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How Buddhist Principles Can Improve Communication

How Buddhist Principles Can Improve Communication

How Buddhist Principles Can Improve Communication

Communication is the building block of relationships. This includes your self-talk and how you communicate with those around you.

“How we connect with ourselves defines our behavior and bond with the people we love.“

You should enjoy the relationships you form as you move along life — with your partner, family members, and coworkers.

Cynthia Kane, a certified meditation and mindfulness instructor, recently shared on my Rant & Grow podcast about her three books on the theme of communication.

In her recent book, ‘How to Meditate like a Buddhist’, she talks about the intentional communication method based on principles of speech in Buddhism.

Why Buddhism meditation for communication?

Cynthia sheds light on that from her personal experiences. She used to indulge in hurtful gossips and was often jealous of the relationship’s others had around her.

She felt uncomfortable in the silence and could not communicate well with the ones she loved. This took a toll on her mental peace and often left her all by herself. Even in her relationship, she suffered a huge personal loss due to her long-time partner’s death.

This tragedy pushed her into a world full of doubt, anxiety, and misery. She was searching for answers and a way to get over through the hardship. In this search for peace, she came across the path of meditation in Buddhism.

Open Up to Yourself

We all face times in our lives when troubles don’t seem to end. We feel like we have no one to talk to and it forces us to shut ourselves down. The breakdown of communication, even with the self, leads us towards confusion and misery.

The first step in the process of meditation is to acknowledge the things that have hurt us and then slowly letting them go. The art of letting go of things is where the Buddhist way can come to the rescue.

To be able to change the difficult circumstances we are in, we should first have honest communication with ourselves.

Next, we should focus on how we are interacting with the world around us because that is what has given birth to our perception of it.

“When we open communication with the self, we explore our strengths and shortcomings.”

As we start working on the aspects where we lag behind, we begin to see clearly how we have been communicating in our relationships in the outside world.

The elements of the right speech in Buddhism are what opens the door to the self as we head towards a path of peace and tranquility.

Buddhist Elements of Right Speech

The following are the principles of Right Speech in Buddhism:

Tell the Truth

Don’t Exaggerate

Don’t Gossip

Don’t Speak Ill of Others

According to Cynthia, these principles do seem easy to understand. However, to practice them in our speech is what is essential to notice the consequent change in the nature of the world around us.

It is true that there is suffering in the world. We do observe people in traumas, reeling in pain, and not communicating with others.

They are scared of admitting the truth and facing their emotions which inhibits their channel of communication with the self. Suppression of emotions adversely impacts our behavior.

“We must give ourselves a chance to feel and heal”.

This constant feeling of discomfort and hiding from our emotions restrict our communication with the world. To be able to let go of this heavy feeling, one must acknowledge the pain and follow the principles of Right Speech.

The failure to tell the truth, to exaggerate events, gossiping, and malicious intent towards others is the burden we bear in our everyday life.

Cynthia believes that when we practice the four elements of right speech, we acknowledge mistakes, and step onto the path of change that leads us towards peace.

It is Okay to Not Be Okay

One does not have to be an expert Buddhist practitioner to understand why and how communication is important.

We live in a world filled with emotions and we are bestowed with the precious gift of speech, so we can express ourselves.

The idea of attachment and then wanting others to change for us pushes us into a world of unrealistic expectations.

If you are clinging to outcomes and focusing on how others are behaving with you, you are losing track of how you are interacting with the world.

Do not judge and be harsh on yourself if you are attached to the wrong emotions. Once you label these negative emotions and become completely honest with yourself, you will feel a rush of positive energy within.

“Talk to yourself in a way that pushes you in the right direction”.

The principles of right speech open up this channel of this self-communication, which ultimately enables us to have better relationships with all we come in contact with.

Check out the Rant & Grow podcast episode with Cynthia. Maybe you’ll discover some wisdom for your own life. You can listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

How One Smile Can Change the World

How One Smile Can Change the World

How One Smile Can Change the World

It is one thing to put on a great smile in front of everybody and say you are doing great but realize there is a deeper more genuine smile that we often miss out on.

We are so busy with the ways of the world around us that we can easily forget what a genuine smile means and how it can impact the people around us.

