"Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say Without Being Mean When You Say It" ~ Meryl Runion Rose                                ShoppingCart Plum NB 50

Be Strong. Be Clear. Be Kind. Be Free. Be YOU!!!

Effective Communication Skill Blog

Alchemist in Meryl.150Communication skills are great in theory, but how are they in practice? This Effective Communication Skill Blog shows you how to walk the SpeakStrong talk. I'm Meryl Runion Rose. Join our conversation about Communication Alchemy, and saying what you mean and meaning what you say... without being mean when you say it.

The Communication Alchemist is IN. Are you IN too?

A Sweet Goodbye to 2013

Burning Bowl 3002013 was good to us - and we were good to it. We committed to developing space for grace, and we did. We comitted to increasing balance, and we did. We narrowly escaped fire in 2012 and floods in 2013, and we were changed for the better by the experiences. 

I'm going to a burnng bowl ceremony tonight - where we write what we want to let go of going in to 2014, and burn it. My letting go has changed. It's not about abruptly ending a behavoir. It's about giving myself the option not to do those things.

In 2014, I don't have to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or keep the itchy labels on them. I don't have to craft my words to impress anyone. I don't have to remake Bob or anyone into my own image. I don't have to keep working when my spirit cries out for movement and play. I don't have to be as random and approximate in how I do things. I don't have to follow every creative impulse. I don't have to be understood. I don't have to be able to explain what I know in order to trust it. I don't have to share budding thoughts before they take root. I don't have to hide my heart behind cold objectivity.

All wonderful things not to have to do. I have a whole year to practice choosing not to. Tomorrow I will tell you my theme for next year. Lean2Life and Space for Grace were fabulous guiding lights in 2013. 2014 will have its own lights. 

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A Clear Day

Sun 300Our Stay-cation was a resounding success. Bob and I both feel renewed by it. We also both feel clear - although we had very different initial definitions of clarity. For me, it was a sense of conscious awakeness. My meditations were deeper and I felt a sense of balance. For him, it was thinking functions. He could remember names from childhood and actors in movies. That indicated to him that his mind was working well.

There was a time when I judged my definition as superior. Not anymore. I added his definition of clarity to my own.

I'm playing with themes for the days of the week. Saturday was Joy Day. I played, kicked up my heels at dance and fed my spirit. Sunday was Grace Day. I rested, settled in with Bob and fed the sweetness of my heart. Today is Clear Day. After letting my mind rest a bit, today I will focus on the parts and the plans and enjoy the logical nature of my mind (as Bob does by default.) Tomorrow is Strong Day. More about that and the rest of the week later.

It's an experiment. This experiment makes a structure I've practiced intuitively more concrete. Or, I could say, more clear, logical and structured. After all, today is Clear Day. And so far, I'm liking it. 

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Wisdom From Childhood Buddies

basket for a picnic with tableware and foods 300I have my theme set for 2014. Do you have yours?

I know what I want to cultivate, and I'm still reflecting about what I want to let go of. I figure it's not a New Year resolution in the sense of imposing different habits and being a different person as much as a New Year theme to cultivate qualities over the year.

More later. Today I want to tell you about my newly rediscovered childhood friends "Lynn" and Mary. 

I posted a picture on Facebook of myself playing a toy guitar in front of a Christmas tree at about age five. I noted that I used to sing as I walked around the block hoping to be discovered. Lynn commented, "Very few of us get discovered. If we're lucky, we eventually discover ourselves". She seems to have discovered herself. After five strokes she is currently living in a nursing home with an excellent sense of humor about such topics as how "Scrooge Insurance won't approve a wheelchair I can get up from".

Mary has discovered herself too. She posted about a dream where she was not at all impressed with a classy nightclub, and sat with friends on a colorful picnic table that turned into a magic carpet. They were careful to fly beneath the power lines.

Clearly Mary has discovered magic in the ordinary. I love her image of flying below the power lines. Great metaphor! I say we can fly above them, too. Just don't fly right in to them. In other words, there is plenty of room to enjoy our own lives in our own ways as long as we are aware of where those power lines are. Direct confrontation is necessary at times, but often we have plenty of room to be ourselves, as long as we stay aware of the lines of power around us.

I am delighted by my recently rediscovered treasure in dear old friends.

I delighted in this song yesterday about loving in spite of ourselves. John Prine.

