The Language of Mindfulness

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Most people are not very good at “The Language of Now”, which is speaking about your somatic, in-the-moment experience. Yet doing so gives you the opportunity to inhabit your words, to imbue them with authentic meaning. In this way, people will often experience you as more accessible and also more authoritative at the same time. This is the power of the Language of Mindfulness. Check it out.

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TRANSCRIPT (not corrected)

Hello and welcome to the language of mindfulness podcast, where you can learn all about how to have amazing conversations every day. I’m your host mindfulness coach and communications coach Brett Hill.

You can find out more about what we’re doing@languageofmindfulness.com, where you can sign up for a free session. And for our newsletter and this edition, I want to talk about something in my trainings and coaching. I call the language of now, you know, what that means is learning how to have some facility. So skill, so skill-building, basically on how to express what your in the moment experience is.

Now, mindfulness, as you may recall, is about being present in the moment, and that means paying attention to your experience. When you do that, what do you notice and how do you describe your experience? I have found from the many classes I’ve taught and through my coaching, that this is something that people generally aren’t that good at. If you haven’t actually worked with it a little bit. So I want to talk about it. 

A little bit can go a long way. So this is kind of a little bit of a lesson, a little bit of coaching, and a lot of fun and super useful. Let me give you an example in a class where I’m teaching mindfulness in communications, we might have an exercise and I’ll say so how was that? And someone would report potentially well, I found it very frustrating to try to be present because I just want to think about all this other stuff. So, first of all, I would say, great. That’s fabulous because you’re present enough to know that you wanted to think about other stuff. And that means that you were mindful enough to have that insight. So that’s a win, right? First of all.

So the second thing though is the person’s reported that they were frustrated now frustration. What is that? Let’s unpack that a little bit. What is it like to feel frustrated? And so I might ask this, how do you know you were frustrated? Now? That’s a question that throws people off. Well, how do you mean, what do you mean? How do you know? I just was frustrated. I had a frustrating experience. Okay. What is the experience of being frustrated? What does it feel like to be frustrated? Well, you know, it feels uncomfortable. Great. Yes. Meta-level uncontrolled.

It reminds me of the times whenever I have arguments with my boss or my spouse. Okay. So there’s a memory of other times that you’ve been frustrated that is that an in the moment experience? No, that is a moment. That is an associate of experience. So it’s like, you know, having a scoop of ice cream and then remembering every other scoop of ice cream, that was like that one that you had. It’s not the same as the experience of eating that ice cream. It’s an association, it’s a memory that comes along. That’s not bad. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s not the same as what is the feeling of frustration or feeling of in this case, you know, eating ice cream, which is cool on my tongue. Ah, now, now we’re getting somewhere where we’re actually having a report of, of a somatic experience.

So that’s the underlying word. There’s a word called somatic. And if you haven’t heard that word underlying murderer Soma is, um, I’m not sure what the actual Greek foundation is, but I relate to it as being body and the body sensing. Um, and this is a tremendous skill using somatic-based language to describe your experience. I know I’m frustrated because I feel my shoulders tighten. I feel my breath gets shallow. I start to feel jittery inside. I kind of want to like crawl out of my skin. All those things are very visceral feelings. And so those are the kinds of descriptions, the kind of language that I’m looking for that tell me that someone is really tuned into their body, sensing their somatic experience of what frustration feels like.

There’s another thing that goes along with me when I’m frustrated, as I want to spit out words, I kind of like, I want to react like, well, rookie, I just want to call you, shoot them out. I don’t want any higher level processing goes stuff that I don’t want any level of pro, but there’s this urgency behind reporting re retorting quickly without thinking much about what’s going on, which is the opposite of mindfulness, right? So frustration is very useful to pay attention to in terms of a somatic experience, because by doing that, you actually undermine the impulse to be on automatic.

And so in a certain way, you can see where I’m getting to here is by asking the question, what’s it like for you to feel frustrated? What, how do you know you’re frustrated? I’m actually coaching and trying to help someone be more present with their feeling of frustration, which actually helps to undermine or kind of work in a, in a neurologically different direction than frustration itself. So consequently, you want to bring mindfulness skills to bear when you’re having these moments, because that’s when they count. As you hear me say, often, if you want to be mindful, when you’re under stress, you have to practice when you’re not.

So you have to must practice being more present with your experience when you’re not under stress or those skills, that capacity, that neurological capability just simply will not be online for you. I use a technical term because it’s my background. It just won’t be online. Won’t be there for you accessible to you when you need. It is just not there. If you’ve ever tried to talk to somebody, who’s having a panic attack, then you say to them, Hey, just calm down. You know, that resource not calming down. Reason is just not online. Same thing with trauma.

The, the, when you, when talking to someone who’s in a traumatic state, you can’t get talk them down out of it because, um, that part of them is not available. That the higher cognitive functions simply go offline. There are methods for helping, but, um, they’re more foundational than just talk. So consequently, you have to practice these things when you’re not under stress.

What kinds of things do you need to practice learning to use language that describes your in the moment experience? The phrase that I use all the time is I’m happy to hear that. And when I say that I’m experiencing happiness and how do I know I’m experiencing evidence? Because I have this feeling in my heart, literally in my chest area, I feel myself maybe smiling. I have a sense of, I wouldn’t say giddiness, but levity there’s can be this kind of joyousness in it. All of those things I equate with just general state of happiness.

