Communicate fully with the 7_38_55 Rule

If you do not know what the 7 – 38 – 55 rule is, do not worry, most people don’t.

When you speak you are not just communicating your words. Those are the details, but they are not the full intent of your message.

90% of life is spent trying to communicate with the people around you. Yet you rarely communicate effectively because you get too caught up trying to get your point across rather than the following intention people are picking up. There are three reasons for this:

  • First, you don’t know the 7 – 38 – 55 rule.
  • Second, you are not truly present and in the moment.
  • Third, you don’t realize the fullness of the 7 – 38 – 55 rule.

The first and last ones are easy. Dr. Albert Mehrabian conducted a number of studies on non-verbal communication. He found that only 7% of any message is about the and details, these are conveyed through words. 38% is expressed through vocal elements such as pitch and tone, and 55% is expressed through nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, gestures, posture, and other unspoken actions.

The 7% that contains the details of the message are important when it comes to the success or failure of a venture (i.e. meeting up for a dinner or a date), but not the sentiment, i.e. whether it’s going to be enjoyable to ugly. This does not necessarily account for how big of a problem your partnership is going to be or how smoothly it will develop. The ease with which your social or working condition will always be is based on the other non-spoken cues.

If you’re unsure of this, go to YouTube and pick a clip of real people that you can watch several times. Mute the volume and watch the clip. Take some notes on how the two people communicate. Make note if they seem happy or sad, if they are in lock-step or out of sync. Focus on whether they seem to connect or not, or if they agree or disagree. Are they a team or growing or growing frustrated with each other?

What I find amazing is how few cues it takes to get the idea of how well they communicate without even hearing the words.

It doesn’t really matter about what they are talking about, what matters is what emotions are behind their interaction, which is the basis for their ability to connect, or not.

Turn the volume back up and see how correct you were in your notes.  They could have been talking about love or debt, where to go on vacation or taking a mortgage out on their new home.Those are the details found in that 7%. The rest, the outcome of their contact depends on the remaining 93% of their interaction, or the non-verbal elements where the facts just don’t matter.

Did they come together or fall apart? Did they agree or disagree? Were they in sync or badly misaligned? What you will probably notice is that while they may have transferred the data they may not have really communicated their intentions, and that is where two people, in business or in love, all too often fall apart.

Be well, and I hope this helps,

 

 

Jeff

 

Keep Them Alive

Everyone of you has a Life Force that flows through you, connecting you to everyone and everything around you. It also connects you to the greater pool of Energy that we all exist in. That life force flows around you and through you, it makes your heart beat and your Love swim. Read more

Prana, Mana, Chi, Qi

Prana, Mana, Chi, Qi – these are names for the same things in very different cultures; the life force that animates us, brings us to life, and empowers us to give and receive Love, to live as we know it. In the west we call this energy.

  • The Japanese call the energy that flows within us, Ki.
  • The Taoists call this Chi or Qi and follow its flow through charted meridians in acupuncture.
  • Indian yogis call it Prana and chart its course through the chakras.
  • In the west we follow it through the electrical pulses our heart and brain emit.
  • This energy is known as Mana in Polynesia, and Ruach Adonai or Ruach Hakkodesh in Hebrew. In Islamic cultures it is called Baraka, while Christians refer to it as the Holy Trinity.

No matter what you call it, it is a very real part of every culture. We are all a part of it. We swim in it and it swims through us. I like to think of it as Love; an energy that links us together in community and kinship creating a universal community in the duality of many and of one.

Practices like reiki, shiatsu and healing attempt to move this energy in order to heal the body. Life Coaches attempt to direct this energy as a way to raise consciousness and help people achieve their dreams.

Prana, Mana, Chi, Qi, Love, The Holy Trinity or Ruach Hakkodesh is the thread that weaves every culture together recognizing it as real and refers to it by whatever name they are comfortable. It as real as any mountain or rose by whatever name it is called.

Regardless of how comfortable you are with the idea of energy, just recognize that it exists in all things – living and non-living. It is what turns a simple glade into a magical place and why cairns are placed where they are.

You recognize this life force when you enter a room and just feel how alive or dead that space is. You can just feel this energy without ever having to see it. You feel it when you pass a spot where it pools. Even if you don’t know why a place feels special, you just know it is. There is something there to connect to for no reason at all. It is why druids created monoliths where they did. It is why churches, temples and mosques were built on top of those places; they too recognized the pool of energy that lay beneath.

Animals and plants of all kinds wear their auras. Inanimate objects, like rocks, crystals minerals, metals and water do the same. You have it within you. The only thing you need to contemplate is whether you want to tap into the flow of energy that is within you.

