I don’t like confrontations. I tend to want to avoid them at all cost but, as it turns out, confrontation, which is intended to bring people closer together, is not the same as conflict, which tends to bring people apart. So as much as having to confront somebody is never easy, it’s very important and necessary to master in order to live a meaningful and impactful life.
I tell you all that because I just came back from a weekend workshop called “Respectful Confrontation” led by the very masterful Joe Weston. It is not officially part of my Somatic Continued Education program but to my very big surprise it might as well be.
As heady as you think this kind of workshop can be, I found to my big relief that this was a totally embodied experience.
I learned so many great things but most of all, it was an affirmation to what I already know that the deepest behavior change happens on a body-mind level.
I learned that in order to communicate effectively it is more important how present I am in my body than the specific words I use and there were many somatic exercises in the workshop that were offered towards this end.
Specifically I learned that being present in my body has to do with connecting to my center, which lives in a very specific place below my naval, as well as being connected to my heart center.
I learned that being in my true power has to do with letting myself be vulnerable.
That being connected to these centers physically allow me to have the sufficient amount of grounding, focus, strength and flexibility to say what I need to say from my gut and my heart and respond to whoever I’m communicating with most effectively, in a way that can enhance our relationship.
Something specific that I can bring to you from my experience is the following practice which you can try before having a difficult conversation:
Place the feet at about hip width apart.
Close your eyes.
Notice your breath – don’t try to change it. Just be with it
Feel the ground under your feet. Let yourself feel held.
Gently shift your weight from the front of your foot to the back and from one side to the other.
Find what feels like your point of equilibrium.
Locate your energetic center by placing your index finger on your naval and placing three consecutive fingers below.
From where the pinkie is imagine going about a third way into the abdomen.
That’s your power center, where your wisdom and creativity lives. This is the center of your awareness.
Direct your breath to your power center.
Keep cycling between being with the breath, feeling the ground, sending the breath to your core.
From the center of your awareness, become aware of your physical body.
Send your breath to your center.
From the center of your awareness become aware of your feelings. Become aware of judgement. Let it go.
Send your breath to your core.
From the center of your awareness, become aware of how your thoughts are, not necessarily their content but more their quality.
Send your breath to your core.
From the center of your awareness become aware of your surroundings (sensations, sounds, smells, touch, sights)
From the center of your awareness find your heart center and send your breath to that area as well.
From both of these centers, see if you can connect to something bigger than yourself.
Find the object of your communication and try speaking your truth from this place and saying what you need to say. Notice how different it feels from how you’ve communicated before.
There’s so much more to this of course but I suspect this might be enough to make a difference already. Try it! Feel free to share any discoveries.