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From Judgment to Individualized Appreciation

Heart Family 300Bob and I joked about rating our Christmas cards and giving people feedback on them. The joke was how inappropriate rating and ranking can be - and how inhibiting. Imagine how many cards we would get next year if we told people they came in tenth or thirtieth in our Christmas card evaluations!

When we enjoyed the cards together before bed, we actually did "rate" them with a very sweet tone. We saw each card in terms of its essence, and what award it could get. The most personal card, the most clever card, the most nostalgic card.

His sister underlined words in her card for emphasis, which is a family practice, so her card got kudos for family traditions. It wasn't really a ranking, it was a celebration. It was praise. It was communion with the sender. We feel closer to our community for doing that. 

 

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Free to be Me

Angelas Heart 300Lily finished massage school less enamored with massage than when she started. Massage school is so clinical these days, and there can be little respect for massage as an art. But Lily found a place to work where she can be herself, and she loves massage again. I felt that in her hands.

Angela can't stop smiling. She apprenticed in nutritional counseling with Bob. She has great respect for him. She is not like him. She can't compete in his field with his approach. But recently, Angela dropped her comparisons and discovered her own voice. She celebrates her sense of being  "free to be me." She has her own approach and her work has become a joy since she came home to herself. 

"It's hard to shake of someone else's model," she told me. That is so true. In fact, SpeakStrong is necessary for that reason. It's easy to say "be yourself". But shaking off years of programming isn't as easy as deciding to. It's a balancing act to be enriched but not defined by others.

A lot of us are coming home to ourselves these days and feeling freer than ever to be who we are. It's exciting to see it. It's even more exciting to live it.

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Personal and Community Thanks

Star Purple 300Evan Hodkins helps me see the odd perfection in everything - even brokenness.

Mike Rother teaches me rigor and precision in creative discovery.

My elder parents have shown me how patience with limitations and the diminishments of aging fosters love.

Angela Thompson shows me the oak trees in my acorns.

Cassia Powell pulls me out of the ethers and plants me back on the ground.

Becky Lane models how powerful teaching and tools can be in conscious and capable hands.

Bob Rose gives me a foundation that allows me to soar to new heights. His greatness is revealed to me in new ways each day.

Linnea Lundeen - my newly rediscovered best friend from childhood gives me something I will post about later.

And you give me a reason to keep sharing my discoveries, my process and my insights. You give me community.

Thank you, every one. 

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Lean2Life 2013: Humbly Triumphant

Meryl Guitar Christmas 300Christmas Eve 2013 I decided to limit my commitments and shift my focus to foundations and maintenance. I set out to sort, straighten, shine and standardize my world. Clean up my messes. Stop being so random and start developing stablizing routines. Change habits that don't serve me. I started out thinking I'd let myself have a whole week to do this. Then I gave myself two. Eventually I realized what a Herculean task I had taken on, and gave myself a year. Much of it wasn't pretty. Hercules began his mission by cleaning stable dung. Well, you never know how much dung there is until you stop reaching out and instead, turn in and start cleaning.

That year ends now. And guess what! I need six more months!

It's exciting to look back and see how much I accomplished. It's humbling to see how far from my goals I still am. I had a bad digestive attack today. That was one of the things on my target list to correct. On the other hand, when I want a clothing item I can find it pretty fast. Actually, I can find most anything I want quickly now. No digging. Yay!

Goals give direction to decisions we make day to day. And my goals did just that. I don't have the level of order I hoped for. Some metaphorical dung still remains to be cleaned. But my world has transformed. I did that! And I am giving myself another six months of building foundations as priority. I'm also nurturing my inner Achiever a little bit at a time to prepare myself with the warrior energy I will need for the next chapter of my life. But foundations still trump. I'm getting a bit tired of being so responsible. I'm looking forward to the next stage. But I am called to complete this stage before moving in to the next.

I'm doing this for me. I'm also doing it for everyone else who was affected by the "dung" and disorder that my outward focus ignored, and for everyone else who will be served by the next chapter of my life, offered from strong, clean foundations.

We're going to a candle-lighting ceremony and that will feel like a celebration of this amazing year. It makes me feel like getting out the little guitar and my red striped pajamas and singing. I am grateful to myself for the gift I gave myself over the last year. Thank-you, me! It just keeps getting better. Wishing you blessed new beginnings, on track and in tune with your calling.