The life force within you ebbs and flows from day to day and hour to hour. Scientists and researchers have witnessed the natural rhythm of your energy. They know that you are more creative in the morning and more social at night. This alone is proof that you can feel the flow of energy within yourself. It is why you feel comfortable within a community rather than when you are alone. You connect to their energy and they to yours.

It is not just people and places that you pick up energy from. You absorb energy from what you eat and drink, which is why a healthy diet and eating food that is as close to its source as possible is so important.

Remember that all animal and plant life is filled with energy that we have all obtained from the sun and the world around us. Something as simple as water and sunlight are elements you can absorb energy from as you breathe oxygen or sit down for a healthy and hearty meal. It is also why you feel sluggish or nauseous after eating a meal filled with the garbage we now feed to the fish, birds and animals that are raised in factory farms.

The energy of life is everywhere, all you have to do is open your heart to realize it. Mana, Prana, Chi, Ki are the same this and is what connects you to everyone around you and to the universe itself. There is a limitless supply out there; all you have to do is remember to tap into it when you are in need.

When you run, walk, think or work you surely but slowly deplete your energy. Simply living burns through your life force. The same is true when you suffer through intense feelings of guilt, anger, love or empathy. It is all energy, and re-energizing your depleted stores is a part of being alive.

Have you ever noticed that when you feel sick your ability to work, think, or exercise disappears? It should be of no surprise why you sometimes say “I’m burned out, or “I have no energy,” after a long day at the office.

The levels of the life force within you – Prana, Mana, Ki, or Chi impacts your ability to heal, to work, to act, and to find your own happiness, and this is where it gets tricky. The amount of energy you absorb from your environment is not constant. It greatly depends on the stress or Love you allow into your body, mind and heart.

So open your heart, open your mind and remind yourself that it is okay to take some downtime to pray in whatever faith you find best works for you. It doesn’t matter to whom you direct your prayers, what matters is that you connect to the universal pool of energy, giving and receiving the Love that is out there, for that is where you truly live.

New Meditation for 9/11

I know this will not be a very popular post, but acting properly is rarely the same as being popular – especially on something as delicate as 9/11.

This year let’s begin a new tradition of forgiveness to memorialize the tragedy of 9/11. I am not condoning what was done, nor am I saying we reduce our security one bit. But when you think about it, the path of anger and revenge has not gotten us or the world anywhere.

It has enabled a totalitarian President to gain power, it has sown an aura of protectionism, and has created an environment were we are talking about building walls rather than tearing them down. Do you remember how we all felt when Ronald Reagan asked Gorbachev to tear down his wall? Do you remember how great it was to see the people of Germany reunite through the peaceful power of sledgehammers? That is what we need now more than ever.

Is a mentality of revenge really what you want to teach your children? Is the idea of an eye for an eye really what we want the world to be blinded by?

I am not saying that we just let it go. What I am saying is that we maintain a high level of alert so that our safety remains paramount so that our republic remains intact, but let’s also extend empathy to those who would harm us. Somewhere inside their hearts is a very empty space that is crying out to be heard.

We have tried to shock and awe them into nothing; that didn’t work. We have tried to annihilate them with drone strikes to little or no effect. Isn’t it time we stepped onto a different path? As Einstein once said, and I paraphrase, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.”

Yes, I remember what happened. I saw the first plane flying low over the city. I watched the empty busses driving back because there were no survivors, I stood in line to give blood only to be turned away because none was needed and I watched as the anger and screams for revenge echoed through the city and spread to those beyond our bridges and tunnels.

I lost a friend that day, I have also seen what following the path we took as a nation has done to us as a people and as a country. Hate has not worked. It is time to forgive. Forgive those who attacked us and forgiving ourselves for our response.

Now is the time to open our arms to those who would do us harm with a gesture of warmth and empathy. It is time for us to change the course of the world and try a new path with a new response – that of Love and compassion for a change.

Q+A: What was the most challenging relationship you have experienced?

Q:

What was the most challenging relationship you have experienced?

A:

My most challenging relationship is the one I have with myself.

Only by having a healthy and honest relationship with myself can I hope to have a healthy and honest relationship with someone else. In the end, your defects and truths will arise no matter what your intentions are. Within a long-term relationship, they will bubble up no matter how hard you try to stuff them down. In fact the more you try to deceive someone the quicker your faults and lies will arise. That is the beauty of companionship and community, your truths will surface no matter what you try to do.

In casual conversation you will slip when you least expect yourself to. You will grow comfortable with those around you and there it is – the truth. You may not blurt out some falsehood as if vomiting up your lunch but it will be there for you and those around you to be aware of. And once it is out there the more you try to cover your tracks, the more entwined and confused will your story become.

