Are you? Or do I think you are?

light trails

Earlier this year in a meeting with one of my mentors at SFU I realized that one way I can communicate (and love) others better is by explaining myself – and by that I mean this. I can be a very inquisitive creature. Some call it “questioning”.. it’s even at the centre of my manifesto (question everything). Often I am just curious, but sometimes my ego gets in the way and I am trying to make a point. Usually in these cases I am not understanding and fully listening to the person talking… but sometimes people might assume that is what I am doing even when my intentions are purely focused on learning and understanding. Either way, the point is, by prefacing my intentions with context (why am I asking this) I can be clearer for my others, and when my ego gets in the way – myself.

Recently I learned that there is another way I can better love and communicate with others:

I was talking with this girl who was mentioning how she was not very good with words and was not very articulate. I immediately was surprised and told her that was was, in fact, quite articulate. Someone jokingly said that of course I know her better than she knows herself. I was so surprised, I never realized that my act of faith and goodwill might be misinterpreted and offending like that. I didn’t mean that I knew her better than she knew herself. Though perhaps I was discovering her more than she was discovering herself (opening up  to limitless possibilities). I quickly rephrased my comment and acknowledgement to state that I THOUGHT she was very articulate. I wonder which has more power:

  • I think you are _____ OR
  • You are _______

I think the first option leaves less room for the mis-interpretation I described, however the second is more affirming – it creates someone to be something. It is definitive.

Now I am remembering my experience at the PostSecret LIVE event last year. I was given a book by Frank Warren that said “the world needs your voice” inside. It has become quite my self-fulfilling prophecy. What if it had said “i think the world needs your voice”. I wonder what the difference would be.

In contrast sometimes I myself put myself down – mostly by accident or unintentionally when speaking. I wish others would call me on this and acknowledge me. I think often myself and other do it unintentionally – but it does make a difference. Or… i think it makes a difference : P


PS: some background on this practice of acknowledgement can be found:

My Thinks & Notes from Joyologist Tricia Huffman’s Let’s Relate & Communicate Webinar

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Communication makes relationships. Every connection you have with another person is a relationship and RELATIONSHIP = to relate to another… to be in the same place as someone (physically, emotionally, mentally?)

Who are you BEING with all people (yourself included)? to be or not to be…

your being = thoughts, actions, attitudes, words, clothing, choices, beliefs … often without speaking

I am a teacher at all times.

“We are all human.” – Tricia Huffman



“clean it up as it comes up.” – Tricia Huffman (this is similar to “making shit up” and the interpersonal mush described in clear leadership)

Questions to ask others:

  • What are you present to? Where are you at right now?
  • Is there anything you want to clear up with me?

FIND YOUR OWN VOICE. With everything I learn I find great value in puiting it in my own words. Thought: I think bad words are like sarcasm. I think they mask insecurities and have a negative pull… how does duality relate to this? Maybe some cussing is required for some clean talks.. hmm.

Plans and ideas are allowed to change! I am not trapped in anything!

“listen through love.” – Tricia Huffman

Expectations set us up for failure.

People fall asleep to acknowledging others. Show people how much you love them! Acknowledge people! Thank them!

Fully listen! Repeat back to people what they have said.

Dear Jenni: Stop trying to “fix” people and give them advice. They know the answer. TRUST them and acknowledge them for being the intelligent people they are. It is not my job to fix other people. I will have compassion, but I will not be responsible for them. I can’t change others behaviors but I can change my own reactions… “cant change the wind but you can adjust the sails ” …why would you want to make someone you love “wrong”?

“everything is either a request for love, or an expression of love.” – Tricia Huffman

I wonder how different cultures love full out? When I first started actively participating in positivity I was all HUGS and HIGH FIVES. It was a very physical thing for me. This is a very North American image of how to “love full out” and I am curious about other cultures and how others experience this.



What is your view on using “love” to end e-mails and in conversations with acquaintances? I really want to bring love into all of my actions but I am afraid people will think I am unprofessional. People are always going to judge you. Don’t let that stop you. Dive into fear.

How do gossip and venting fit into being love? It’s okay to vent sometimes, but always go back to the source and communicate with the person directly afterward. If other gossip to you, tell them you aren’t comfortable engaging in that energy. Why are you wasting your energy on that? If you really want to change this you need to talk to that person about it.

Many things you said reminded me of a book/course I recently experienced called “clear leadership”. coincidence, or are you familiar with it? “I” language.


EXPERIMENT: Venting to myself.

I am a very extroverted and oral communicator so I wanted to try

Before: I felt curious and apprehensive about trying this and I felt a little scared that my Mom would hear me haha.

During: I communicated my experience to myself and was able to understand my experience better.

After: I am missing feedback and I wish I had done this with a video camera.

Soooo I tried that but the sound didn’t work and I have decided that is wasn’t meant to be, but I will experiment further the next time I want to vent : )