How To Communicate

One of my favorite pictures of grown up Andrew with his sister - Summer 2009

Yesterday was another good day. Whenever I walked past a picture of Andrew, I smiled.
The feeling that accompanied the smile was one of complicity. That of the two of us knowing something that others may not. A felt awareness of life’s eternity.
Not that I didn’t have moments of sadness, it takes time to become accustomed to continue a relationship when one of you lives in a different dimension.
There was a time, and not all that long ago, when having a telephone was the envy of one’s neighbors. A phone call was made only if dictated by necessity.
Not having a legitimate reason to call, I remember that when my grandmother got a telephone installed (she was the only one in the street) my friends and I would dial random numbers, make prank calls and laugh our heads off. It never occurred to us to call a friend – if they too had a telephone – or a relative for that matter. Of course not, we’d grown up talking to people we knew, face to face. It would feel awkward to speak to the friend that you sat next to at school on the phone, when you could talk to her in school the following day.

I think that all of the above is a stream of consciousness aimed at helping me articulate the idea, or the fact, that as over time we learned to communicate by telephone, over time we can and will learn to communicate by means other than verbal.
Presence within oneself, awareness of oneself, a quiet and observing mind are all the tools that one needs.
They cannot be bought, they need to be developed. Yoga and meditation practices are the best way of developing those skills.
Now, please, the next time I slip off the wagon and have a hard time smiling like an idiot at my son’s pictures, please be kind and don’t have a go at me saying things like:
“Pardon me for saying, but aren’t you the one that preached about blah, blah, whatever, whatever….?”
As I said, it takes time and practice.

Another reason why I had a good day yesterday, is that…. Oh but you know don’t know about it yet do you?…alright: I am going to Washington on Sunday, March 7 to Tuesday March 9, to a suicide prevention conference, organized by the policy institute of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
At the end of the conference we will meet with our respective legislators. I will lead the NY delegation when we meet with Senators Schumers and Gillibrand and our Representative, Congresswoman Nita Lowey.
It has taken a while, but finally yesterday all the appointments were confirmed. The staff at Nita Lowey’s office couldn’t have been kinder and more helpful. As the appointment with the Congresswoman is quite close to that with Senator Schumer, they offered to escort us to the Senate building via… I think they said tunnels? Anyway, some kind of shortcut. They also offered us a tour of The Capitol. I am deeply touched and I want to say a big thank you for their thoughtfulness.

The Capitol

When I am there, I intend putting forward the idea of Yoga and Meditation as part of our children education, over time, as we grow into a nation of meditators, there likely won’t be much need for a huge allopathic health system.
The only thing is that I haven’t quite worked out how to even broach the subject.
Still, I am sure that I’ll work it out once I am there, in the meantime time, I need to get ready for my yoga class this morning.

Meditation

See you tomorrow.

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4 thoughts on “How To Communicate

  1. Hi Esmeralda,

    Yes, yoga and meditation are useful; we all need to learn to do something that brings us calmness and inner peace…for me it is music…I am a(n amateur) musician…

    However, to teach children to calm themselves and to seek peace without also teaching them to deal with what life can throw at them, is only half of the picture…

    Something I have noticed is that a lot of children today are NOT equipped to deal with….life…..let alone when life deals them some difficult hands….In other words they are not resilient, or are lacking resilience. They are not able to deal with things that are unfamiliar, or unexpected, or not going their way.

    So, inner peace is half of it, but part of achieving that and getting to that is being able to be resilient without becoming overly “tough”, and being loving and giving without becoming a doormat…It’s a delicate and difficult balance…

    I would put yoga/meditation in the schools ALONG WITH “life skills” and interpersonal skills and mediation/negotiation classes. We have a generation here of young people who, because they talk far less face-to-face than we did, not only do NOT know how to “deal” with things, but often misinterpret things as well…I see this all the time in the schools…

    I see older children literally throwing tantrums, and younger children so overwhelmed they cannot do anything…

    They must be taught how to cope…and part of that is teaching self-sufficiency and natural consequences starting at a young age…If everything is “fixed” and “done” and “comfortable” for children ALL the time, it is no wonder that the unexpected becomes a “freak out”…

    • Through meditation, particularly when growing up with meditation as natural as brushing your teeth, there comes centerdness. An equipose of mind that is difficult to disturb. Through meditation discrimination is developed and with discrimination on distinguishes between what is real and what isn’t. Through the practice of meditation one gradually learns, re-discovers the true nature of the Self. At-one-ment with all creation. No need to fight then, or throw tantrums or become ill.
      Dear Hedi’s Angel, thank you for contributing to the conversation. I do appreciate it. 🙂

  2. I agree that meditation is only part of it. In working with youth, I have definitely noticed the decline in communication skills as well as talking about how we feel. I work at a school and sometimes I will get calls from parents telling me how their children feel but nothing from the child. I will then call the student in for a meeting and they can barely express to me how they feel even though their parents told me tons. Sometimes it is because the parents can be intense but I also think its because the children do not know how to speak up. Things are now reduced to 140 characters or a text message, etc. While I understand meditation and do it myself, I personally think its a very privileged thing to do. I think it would be great if our children could do yoga and meditate but with so many schools without art, music, or physical education, how will this be possible and feasible.

    Today I went to an event that talked about life skills. It was focused on what to do when you feel hopeless or down in the dumps. What kind of “tools” can you put in your toolbox when you are feeling this way? Tools that you can pull out to somehow make yourself feel a little bit better. Meditation could be a tool that you put in your toolbox but it can’t be the answer to it all. Sometimes you’ll need a “screw driver” and other times a “hammer”. Sometimes a screw driver can work as a hammer but it’s not 100% the same.

    Again I’m babbling but at the end of the day, I think that what children really need is open communication and dialogue which can be achieved through the “life skills”.

    • How do we achieve it? Probably not all at once. Still that would not be my question, my question is: what can I do to bring it about. And of course during transition times there is a need for a mixed bag of tool. As we get better and better at “it” we let go of the other props, like when we learn to walk unaided, we accept and take the help when we need it, we take when we become steady on our feet. We are then self reliant.
      We will then see that when people ned to communicate verbally, they will do so clearly and efficiently.
      Thank you taking the time to express your opinion, for your contribution to this important dialogue.

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