That is how your deceit will be noticed, not with the initial lie you told, but through your efforts to cover your tracks. The only way to avoid this is to be honest with yourself, to know yourself, and to make a vow that you will only be honest with yourself an with those around you.

This is not an easy thing to do, but it is essential if you want an honest relationship free from the confusion of half-truths so many try to live with. At first this is a challenge for many. But as time passes you will learn that those challenges fade away as your relationship with yourself comes from a place of honesty, honor, values and virtues.

When  you are completely honest with who you are, you free yourself of the weight that you have carried with you for so long. You can be with anyone in a fully intimate and honest way and feel good about yourself while doing so.

Box Breathing

When you feel as if you just hit the wall and you can see your energy slipping away, when every page becomes a twenty-minute struggle to focus your thoughts, this is exactly when you need to breathe into your box. There’s no magic to it, you don’t have to sit in lotus or hold your hands in neat little circles. All you have to do is sit exactly where you are and breathe.

In minutes you will feel yourself settle into your breath. Your stress and anxiety will go somewhere that isn’t you and your focus will return so that you can return to being the person you were. You know before the circus of the world overcame your best efforts.

It’s so easy and simple, you can do it over and over again no matter what the world throws at you. Yes, it comes from the Navy SEALs, but that’s an entirely different story. All you have to know is that it works and it is there for you whenever you need it.

All you have to do to activate your box breath is to breathe in for a count of five, allow your breath to settle for a count of five, then breathe out for a count of five, and again allow your breath to settle for a count of five, before beginning again.

In for five, settle for five, out for five, settle for five, repeat, repeat, repeat.

If five is too long, make yours a count of four. If it is not long enough, make your count six. The important thing is not the count, but the consistency of your breath. As with every other exercise I teach, find your own flow and make this one yours. Own it, re-frame it, fit it into your style and your life as you need to. Do not try to fit your needs into my or anyone else’s – but yours.

That is it. As the shampoo bottle says, wash, rinse, repeat.

Now breathe into your own box and enjoy your day, your week and your life.

Be the person you were meant to be.

Be well and I hope this helps.

 

j.

 

Meditating Cairn

Cairns have been around since humans first walked the earth.  They range from simple piles of stones to elaborate monoliths. They were first created as a way to tell those that followed that the path you are on is safe, that others have walked this way before, to carry on and continue your journey.

The Simple Truth Project chose the meditative cairn as our logo for the same reason. We are not a traditional Buddhist school. We are a collective of people who are on a similar journey. We are bound in kinship as a Sangha that is bound by our paths, to support, to share and to discover which thread that binds us is the right one to follow.

The meditative cairn we created is our way to give you comfort,  just as they do across the world, from mountains and highlands, to deserted beaches and inland waterways.

Join us at the Simple Truth Project so that we may walk beside you and guide you.

The more you become aware of the cairns that are all around you, the more you will see them throughout your day.  You will see that some were made by your ancestors and predate your birth, others were made during your lifetime to mark the path before you.

Some edifices are in the shape of buildings or people.  Ours is in the shape of a Buddha sitting in meditation.  Ours shows both the way, and the method.  We hope this will remind you that you are not alone on your journey,  that someone else has asked the same questions and has sought the same answers.

Our cairn is why we give students symbolic stones when they complete a step in their personal journey.  So that in time you can build your own cairn and show others that the journey they are on is a good one and to stay on their path wherever it may lead.

Where is your practice headed?

Shared Purpose – a Relationship Meditation

“What is your purpose?” I asked.

“As a couple?” They replied. I shrugged, “Or as individuals?”

They aren’t alone in their response. After fifteen years of marriage they still weren’t quite sure how to respond. It was as if they stopped being individuals once they were married and this is one of the greatest tragedies we attach to being married. Many people think that once the ceremony is over you are no longer able to function as an individual. That thinking or having desires as an individual is somehow not acceptable, and that is a shame.

The beauty of marriage is that you have someone you can grow with in love and respect, in trust and in understanding. That you now have someone to continue on your journey with as a part of something greater. It does not mean confining yourself to a life of stagnation.

Instead of sinking into the comfort of your situation, make a pact with yourself and your partner that you will always explore new things, that you will travel, try new sexual positions and refuse to limit your growth by falling into the malaise of doing time on Maple Drive.

What are you afraid of? Do you think your partner may balk at your idea of spending your vacation somewhere new? Are you afraid that your partner for life may say no just like that boy or girl did in high school? Or do you think that living in the rat race, doing the same thing every day, is the most scintillating, exciting and fulfilling thing you can imagine doing until you retire at which point you can sit on your porch sharing remembrances of a life half-lived with your partner?

