To me there is nothing more frustrating than trying to get a point across to somebody who just doesn’t listen. Either they are too busy interrupting, or thinking about what to say next, particularly during a discussion or an argument. It makes me feel that I am not being heard and understood, that whatever I am expressing is not being validated, that I am not being supported. Invariably, this puts a strain on the relationship as disconnection prevails and the emotional distance widens.
Following the failure of a romantic relationship due to our inability to understand each other anymore, as it happens I stumbled across sublimewe. Life has a strange way of giving you answers just when you are ready for them. Before I attended a workshop, Jaime McGuigan, one of the peer facilitators of sublimewe, told me a little what it was about:
“sublimewe gives us the ‘time’ to consider how we truly feel and offers a ‘safe space’ to express our deepest, honest needs. In so expressing such feelings, others in the circle find themselves relating, and such ‘resonance’ facilitates a magical feeling of ‘trust’ and ‘connection’. We come to realise that the feelings we often feel alone in are shared by us all. This process gives insight into a new way of listening and communicating.”
I quickly came to realise that proper communication is just as important as listening. Taking a good look at yourself you are bound to find that you don’t always say exactly what you mean, which would naturally make it all the more difficult for people to understand what’s really going on inside you.
One reason why we may not communicate transparently is because we may not be fully aware of the emotions we are feeling. For example, we may react with anger when we feel hurt.
“A massive key to the process is directing attention and focus to the inner physical sensations arising from our emotions and breathing deeply into them. Not everyone is aware of these inner sensations, but with time and breath they become more apparent. It transforms unconscious reaction – born of resistance and fear – into conscious action – born of acceptance and gratitude for all that ‘is’. This is something I have learned to use on a day to day basis, and which I greatly encourage for others whether inside or outside the circle.”
Indeed, I now find myself asking: do my words and actions tend to spring up spontaneously from an uncontrolled reaction to a difficult emotion or from a conscious desire and willingness to connect with that person?
Furthermore, we may fear the type of reaction we may get from others; perhaps we fear rejection, being perceived as weak, being misunderstood, feeling unsupported when we are at our most vulnerable, feeling alone. My experience of the sublimewe circle is that it provided the ideal setting to overcome such fears.
“The sublimewe facilitation process includes a set of uniquely designed tools which each participant in the circle has access to, fully and equally. Body-focused orientation and the art of reflection are also utilised to help us recognise our core nature, both individually and collectively. “
Once we experience the personal power and connection that are to be found in honouring and sharing our ‘truth’ vulnerably, insecurities gently fade away. This develops a personal integrity that makes way for conscious relationships.
“Conscious relationships can happen when each person recognises their own feelings and needs, and accepts responsibility for them without putting blame on another, together with the responsibility for requesting support. This both stems from and further creates trust, acceptance and instant forgiveness. If both parties can do that, it allows for a shared understanding and a mutuality regarding needs and expectations within the relationship.”
The circle demonstrated that a deep level of awareness, communication and connection is possible, such that I naturally wanted to bring it into my day to day interactions with family, friends, colleagues, and all I meet. It became clear to me that conscious communication – from both sides – is crucial for cultivating authentic, meaningful relationships.
A 4-day Sublime We retreat is being held in Gharghur between 18-21 September. For more information kindly contact Jaime McGuigan on Facebook.
Written by Melanie Drury