I often use the word “navigate” to describe my suggested approach to our changing, and often tumultuous world. With intention and awareness, you can consciously choose your destination. Yet, even with a clear goal, the journey to arrive is often unpredictable and challenging.
Sometimes you need a laser beam of focus to see through all of the disturbances and keep “on track.”
In this article, I would like to offer you a “laser beam” for navigating with a deep and heart-centered perspective despite all of the disturbances enacted around you. I call it “purposeful communication.” Purposeful communication was born of my desire to NOT be used as a garbage disposal unit for others’ unprocessed energy, emotions, and thought forms. Sound like a good idea?
With this approach, I invite you to rethink your mental, emotional, and energetic expressions, and how you engage with others. And, of course, how others engage with you …
All of the stuff that people say
The inspiration for my approach of “purposeful communication” is all of the distressed and frustrated expressions that I have been experiencing around me since the COVID-19 crisis began. I don’t need to elaborate that there are many people who are expressing unhappiness, anger, fear, and all sorts of inner strife.
Most do not recognize that much — and probably most — of their experience is self-generated from their own reactions to beliefs, expectations, and powerfully broadcast social narratives. Unfortunately, it is an exceptionally tough time to point that out because the turbulence of the external world seems so dominant and outside of personal control.
(For a detailed three step process to health and well-being in a time of crisis and transition, please see my series of articles on the “The Expansion Principle.”)
As a tolerant, peaceful, mature, and loving person, I often inadvertently become a destination for people seeking an outlet for their trauma. Sound familiar? I surmise that many spiritually mature and loving people, especially women, are in this position frequently. It can be difficult to be an island of sanity and positive energy in the sea of madness.
Initially, I continued as I usually do — listening with Stillness, compassion, and offering heartfelt suggestions for others’ experiences. I endeavor to create a supportive space for people to elevate their awareness and self-reflect into a new reference point for their reality. I have found this an approach with a high success rate. Until recently.
One day, I realized that I needed to do something different in some situations. The abundance of un-productive dramas had become too distracting and energetically draining.
The birth of purposeful communication
Purposeful communication emerged from my desire to not be used as a destination for others’ energy, emotions, and thought forms. That’s putting it politely — some people seem comfortable using others as garbage bins for their unprocessed “stuff.” It is very problematic on many levels — energetically, emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually.
Unfortunately, many social roles and norms support this unhealthy transfer of energy. Again, women are particularly susceptible, both in how they construct their own identity (e.g., nurturer, caregiver, healer, etc.) and the long historical precedent for conditioned abuse of the feminine.
What I propose is that you consciously create an (inner/outer) structure for your communication space with others. An empty space can allow new expressive potential OR become a container for rubbish. It takes discernment — and usually intentional effort — to determine how “open” your communication space should be with a particular person or in a particular situation.
This is the key question to structure your communication space: “What is your purpose?”
That is, what is your purpose in sharing this with me? What is your purpose in asking me this? What is your purpose in telling me this story?
The phrasing can be varied, and more subtle, but the intention is the same: to evoke consciousness as to why the person is bringing their (baggage of) ideas, emotions, issues, questions, problems, and needs to you. With this awareness comes a conscious choice.
A conscious choice for whether or how they would like to continue.
A conscious choice for whether or how you would like to respond. Honestly, I often do not know how to respond to someone unless I know why they are asking or saying something. The “why” is usually the real and deep purpose of the communication, not whatever the superficial topic is about.
From my view, a truly valuable response comes from answering the “why” — not the “what.”
Benefits of purposeful communication
When you re-focus your attention on the “why” of your communication, a number of very beneficial results can occur. First, you can stay focused on your intention in a conversation (spoken or written). Hopefully, there’s actually a reason for your dialogue.
Second, you can see through, or move through, the debris field (mine field?) of events, details, and emotional maneuvers. Techniques of verbal manipulation are endless. You can effectively navigate by orienting to the core reason, motivation, or purpose of your communication with someone, rather than all of the stories, complaints, and energetic charge.
Third, you are much less likely to dissipate your time and energy when engaged in a conscious conversation or interaction. When you lose focus and intention, it is much easier to be sucked into an unproductive exchange or recycling of patterns.
Finally, and holistically, you can create healthy boundaries to maintain your self-respect and well-being. I note that many people feel entitled to others’ time, energy, and participation in their personal drama/agenda. How much you participate is completely up to you, but asking (yourself) “why” — having a purpose — makes your participation a clear and conscious decision rather than an extraction or entitlement.
Going beyond the conversation
While I have emphasized “conversations” as the background for purposeful communication, you can apply this perspective to every form of communication. It can change how you read something — what is the real purpose of the person writing this? It can change how you listen to something — why is this being discussed, or why is this story being told? It can change how you write and speak — why am I investing my time and energy into this exchange with the “world”?
As you expand outwards, it becomes apparent that purposeful communication is inherently connected to a purposeful life. Becoming purposeful in all that you do brings incredible energy, power, impact, and focus to your life. Suffice to say, the experience of a purposeful life is entirely different than an unintentional or reactive life.
One of the “benefits” of our volatile planetary situation — and I might be one of the few to call it a “benefit” — is highlighting the deficiencies of “bliss trip spirituality.” This is the childlike fairy tale that you will at some point enlighten or ascend into a delightful and effortless life. It IS true that there is radiant peace, joy, and expansiveness that comes with embodying inner wholeness and a direct connection to Source. However, it is rarely an easy life path to sustain this deep and sincere journey.
The potential of clear and deep purpose is available to you in every moment. If you choose it. If you embody it. If you think it, feel it, write it, and speak it.