After a few moments of meditation to clear our minds my students and I delved a little deeper into the subjects of openness and honesty. It was no surprise that the husband felt trapped in his job and his wife felt trapped in the house, taking care of their home and children. Both felt chained to maintaining their lifestyle, which they admitted was a little beyond their means, “But everyone lives a little beyond their means, that’s part of the game.”

We took a short meditation break to release a layer of anxiety that was visibly building. When we returned I gently probed a little more; the husband confessed to being caught on his treadmill, his wife did as well. They were in the same room, but on two different treadmills. They faced the same direction, each set to a speed just a little faster than either was comfortable with, looking at the same wall they would never reach, yet both were unwilling to step off their treadmills and onto solid ground. Neither wanted to try new things for fear of losing that now sacred treadmill that was going nowhere.

If you truly love the person you have committed to, then set them free. Trust them to go off on their own and return to tell you about it. That ring on your finger is not your love for them. It is just a symbol that represents the vows you made to each other. Those vows are based on trust, and if you don’t trust your partner to hold your bond sacred, then no ring in the world will make a difference. If they hold it sacred, then removing that ring will not make them any less caring, trusting or respectfu, than they already are. Who knows they may even bring back some wonderful stories about the travels they went on and the adventures they had that may just revitalize the love and the vows you both took so long ago.

Trust in each other. Try something new. Gently ask your partner if whatever it is you want is okay. You may be surprised by their answer. Best case, you put your marriage on a better track that will truly last a lifetime. Worst case, you are right back where you are right now, running on your treadmill to nowhere.

Don’t let discomfort get in the way of getting what you want to get out of life. Let your partner be the strength you saw them to be when you first made your vows. Do not allow yourself to place them in some trophy case as some kind of an “I made it to fifty years” award. Smile at them, love them, and trust them as you ask them, and yourself, “what is your purpose?”

Understand that whatever you want is possible, but you have to express what you want to them if you want to experience it with them. Do not let your relationship become an excuse to stop taking the smart risks you so badly want to take.

The world has changed greatly in the past decade. Shouldn’t your relationship do the same?

Be well, and I hope this helps.

 

 

Jeff

Morning Breath

I hear the refrigerator start
I feel the breeze of the fan against my chest
I feel the heat of tea as it comes through the cup
I smell the strong scent of my Lapsang Souchong
I see the drapes moved by the wind from the fan
I see the couch
I see the drapes move from the wind of the fan
I smell the tea in my cup

It is heavily smoked Lapsang Souchong
I hear the engines of a jet miles above
I feel the breeze from the fan on my arms
I feel my stomach expand as I inhale
I feel loved
I anticipate the day ahead
Wonderful expectations
Smile on my lips
Twinkle in my eyes
Thoughts disappearing
Exhale
Breath settling
Gap
Inhale
Settle
Exhale
Settle
Inhale
Settle
In
Settle
Out
Settle
In
Settle
Out settle
In
Thought
Smile
Out
Settle
In
Settle

You Always Have A Choice

Every day that you wake up you have a choice.

You can choose to stay in bed or greet the day.

You can choose to live your day in anger or in joy.

You can choose to greet people in fear or with compassion.

Do not blame your path based on what some one else did or did not do.

Do not blame your path based on what you did or did not do.

The moment you open your eyes is the moment you have a choice to make. It is based on a single, very simple question, “how do you want to live your day?”

Do you want to live in stress, or in calm? In peace or in fear?

Only after you answer that question can you begin to truly plan your day.

Begin your journey everyday with the acknowledgement that you have a choice. You can choose to stay in bed, or to rise and greet your day. Either way is fine, bold or with baby steps, or even staying beneath the covers, there is no judgment. Just know that you are in control of your life, your day, and how you want to respond to the world around you.

You can greet people with your arms open wide and allow them in, or you can hold your arms tightly against your body, defensively guarding yourself against an attack that rarely ever comes in the contemporary world you are a part of.

Just know that you can always close your arms at any time and retreat back into a isolationist mode, but why? Why not at least give those around you the chance to welcome you and to Love you?

Ask anyone who has hiked, sailed or traveled alone, and I am sure they will agree, it is fun for a few days, but you quickly begin to miss the company of others. You miss that feeling of community and kinship that is the path to Love, intimacy and understanding.

The choice is yours. It will always be yours. The only real question is, which way will you approach your day? Because they way you choose to travel will define how your day will go, every step of the way.

I hope this helps.

 

Be well