can. May we have clarifying, caring, curious conversations: “C-ing communication.”