This summer a spend over a month at The Haven, an amazing center for personal and professional development. I have been a part of The Haven for close to 30 years and I believe the learnings there turned my life around. But that story is a bit long for a morning blog. Still there are some elements of the story worth revisiting and today’s topic is The Haven’s Communication Model it is a simple model offered generally towards the beginning of every core program.
The first time I learned about it I hardly noticed it and definitely did not practice it enough to have any idea of the possibilities for a richer life I could discover once I put it into play. Indeed I now refer to the practice of the model as my spiritual practice, meaning the model assist me in connecting to a larger reality and allows me to connect to people with greater depth then I ever dreamed possible.
I realized the magic in the model pretty early on. I found myself talking with someone about my life, sharing a very horrible event in earlier childhood and instead of having the usual response of “wow, it’s amazing you survived, that’s horrible what happened to you”, he started laughing. I was so surprised I looked up at him instead of wallowing in my sad story. Immediately I was intrigued. “Why are you laughing?, no one has ever done that.”, came out with a bit of energy. His response was tears and laughter with the comment, “honestly your story is so outside of my reality and I just could not think of anything else to do and I started laughing because I felt so helpless.” Instead of getting angry I continued to look at him and saw he was quite sincere and curious about his response and me. He wasn’t laughing at me. even more important I had a moment of being outside of my story. In that moment I got how trapped I was inside my own self-generated horror story. Reliving over and over and generally getting the same response of ‘poor me’. May be that was one of the first moments I really got how I create my own reality – and then go about believing it is the only one.
Having the awareness that each of us constantly creating our own experience through the way we take in data through our senses, interpret the data and then generate a internal response, intention and action – (the key pieces of the communication model) was huge. That I could alter my story through the willingness and courage to expose my inner authorship and ‘check it out’ with someone else – turned everything around.
Now it sounds simple but still not always so easy. Stories are addictive and sometimes I like to have people feeling sorry for me. However, the price I pay is too great. I prefer to think I may not be able to control everything or everyone – but I can take charge of my responses, reactions and reality creation.
This summer was a great refresher. Thirty years later and I still can learn so much just by engaging my curiousity and using the model – how cool is that!!
For more information on The Haven or The Haven Communication Model visit: www.haven.ca.