On the surface of life there are time limits, goals, outcomes and objectives. All wonderful stuff. However, when we engage in relationships with other people, we get met at the level of thinking we project. So, if we want deeper and more engaged relationships, they begin by tapping into your own deeper resources: Ie not time limits, goals, outcomes and objectives.
On the surface of the lake there are trees poking through the dead stillness making a perfect abstract art form. I draw your attention to this abstract art but you might see devastation. You might see salt drained from over used land that has killed those trees, starved the water life of nitrogen and killed a whole ecosystem. What we all see on the surface of life: those time limits, goals, outcomes and objectives varies based on our perspective.
Below the surface of the lake are our values. Our intrinsic values actually and these are the drivers of the goals, outcomes, time limits and objectives on the surface. Tapping those values in ourselves causes a response from others directly at the level of their values. Speaking about matters above the surface, the shallow conversation, must create conflict in the majority of communication because it’s so prone to each person’s perspective. But that’s shallow. Deeper communication provides a deeper connection.
My house mate loves to share the housekeeping. She asks me to vacuum and I simply offer to hire the cleaning staff more often. That’s the surface. Occasionally I do the vacuuming. One way I can do it is to simply set time limits, create the goal, focus on the outcome and have a clear objective. When I do this she usually complains that the job I did was not good enough. The other way to do it is to connect the vacuuming (the surface) with my deeper values and ask how vacuuming supports my intrinsic values. For example: I like to be flexible in my joints so, if i can see how vacuuming can be done to add flexibility to my joints, I enjoy it more and do it better. I can also see how I can meditate while I do it and relax my mind. Ironically, when go a bit deeper and do connect the vacuuming to my values, my flat mate consistently rewards me with gratitude. By me working at a deeper place, she receives at a deeper place.
Spirituality is not limited to cushions in yoga rooms or pews in places of worship. Nor does it take a degree in psychology for us all to accept that where we come from in a conversation is as important, if not more important, than what we say.