Listen Silently

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communication

What my work experience has taught me over the last 10 years is that interpersonal communication is the most VITAL and central part of our successes and failures; obviously this is true simply with life in general but I’m speaking more about our professional aspect.

Yet, 99.9% of people do not know how to express themselves or communicate effectively. Sometimes this can come across as anger, annoyance, or the most popular -speaking in a patronizing or condescending manner. It’s as if we can speak our hearts out all we want, but the receiver will almost always miss our point entirely; like there’s a thick window in front of us -you can see but not hear.

Make a conscious effort today to really LISTEN to what others are saying. Not just their words, but their meaning. Slow it down and not only think before you speak but really give your attention.

What communication skills do you feel everyone should have? If you have any tips or tricks, please share!

©MoniqueAdrianne

What I’m Taking With Me -Lessons Learned in 2014 (Part Three)

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3. Tolerance and understanding.

As some of you may know, I am a slightly strong-headed individual… I’m sensitive, take things too personally; I’m open and very honest with what I’m feeling and at times I can come off as a little harsh to those around me.

There’s a difference that I’ve learned recently between assertiveness and aggression. Assertiveness is when you are confident in your decisions without being combative. I am positive and self-assured; yet, I’m particularly aggressive when it comes to voicing my opinions and feelings. My annoyance for those around me has only increased in recent years –even those that are not directly affecting me. If another’s opinions are directly in contrast with my own, I take it personally –I feel that their judgments are aimed straight at me. It’s thoughtless and rash to react in this way and I’ve come to recognize that.

As with any experience, I aim to look for the meaning and the lesson behind it. Of course it can be very difficult to look past infuriating moments to get to the core of its message. For example, in my office, it is quite common for openly racist, sexist, and elitist remarks to fly around constantly each day. It has become a very harsh environment to be exposed to.

I am of Mexican ethnicity and I have never caught on to learning Spanish. When racist comments are made regarding Mexican people, I make a point to remind them who I am. However, their dismissive responses are always, “We know, but you’re not that kind of Mexican,” or “You’re not really Mexican.”

There have been discussions expressing their opinions of impoverished, poor people –they believe that their financial standing is merely fault of their own and that they are lazy.

There have even been appalling statements made to the extent that any woman that claims she was raped is simply lying.

While all of this is discussed in front of me, I sit there, shocked and disgusted, attempting to keep my mouth shut. I know that voicing my difference of opinion will only cause friction and possible combative arguments. I realize that I alone may not be able to change their minds. The cost of speaking up is too high.

There is a reason why I am so passionate about what I believe in. When there are certain injustices in the world and the notion, “Someone should do something about this,” pops into our minds, we are meant to be that someone.

I understand my purpose, yet I am still frustrated with this anger that I feel when these comments arise. Tolerance and understanding is a lesson that I am currently being presented with. It is an open-ended understanding that I have not yet acquired and it could take my whole lifetime for me to comprehend. What am I meant to learn from these unpleasant people?

I’ve been pondering my moral dilemma for a few days and decided to ask a well-intentioned friend for his opinion. He said:

“You don’t have to be tolerant of their views but to get past the anger towards these people, an effort should be made to understand them instead. When we can recognize why another thinks a certain way, we don’t have to agree with them, but we can at least have consideration for where they’re coming from.”

I feel that his response was expressed perfectly! Our opinions, our beliefs, our emotions –they are each uniquely our own. We are shaped and molded by our personal experiences. Learning and growing to understand the distinct differences of others is the first step towards empathy. We do not have to agree with everyone. However, it would better ourselves and those around us –our communities, our states, our nations, and our world –to make an effort to understand each other. Acknowledgement of another’s struggles could be the missing key that is needed to expand our empathy and compassion–at the very least, it could diminish the anger that we feel towards others.

©MoniqueAdrianne

Thanks and Giving

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thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving my beautiful friends. This is the time of year when families get together and thankfulness and gratitude are more out in the open. Be grateful for what you have every day of the year! Make it count and express it!!! Today of all days, if you are eating delicious food and you’re with family, know how lucky you are -there are those without what you have. So regardless of how much your family members drive you bat-shit crazy…remember that these are the souls that will teach you your greatest spiritual lessons. Recognize the need for patience, understanding, dignity, boundaries, and love today. And keep in mind that yes, we are obligated to love everyone but there are some that we must love from a safe distance. <3

©MoniqueAdrianne

Be Your Own, First

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How many times have your relationships not worked out? We could be here a while I know…
Now that you’re thinking about it, do you see a commonality?
In all of my experiences and relationships, I take personal responsibility for my part in it. Yes, I may have been cheated on and had my heart crushed multiple times and yes, it was awful and terrible. Yet in all of these instances, the one consistency is ME.
Learning to love myself was one of my greatest lessons in life thus far; it’s a relationship that you have to work on continuously. In retrospect, a lot of my relationship issues were caused from not loving myself enough. I stayed in relationships because I was too scared to leave; because I didn’t want to hurt the other person; because I didn’t realize my self-worth; because I didn’t know I deserved better. The majority of relationship problems stem from miscommunication and perspective. The tricky part is that our perspective is widely affected by our self-esteem. How can we view and treat others with respect and love if we don’t respect and love ourselves first?
That’s why learning to love yourself is the first step to accepting love from others. We can only receive the love we think we deserve. You should come to the realization that you deserve a love that fills every inch of you; a love that makes your heart smile and persists and thrives even in times without light. But first you need to learn to fall in love with yourself. <3

©MoniqueAdrianne

The Universe Doesn’t Make Mistakes

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When the world seems chaotic and everything seems off, it’s often difficult to give in to the idea that we have very little control over the Universe. We must surrender that need to control every little part around us and accept that there are just some things that are beyond our reach. During Mercury Retrograde, when it seems so apparent that the world has gone nuts and your thoughts seem to go haywire…use this as a humbling experience. We are such a small part to this extraordinary life. Just flow with it. Thankfully we can go back to “normalcy” today-Wednesday. (Honestly not soon enough…. I’ve had it….)

Excerpt from Zen and the Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss.

©MoniqueAdrianne