Conscious Communication: An Interview with Cliff Harvey
“Com.mu.ni.ca.tion ~ A process by which information is transfered. The act of exchange; of thoughts, actions, messages.. Connection.
Con.scious ~ Aware of and responding to one’s surroundings, environment, and of ones own existence; awake.”
As a coach in corrective mechanics and integrated yoga, I am well placed to educate my clients how at the cellular level the mechanical, physical, bioelectrical and biomechanical functions of all our systems – “our physical body” – provide “communication and feedback” to one’s mind, and ultimately, how one’s mind (through our thoughts, needs, attachments etc) can ultimately affect one’s physical body as well.
As the great Buddha once said, “What we think, we become.” But what about communicating outside the “bubble” of our own internal world? We know that humans require connection; without connecting with others and our environment, we would not survive. We would wither away in solitude and cease to exist. From the dawn of time humans evolve by connecting to one another and to our surroundings. This gives rise to a new level of communication – Conscious Communication.
The New Thought Movement in 1904-1910 was pioneered by Thomas Troward who strongly influced the idea of ‘conscious communicaton” and claimed that thought precedes physical form and that “the action of the mind plants the seed, the nucleus which, if allowed to grow undisturbed, will eventually attract to itself all the conditions necessary for its manifestation in outward visible form.”
The law of attraction; abundantly shows us that “like attract like”; that positive thoughts attract positive outcomes and negative thoughts attract negative outcomes. Much like the phrases, for example: “I need more money” or “I’ll never find love”, (which we have all uttered from time to time)… allows the subject (you and me) to continue to “need money” or “never find love”. Why? Simple. You are not communicating a solution, an action. You are not communicating the goal, you are in essence only communicating the problem and until we make a conscious decision to communicate and focus our thoughts on the result. For instance; “I have more money now” or “I am currently walking the path of love.”
Let’s take that one step further. COMMUNICATION WITH ANOTHER!
What is the difference between being a good communicator and being a master of conscious communication skills? Communication as a general term can be very wide spread and interpretations and intentions can vary from person to person, culture to culture etc. Conscious Communication implies first and foremost that a level of ‘consciousness’ is present. As the communicator, we need to be aware of at least four key elements.
1. Be aware of the self. This applies to the intention behind the conversation, personal agenda, emotions, fears, and opinions that may progress or hinder the flow of communication. Taking responsibility for your feelings and making it as easy as possible for the other person to understand your point of view.
2. Be aware of the other person. The ability to keep an open mind and be open and respectful to their emotions, fears, opinions and worldview is crucial in communicating.
3. Be aware of the environment. The ambiance dedicated to the conversation will shift the flow substantially. Is the environment ideal, does it add or take away from the experience of the conversation?
4. Be aware of the support structures that may help or hinder effective communication; for example a coach, a mediator a professional to offer feedback and keep the flow on track.
Keeping on track with my 4 week introduction to Cliff Harvey, author of “Choosing You” and “Time Rich Cash Optional”, whose speaking engagements and workshops draw people from all over the world.
One of Cliff’s workshops is based on “Conscious Communication,” where he draws from more than 14 years clinical experience as an ND and as a mind-body coach to show how we can create more harmonious relationships at home, at work, and in any other area of life with a few simple intentions, tools and exercises.
An Interview with Cliff Harvey on Conscious Communication:
Q. Cliff, in one of your workshops called ‘Effective Conscious Communication’. Your 3 main themes are (1) The value of Brave Conversations, (2) The importance of speaking your truth and (3) How to use positive framing to literally transform your relationships. That’s pretty powerful stuff. Without giving away any secrets… what do you hope your participants will walk away with after one of your workshops?
A. Particularly over the last few years of Life and Purpose coaching I have noticed real challenges for people arising from poor communication, resulting in stress, anxiety and poor health. We all know how to communicate…but seldom do we know how to communicate compassionately, effectively and in a way that allows us to be more harmoniously aligned with others AND our highest goals, values and purpose.
My hope is that participants in this particular workshop will walk away with a few simple, effective tools that they can apply straight away in order to create happier, more fulfilling relationships with those around them.
Q. You mention that you draw on your clinical experience working with patients and clients to formulate this and other workshops. Are there any particular experiences that have influenced the communication tools you outline?
A. There really are too many to name! But in essence the tools that I apply in practice and that I teach, have come from a lifetime of experience and spiritual practice. One of the great things about moving more and more over the years into Life & Purpose Coaching and Mind-Body-Spirit medicine has been the integration of all aspects of my ‘life’ into my ‘work’.
For example I grew up doing yoga with my Dad which gave me an early insight into midnfulness, the mind-body connection as well as tenets of Eastern Philosophy.
I went on to research and become involved in Buddhist practice for many years from my early teens, as well as investigating mystic Christianity, Sufism and many, many other contemplative traditions. When I integrated this learning (and the many realisations along the way) with the scientific and medical knowledge I had garnered studying nutrition, strength and conditioning and Natuopathic medicine, it was quite a powerful combination!
The intention and compassion based aspects of the communication strategies I teach definitely rest on this basis. The ‘action’ based tools have arisen from study of various things like NLP, Ericksonian Hypnosis, Psych-K and other modalities.
But I think most importantly taking the intention of love and compassion, and cultivating awareness – allows you to learn and grow from difficult situations, with difficult people and this learning process is something I also teach in tthe workshops.
A few very special people in a very special time and place in my life had a huge role to play in one of the ‘lynchpin’ exercise I teach for encouraging ‘conscious communication’ – and so a big thank you for that goes out to Kriya, Dale, Lise, Jennifer, Alex, Christine and Derek at our wonderful Zorba-Buddha house in Kitsilano may it long reside in our hearts and memories!
Stay tuned next week, as we wrap up our 4 week introduction to Cliff’s mind-body coaching and sneak peek at his upcoming workshops in Vancouver.
Cliff’s Website: http://www.cliffharvey.com/
Time Rich Cash Optional: http://www.timerichcashoptional.com/
Katoa Health: http://www.katoahealth.com/workshops–courses.html