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Whole-y-day Musing: Stay-cation Dissipation

sleep bed.300When Bob and I were thinking about doing our next retreat at home, something about getting the word "stay-cation" crystallized it for us. I was concerned that we might dliute our time off, being a 30-second commute to our offices, but having the word anchored the focus for us.

Another word has been very helpful in focusing our time. Bob was talking with our mentor Evan about how taking care of a problem in the evening forced him to pull himself together which "kept him from dissipating". Somehow that struck him powerfully, and he honors the sacredness of relaxation time since.

Of course, the word holiday comes from holy day, and that also means whole-y day, which is what we use the time for. Renewing our wholeness with ourselves, our worlds and each other. 

I wish you wholeness.

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Holy-day Musings

candle.300First, for my Feedburner subscribers - so sorry about the errant posts going out. We're doing a lot of work on the blog, and that seems to confuse the feed. Someday it will be sorted and well worth the kerfuffles.

Bob and I are taking a real holiday. Pulling the plug. Not going into total silence, but close. We used to go to Santa Fe for spa intensives a couple times a year, but this year the spa is coming to us. 

It hasn't started yet, but it already feels like we're being enveloped in beauty and ease. We're preparing things so we won't have to come out of our massages, cranial sacral, reflexology, etc. to take care of things. We're creating a sacred and beautiful environment. 

As I settle in, I find my heart welling up in gratitude for so many things. One, of course, is to be able to pull back and dive into complete relaxation like this. Another is the incredible teachers I've had over the years. Evan Hodkins is my main one, but there are so many others.

Last year Bob and I set out to create "space for grace" in our lives. We still have a ways to go, but the transformation over the last year is gratifying. That journey started on Christmas Eve. Seeing how far we've come inspires me to create a vision for next year. What will it be? What will yours be?

Blessings to you all. Thanks for being a part of my journey to me. 

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Dare to be Ordinary on the Road to Excellence

CSPI once adopted a personal motto to:

  • Dare to be ordinary

I was on a major learning curve and found it hard to put myself out every day knowing my best wasn't always "rated" good enough. It was tempting to pretend, but by being myself, I gradually got my skills up to speed.

I actually DID get a medal for my persistence - a Certified Speaking Professional medal. It's for excellence in the speaking industry. I say it's for daring to be my ordinary self - a work in process - until I got good. Or, to use another motto of mine, I had to practice, which involved expressing my true self ineffectively before expressing my true self effectively. 

Another way to refer to it is humility. Oh, my, it was humbling and tranformational. 

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Why You Should Never Wrestle With a "Pig"

Pig wrestle 300

Warning! 
Never wrestle with a pig. You both get all dirty and the pig loves it.

Warning! Warning!
Don't take the "pig" reference too literally.
It's also important to avoid labeling others - even if they're quite fond of mud-wrestling.  
Labels take you down a notch, and the mud-wrestlers automatically win if you let that happen. dark-purple-divider-line

 

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Jung's Useful Foil: Perfectly Imperfect

jung  mandala 300I'm reading Carl Jung's last book, Man and His Symbols. Unlike my former habit, I am starting at the beginning, with the forward. I never used to read/experience books in their wholeness. Now I do. The forward is providing context.

This forward is by Coordinating Editor John Freeman. Jung insisted on Freeman being the editor. Freeman quickly found out he was chosen because Jung considered him to be an "average reader".

I found this very exciting. Why? Because it shows the perfection of imperfection. Freeman was the perfect choice because he lacked expertise. He "spoke strong" throughout the process to make sure the authors explained things in simple, intelligible ways. 

Too often, we try to look like we get it when we don't. Too often we try to cover up our struggles, confusion and judgments. Freeman helped Man and His Symbols be readable by not doing any of that. 

I love it when someone on my team goes "huh?" Well, I hate it first and love it second. I also love it when some on my team goes "wow." I need that, too. But what I really need is the inside story of how my work is received. Jung had that with Freeman. Who do you have that with? Who do you give that to? Do you know that your doubts and confusions can be exactly what others need to hear at times? 

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Article Use

Please copy, quote, distribute, share and publish these articles with the following credits.

©2014 Meryl Runion Rose. Meryl is a Certified Speaking Professional and the Creator of the SpeakStrong Method of Dynamically Effective Communication. Find her at www.SpeakStrong.com

Let me know how you use them. Thanks!  

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