The holidays are coming. For many people, that means time with family and friends. Depending on how things are in your life and with your family, you might be looking forward to this season, or you could be looking for a way out.
Many things can make the holidays challenging, especially in families or groups where expectations, assumptions, and unspoken rules are plentiful. Unspoken expectations and assumptions ultimately lead to breakdowns in relationships. Too often we avoid having the hard conversations that could actually, if given a chance, turn the breakdowns into breakthroughs.
In truth, this happens all the time, not just at the holidays. And these challenges are not limited to families or circles of friends. They show up in the workplace, in your spiritual community, at school – they can happen anywhere. We all have expectations, we all make assumptions, and at some point in our lives, we all experience being afraid to say something important to someone else.
A few weeks ago, a member of our Transformational Presence community sent me a link to Ash Beckham’s TEDxBoulder talk. I knew right away that I would share Ash’s talk in a newsletter because it is so straightforward, unapologetic, honest, and real. You can watch it below.
While the title is “Coming Out Of Your Closet,” Ash’s talk is really about having hard conversations. It’s about getting real, speaking your truth, and no longer hiding, whether you are telling someone important to you that you are gay, telling your parents that you have a brain tumor, telling your child that you are getting a divorce, or telling someone you love them for the first time. Ash refers to it as “throwing the grenade,” because once you’ve said it, it can’t be unsaid. And once another person knows something, they can no longer not know it.
Yet Ash goes on to share her own learning about speaking from an open heart, from integrity, from compassion – just being real with each other – respecting that it may be hard for the other person to hear what you have to say. And that’s OK. It’s just about being honest and truthful from a place of love. Well, those are my words. Ash says it in her own entertaining and brilliant way, and in a way that cuts right to the essence!
This holiday season – or anytime and anyplace – maybe there is a hard conversation you need to have. Or maybe someone has something they need to say to you that they’ve been afraid to say or may be hard for you to hear. Let it be OK, even if it is uncomfortable. Just let it be what it is. Speak and listen from a heart of love, and see what happens.
P.S. How can we prepare ourselves for the hard conversations? The Institute of HeartMath offers a simple exercise, High Heart – Low Heart, for finding inner clarity and calm in challenging situations. You can find the exercise and learn more about High Heart – Low Heart on pages 157 – 159 of my latest book, Create A World That Works. If you don’t have the book, it’s available through our website store, on amazon.com, or in bookstores everywhere. It is also available in digital format for most e-readers, including Kindle, iBooks, and Nook.
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