“…where we find tension in our lives dwells a conversation that is begging to be had.”
There was once a Modern-Day Buddha who managed a corporate health club. On one particular morning, after finishing her workout, she was sitting in the cafeteria eating her breakfast when one of the club trainers approached and asked if he could talk to her about a problem he was having with one of his clients. She warmly agreed.
“I’m not sure what to do,” the young trainer said, discouraged. “You see, I’ve got this issue with one of my clients that is really conflicting me.”
“How so?” the MDB asked.
“Well, she has asked me to help her regain the balance and flexibility that she has lost due to years of competitive sports injuries, some of which were major traumas. And, to be honest with you, I don’t feel like I’m even qualified to work with her because of those past injuries!”
“I see; and did you speak with your client about that?”
“No, but that’s not even the half of it. The thing is, when we get together for training sessions, I prescribe the gentle types of exercises that are meant specifically to help her regain the function she wants; but, when she’s exercising on her own she beats herself up with her old regimen, and I feel like it reverses any progress we make, or stalemates it at best!”
“Sure. And did you mention that to her?”
“No, and here’s the topper, she is also a doctor who just happens to be more credentialed and experienced in exercise science than I am; which, to be honest with you, is really intimidating. I mean, sometimes I wonder why she even wants to train with me!”
“Of course,” said the MDB, now with a quarter smile on her face, “and have you ever brought that up, even if only in jest?”
“No, I’m worried that if I question her, I’ll be insulting her, or worse, I’ll humiliate myself.”
“And how long has this been on your mind?”
“Weeks!” the young trainer shot out reflexively. “Weeks,” he sighed.
“And how has it affected your relationship with your client?” the MDB inquired.
“Honestly, I’m beginning to resent her, and the crazy thing is she’s done nothing wrong! She doesn’t even know how I feel!”
“Do you suppose the stress you’ve gone through as a result of keeping this all to yourself is more painful than simply having a sincerely honest conversation with your client—this person that has committed and entrusted a certain degree of her health and wellbeing to you?”
The young trainer’s eyes went off in thought. A few moments later, a small smile began to form on his lips.
“Of course not,” he said, now chuckling at himself under his breath.
“I cannot tell you how to approach your client,” said the MDB, “but I can offer this: There is no end to the assumptions, the speculation, and the excuses that the mind can generate. That kind of worrisome thought is an abyss, and it is bottomless. It will not stop until you decide to stop it. It has been my experience that the tension we so often create around any single relationship is often one simple, heartfelt conversation away from being resolved. It might even be suggested that where we find tension in our lives dwells a conversation that is begging to be had.”
~ ~ ~ ~
The second technique to cultivate awareness and understanding is very similar to the first in that it is very basic and fundamental in theory. Naturally, the practice can be an entirely different story.
Simply put: Have the conversation.
You know the one. It’s the one you’ve been putting off, the ‘unhad’ conversation that sits in your belly or your chest, or the back of your mind, keeping you awake at night. Yes, have that conversation. Have it today. Have it tonight after work. Pick up your cell phone and have it right now. Do it, and feel your load lighten, your shoulders relax, your head, heart, and stomach calm. They will.
The thought of doing this may make you weak in the knees, maybe even nauseous. The good news is that that’s how you know which conversation to have—it makes you feel like crap to consider doing it. If that’s the case for you, keep this in mind: There is definitely one thing that can make it worse…not having the conversation.
The difficulty of this technique lies in being willing to be deeply honest, deeply humble, or, perhaps more accurately stated, deeply vulnerable in the presence of another, and then, to communicate from that place. But here’s more good news: When we are willing to show our soft underside, our tender belly, to another person…it disarms everyone.
Think back to a moment in your life when somebody, anybody, came to you completely vulnerable, totally exposed, and completely honest. What was your reaction? Did you find that you simply couldn’t turn away? Did you find yourself filled with the desire to be there, to understand? Couldn’t you just tell that it was the real thing? That’s what this technique is all about.
It’s amazing what we can tolerate in terms of stress and pain. Most of the time we never know how intense it is, until we finally crack, have the conversation, and suddenly feel as if we’ve lost fifty pounds off of our back. That feeling is one you will not forget, and you will likely find yourself having the conversation sooner and sooner; and then, everything will begin to change.
- Decide who in your life you need to talk to; ask your body, ask your pain.
- Locate and connect with your sense of vulnerability and humility surrounding what you need to discuss.
- Have the conversation from that place of humility and vulnerability, and do your best to stay there no matter what the other person’s reaction is.
The next installment:
TECHNIQUE 3—Create and Extract the Value
(In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting the entirety of this book here. To learn how you can purchase/download this book now, click HERE.)
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About the Author…
Noah James Hittner is an independent Author, Musician, and Entrepreneur from rural Wisconsin who has appeared on both radio and network television. His books and music inspire the mind and warm the heart. To contact Noah, or explore more of his work, visit: NoahJamesHittner.com.