Thought Sketches

I'm always captivated by art exhibits that showcase an artist's sketches. I often find this section more fascinating and interesting than the finished pieces. It's awesome to have a window into someone's thought process and the development of their ideas. From an artistic perspective, I love to see the line quality in an artist's sketchwork. From a philosophical perspective, 'rough' and unfinished is beautiful on its own.

Blogging is a bit like sketching, because it can be casual and evolutionary. Since, I'm just starting this blog, I'm still learning what direction it will take, and what I'm looking to 'get out of it'. So far, it's turned into a bit of a series of small reflections.

I was talking to a yoga friend about the revolutionary experience I recently had in Stephanie Synder's yoga class at Urban Flow. Yogis often discuss moments where they feel transcendent and experience a waft of emotions. People describe bursting into tears during Svasana. I've often wondered about these experiences and why they occur. 

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Be a witness.
— Stephanie Snyder

On this night, I had my own transcendent moment, or rather, series of transcendent moments. The room was candlelit, and I looked around and thought, 'wow, how many people have had feelings like this before me, and who could possibly be having one now?' That's the beauty of yoga. You're in a room full of people, but you're also 'turning in' to yourself and being reflective. Here's a small 'thought sketch' I had.

On collaborative communication

A friend and I have recently been practicing compassionate communication, which is about empathizing with the other party.

This time, I thought about trying to practice a new potential form of communication: collaborative communication, which is less about empathy, and more about creating a combined reality. I was thinking how many opportunities I may have missed because I didn’t truly collaborate. I’ve been afraid to express what is really on my mind, or ‘put myself out there’ because I fear a negative or unknown outcome.

Instead, communication becomes a rapid calculation or an unintentioned power play, where we choose our words in anticipation of the other party’s reaction, not knowing that they too are uncertain as well. Or we simply want to 'get our thoughts out there', without realizing that our own thoughts are just something in the ether. I think we do this without even knowing that we are doing it. We communicate the ‘appropriate’ message, rather than truly thinking about what we ‘want’ and working with the other party to see if we’re aligned. What would happen if I didn’t fear the outcome, but instead took a moment to reflect, and then came to the table with real collaboration in mind?

This applies to personal, romantic, professional relationships, really anything. When I think about collaborative communication, I'm thinking about approaching communication with an inquisitive mindset. For tech people, it's sort of like a 'pull' method v. a 'push' method. It's about saying things with a question mark in mind rather than with a period. Rather than saying, 'this is what I want' why not say 'this is what I think I'm feeling right now'. Rather than saying, 'this is what I don't want to happen', why not say 'this is what I'm afraid could happen'.

Because at the end of the day, the thoughts we have inside us are only part of the story, the reality inside our heads is not nearly as interesting as the combined reality we create when we open the door to the possibility of shared communication.

When I forget myself I serve you. When I know myself I am you.
— Hanuman