And so when I feel that I’m easy to say, it’s easy for me to say, Oh, that makes me happy. Or when I hear that, I get really happy. And conversely, I’ll say the same thing. If I feel sad, someone says, you know, I didn’t get that promotion. Oh man, I’m really sad to hear that. I’m sorry that happened for you. And it’s true. When I say I am feeling sorrow. It’s not like it’s the end of my world or anything, you know, dive into the depth of despair, but it’s legitimate. I’m having that experience, hearing that happen to someone that I know or care about.

Or even if I don’t someone that another human being on the planet had something unfortunate happened to them. I can be in rapport with that without it rocking my world and say, Oh gosh, you know, I would hope that something great would happen to you. And I’m sorry that it did. And I legitimately am sorry that it didn’t. And that’s just the way I roll. I’m an empathic sort of character, but that capacity to be at benthic opens doors and opportunities to have these deeper conversations with people. Now, an interesting thing happens that once you learn to do this, to some degree with yourself, you begin to report on your own and the moment experience from an authentic place in a way that people can hear it. It’s not threatening.

Like there are going to be times when your ex what’s your feeling might not be that easy to express or easy for other people to hear. And so learning to say things like, well, when I hear that, I get sad. Now, if I say that in that way, I’m not saying you made me sad. I’m saying, I heard you say something. And, and when I heard those words, I’m feeling sad. There’s a big difference there. Well, you made me sad by saying that don’t make me sad. Then I’m blaming them for my experience. And it’s not that they’re not having an impact on you, but that by reporting your, your in the moment experience in a truthful and direct way, someone can look at you and get curious about that. And you can explore that more and maybe they get defensive. That’s legitimate. Maybe they do.

They say, well, I didn’t mean to make her. They go off. They go, okay, I’m sorry. I didn’t, I didn’t mean for that to go this way. I’m just saying that when you said that your cat died, I got sad or whatever’s going on for them. Right? And, um, and so consequently, you can learn to use language in a way that is self-referenced and honest, and at the same time, relational and its impact so that I can begin to speak about my in the moment, experience with people in a way where I own my experience.

I don’t blame other people, but yet it’s there to connect with or connect to. And at the same time, you can then begin to use those same skills with other people. So you see the someone else expressing themselves in a, uh, passionate or expressive way. And you notice that that’s causing you to get really excited. You can go, well, I’m really excited for you or with you, you know? So, and it’s like, it’s true. It’s like you’re feeling this reciprocity or resonance is a better word, feeling this resonance with them.

When you land in those resonant moments with people they really opened, or as people relax, people see that you are connecting with them in a way that is potentially uncommon and also can be very nurturing. Some people can be threatened by it because they don’t want to be seen. You know, they’re hiding a lot. Uh, and that’s a whole nother matter, but still for most people, most of the time, they’re happy to be in the presence of someone who’s willing to be with them clearly, indirectly and express through their own experience.

Quarterly, indirectly. It opens a lot of doors in this way. You can begin to lean into your, in the moment experience as an ally for yourself and for other people to orient around in a conversation, you’re putting your experience into your words so that they carry the emotional and somatic content creates a sense of authenticity and power. In the words that you use by up-leveling your authenticity, you tremendously improve your authority, your perceived authority, people will start to take you seriously because they can see that you’re inhabiting your words, your experiences in your conversation, you are in your words, you are in the conversation and that invites them to show up as well.

And that way you can create the opportunity to have an incredible conversation where one did not exist before, and simply through your willingness to be present with and express the truth of your in the moment experience with people within the boundaries of what’s in bearable, if you will appropriate is the right word for the, uh, the relationship and the time. And so there you go.

That’s a little mini course mini-lecture, any be present with your experience and find language to communicate your somatic experience, exploring what’s underneath your experience, the, the quality of your embodied experience and using your voice and your words in a way that authentically communicate that experience can deepen your conversations with people, improve trust, improve the relationship and open doors for you in ways that are actually pretty magical. Once you try it. So play around with it, explore, you will find that people give tremendous amount of flexibility. If you’re awkward to begin with in this way. Ring me up on the language of mindfulness.com. Um, and we’ll have an exploratory phone call or zoom call, I should say, and see what it’s like as I can. I’m happy to help you with this.

There’s a free introductory call for the coaching that I do, where we can help you develop some skills in this way. And it doesn’t take a lot. It’s not like months and months and months of work. It could just with a little bit of work, a little bit of coaching, you can make big improvements in this dimension. And oftentimes this is very personal because different people have different kinds of resistance blocks or capabilities.

So it can vary a little bit, but overall, slow it down. Main your bodily sensation. I’m excited. It feels like this. I’m sad. Feels like this. I’m angry. It feels like this. It feels like I’m tense. Like I’m relaxed. Like it’s expansive. Like I want to cry. Like I want to yell, whatever those feelings are just naming them will help you develop more facility with being someone who is mindful of those experiences in the moment when they occur. And then also learn to relate to that same experience when you witness it in others.

So that’s wrap on today’s edition of the language of mindfulness podcast. We hope you enjoyed it. If so, please leave us a review on iTunes and follow along whatever podcast platform you’re listening.

We really appreciate it and check us out at languageandmindfulness.com where you can sign up for a free coaching session for download our PDF on eight ways to be more mindful. The virtual meeting at language mine, langaugeofmindfulness.com/8ways.com.

 

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