“A genuine smile is magical indeed and we all have that magic within us.”

One might often indulge in fun activities to try to appear happy but can be disconnected from his/her real self at the same time.

Many will often participate in fun parties and believe they are having fun. There is a deeper level of fun that sadly we don’t dare to act out.

Try to remember when you were a little kid. You used to enjoy little things and find happiness in trivial things. As we grow up, we are told to be more and more conscious of how we behave.

In that process of “growing up” we slowly but surely find ourselves disconnecting from our innocence and the purity in our thoughts and actions.

For instance, you can always drink at parties to shed your inhibitions and have fun, but have you ever tried to enjoy dancing at a party without getting drunk?

The point here isn’t to have a moral conversation about the merits of drinking, it is simply to point out how most people have become dependent on external things to activate happiness.

“All it takes is a genuine smile to activate your own happiness and spread it to people around you.”

State of Mind

To know yourself and get closer to enjoying a genuine smile, you must first analyze your life. Try to think about small moments in your life that have made you genuinely smile and how those moments have stayed with you.

Focus on what you truly want out of your life, something that you love, even the little things. It can be something as small as figuring out your favorite color.

Suppose you love wearing black. Is it just because that is what people around you appreciate you in, or is that what you like?

Are you simply going with the flow or is what you are doing what you love?

If you truly love it, then step into something black more often. Start with these basic thoughts and actions. If you identify and choose what makes you more like yourself, you will connect to your real self.

“The state of mind where you are comfortable and closest to your real self, is where you will find your genuine smile.”

Break Out of the Herd

We usually try to live up to the expectations and customs of society. It is hard for us to be unique in the herd. This is what makes us lose ourselves. We are taught to meet expectations and follow certain rules that come with the roles we have to step in, even within the family circle.

What we don’t realize, maybe, is that we can come alive if we choose to be unique. Jamie Lynn Marvin, a coach, speaker and ocean photographer passionate about making moments magical by uncovering joy, strength and calmness in everyday moments, shared some words of wisdom in one of my recent Rant & Grow podcasts.

“Dare to be different than the herd and live on your own terms.”

If there are certain things that you don’t approve of about your life, then stop doing them one-by-one. That momentum will get you closer to knowing more about your personality and desires.

According to Jamie, once you are aware of your inner thoughts, you can then spend more time thinking about your childhood. Identify your core strengths and beliefs that will help you stay in touch with your authentic self. Focus on these things and make small changes gradually and you will find yourself standing out of the herd.

Smile More

Cherish your special moments with a smile every time. Irrespective of the group of people around you, a genuine smile conveys your real happiness.

This ensures that people will acknowledge your happy thoughts and it will create a ripple effect.

“When you feel good about yourself, don’t be afraid to express it.”

Jamie believes that you can brighten up someone’s dull day with a simple smile. When you are hurt, you should express your pain, but you don’t have to be necessarily bitter about it. You should stay connected with your authentic feelings and acknowledge them.

Do not suppress your real feelings. It will help you to stay true, and whenever you are genuinely happy, that smile will grace your face.

Remember, it is the small moments that matter. If you focus on them more and stay true to your real self, you will never get distracted with the pretentious ways of the world.

Hiding or faking your emotions will keep you disconnected. Seek help from your loved ones or even a good counselor and keep in touch with yourself.

You can then express gratitude and love freely among those around you. It will inspire them to be more like you. They will connect with themselves more and you will find a genuine smile on their face too.

Check out the Rant & Grow podcast episode with Jamie. Maybe you’ll discover some wisdom for your own life. You can listen to the podcast right here.

Business Innovation Brief

How to Turn Unfortunate Circumstances Into Opportunities

How to Turn Unfortunate Circumstances Into Opportunities

How to Turn Unfortunate Circumstances Into Opportunities

This year has been tough on everyone around the world. People have suffered losses, both physical and financial. Many people have seen unfortunate circumstances in their lives with things spiraling out of their control.

One might have been struck with an illness, or lost their jobs, or lost someone close to them. Adversities have hit us hard and fast causing our heads to spin.

“Change is an unstoppable force that visits you often and when you least expect it.”

