I love REAL conversations. Over the past few weeks I have been extremely fortunate to experience intensely positive reconnections with five women I know, all a result of having real conversations with them. In each case, we did not talk about the weather or international news headlines or great food, we discussed the experiences, feelings, and decisions that are foundational in our lives.
All women inspire me as I navigate the steps (and missteps) of my life’s path, and the recent discussions with these five women are the best examples of how this inspiration occurs. Last night I found myself wondering why I did not choose to make every conversation with every person as deeply touching and energizing as those that motivated me to write this blog.
Why does it matter?
On December 31, 2012 I promised myself that in the New Year I would have only real conversations, talking to others only about things that truly mattered. In making that resolution, I asked myself, “What is the point of not making the effort to genuinely connect when talking with anyone anywhere?”
In 2013, my implementation of that resolution was inconsistent at best. I simply did not have the stamina to be “all in” in every conversation or to encourage others to be. One of many well-used phrases in my self-talk is, “It’s a process.” And this process has taken longer and has been more challenging than I had expected. Members of my family, as well as friends, colleagues, and many of you, have patiently and generously walked this path with me. You have, metaphorically, opened your arms and your hearts, and I am deeply, deeply grateful.
As I type this piece, I thank all of you who have been part of this quest and I ask you all to hold me accountable to my commitment. Feel free at any time to ask, “Is this a real conversation, Sharon?” And if you are willing, I will ask the same of you. I believe that our lives will be fuller, richer and more meaningful if we do.
12 thoughts on “Was that a real conversation?”
Good rainy Wednesday night Sharon: I think a goal to make every conversation a real conversation with all those around us creates positive energy which is so very much needed in today’s work/family environment where there is much stress. It is tough to know what’s real conversation and what’s not these days, and thinking about science or method behind what makes a real conversation may shed light to the path. Maybe it is less about what but more about how we have a conversation….. Maybe it is about knowing who I am and what my contribution to this world is…. Maybe, a real conversation starts with mindfulness…. Thanks Sharon for always getting these thought provoking ideas out there for us to ponder….
Thanks very much for your comment and perspective, Ann. I love your point that “Maybe it is about knowing who I am and what my contribution to this world is.” We all have a unique contribution to make and I appreciate your advice that we know what it is!
So good to hear from you. Sending a big hug!
Thank you for sharing Sharon! What an amazing example of accountability you are!! REAL feels so right to the soul. As I read your piece, I kept going through my recent past conversations and realizing that afterwards, I have stopped just for a few seconds to ask myself “what did she/he just say; and why did I tune out; what could I have said that may have made that conversation richer and fuller”? Then excuses: regrets, too much on the plate, not important right now etc. Your piece is very encouraging to me to pay attention to someone else and to myself but most importantly to the conversations. Perhaps, just perhaps, the right answer, word of knowledge is in that attentive, real conversation. Thank you for the encouragement on the journey/path of love and mastery. Many blessings!!
It is so good to hear from you, Margaret. Thanks so very much for your comment and thoughts about having real conversations. Love your point that “Perhaps, just perhaps, the right answer, word of knowledge is in that attentive, real conversation.”
Many blessings and a big e-hug to you, too.
Thanks so much for this, Sharon. Such a good reminder… cut through the nonsense and get to the heart of it. And give love… and be willing to receive it.
Wish I had done that more with my friend before he died last week. It might not have saved him, but I’d have gotten closer to the heart of his struggle.
Thank you for being a wonderful friend and a lighthouse of strength and compassion in all you do.
Mala, I am so sorry for your loss and send much love as you cope with your friend’s death. I love your point about giving love and being willing to receive it. In times of joy, times of sorrow, and all the times in-between, this is excellent advice.
A loving reminder to reach out for any help you may need, from any and all who can give it. You deserve it!
With love and a very big hug that I hope you can feel,
I love this blog! I often stop myself mid sentence wondering what I’m even talking about and why it is important. I, like many, have a busy schedule and I tend to cut short conversations with the people that mean the most. This has inspired me to try harder to get better at this. It’s definitely important!
Thank you always for the inspiration! Hugs!
Katy, thanks very much for taking the time to comment. I am sure that the people who “mean the most” to you understand that you love and appreciate them and yes, allowing yourself and them the time to truly connect can make a big difference.
I hope that you are well and happy, and that you are taking loving care of yourself in this very busy time.
With a gratitude and a very big hug,
You are the absolute epitome of engaging in “real conversation” ever since I’ve known you. I would also suggest that sometimes it’s not about the words. It’s more about the intention behind the words. I use this with my 16 year old son, who is at the stage where he’s pretty non-communicative but will share “time and space” with me where we have meaningful interactions without words. Sometimes it’s just about watching his favorite game on TV sitting beside him while I’m reading on my Kindle. It was wonderful seeing you recently and you made a huge difference in my life that day. I found such a sense of peace in a struggle I have been wrestling with, as I wrote about it, so I thank you for the day. Hugs and Namaste. xo
Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts, Claudia. Yes, yes, yes, “sometimes it’s not about the words.” That is a very important point and I am grateful to you for noting it.
I love how women support each other, and am grateful to know you. You are helping so many women through your writing, your caring, any by being you.
Sending a big, big hug,
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I AM ALWAYS WANTING TO BE IN THE MOMENT.
I hate call waiting and technology.
My wish list,
is to sit with folks and talk.
I don’t have voicemail or an answering machine.
I AM SO SAD WHEN PEOPLE ARE THINKING
ABOUT OTHER TASK AND TEN STEPS AHEAD
WONDERING WHAT IS NEXT.
HOW DO WE CONNECT IF YOUR MIND IS
NOT FOCUSING ON OUR CONVERSATION.
I look around and everyone’s head is down doing
Something with something or someone that is
Not in the room.
I TRY MY BEST TO DISCONNECT FROM CELLS,
It is like sleeping with the TV,ON.
My mind and body can not get any rest .
BECAUSE OF THE DISTRACTING NOISE.
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and observations with us, Ramona. I am especially struck with your comment that “I look around and everyone’s head is down doing something with something or someone that is
not in the room.” So far from having a real conversation because there is no conversation! An excellent reminder to us all.
Sending a very big hug,