Unfortunate situations happen unexpectedly. What matters is how you choose to tackle them.

How to Approach Unfortunate Circumstances

We are often so busy with our daily routine that we do not prepare for adversity. What most of us fail to recognize is that when faced with adverse situations, it is life’s way of giving us opportunities to explore ourselves.

Being busy causes us to often forget who we are, what we want, and what we have been working for. Under such circumstances, we can begin to feel like victims. We can begin to believe that the things that are happening to us are out of our hands. More often than not, this causes nervous breakdowns, and illness to boot.

You need to understand that a challenging circumstance doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. It can be an opportunity to find yourself again and explore a new road in life.

To tackle difficult circumstances, the first thing you need to do is — focus.

When several aspects of your life seem to be slipping out of your hand, you must focus and take control of something that is always in your control — your mindset.

Don’t let other people and their judgments and opinions take control of you. Start with forgiving your mistakes for trying to grow and make peace with those who have wronged you.

This will certainly take away obstacles in your mind and give you clarity of thought. The next important thing that will help you take charge of your life, is gratitude.

Show Gratitude and Keep Learning

When we face difficult situation, we often feel pain. Pain is not a stop sign for you to get anxious and frustrated. Pain is an opportunity to strategize and redirect your life to better situations.

You can take strength from the inspiring words of David Meltzer, who was recently a guest on my Rant & Grow podcast. David is a prominent speaker, author, top business coach, co-founder and CEO of Sports1Marketing.

According to Dave, cultivating and showing gratitude in your thoughts and actions will help you rediscover yourself and drive you towards growth and self-development.

To develop gratitude, you can follow his five simple and basic daily practices:

  1. Take inventory of your values and appreciate them every day.
  2. Be courageous in asking for help from others when you need it and be grateful to them.
  3. See the things around you through the lens of gratitude, the ones that you have planned and even for those that were unexpected.
  4. Do things with gratitude. Happy people get things done and unhappy people just don’t.
  5. Identify the fears that are causing you pain and stop them from becoming exaggerated in your head.

“By embracing gratitude in your life, you will gain the mental peace and happiness that you have been searching for.”

With gratitude you will find yourself moving away from fears of challenges. You will indeed find yourself headed onto a path of growth, acceleration, and enlightenment.

Accountability

Once you embrace gratitude, you must take accountability for the things that you have done and for the things that have happened to you. The goal is to be a student of every circumstance in your life.

When things happen, ask yourself what you are supposed to learn from that challenging situation. A way to become empowered when circumstances become difficult, is to also ask yourself why you attracted this into your life. Look for the growth opportunities in tough situations.

There is a difference between accountability, responsibility, and liability. Don’t just hold yourself responsible for things and be a victim. You can’t hold the world liable for the things that have happened to you either. You must take accountability and start to learn from situations that present themselves.

Disasters do happen. You can always learn from challenges and find opportunities to grow. Once you are on the path of learning, you will stop bringing pain to yourself.

Take, for instance, David Meltzer’s story. He started with nothing. He worked hard and became a millionaire within nine months after graduating from law school. He was a multi-millionaire at the age of 32.

However, he soon faced hardships and went bankrupt. He kept learning and started over again by practicing gratitude and being in action towards his goals by being a student of his time and schedule.

Dave made his fortune again and is now a successful serial entrepreneur and philanthropist.

“When you realize opportunity is in challenges, you can lead an authentic life being more honest with yourself, others, and the world around you.”

Rather than fighting against change and feeling more pain than necessary, look through the problems and find the growth opportunities. You can do this by using your faith to invite positive energy and manifest it into actions.

You can have faith in a higher power, the universe, God, or yourself. It doesn’t matter what you have faith in, as long as you practice what faith does for you.

“Faith translates into certainty. Certainty gets you into action. Action creates manifestation.”

Remember, actions are important. Don’t get stuck at wanting. Go past it and start doing. Then, you will find more inspirations and opportunities. 

How you handle unfortunate circumstances is always up to you. So, buckle up, get focused, practice gratitude, have faith and start doing what needs to be done. 

Check out the Rant & Grow podcast episode with David. Maybe you’ll discover some wisdom for your own life. You can listen to the podcast right here.

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