I went running with my kid the other day. I have a running buggy and he comes with me on shorter runs. He likes to shout instructions at me that I obviously cannot understand because he is only one and a half. It’s like having a really bossy mini running coach who talks gobbledegook to me the whole time. It’s pretty awesome.
On our run the other day, it had been raining all morning and there were slugs and snails all over the path. Now, I am the kind of person who tries to removes flies from my house instead of swatting them, and have been known to crawl around on the floor trying to coax a spider into a glass rather than kill it. I don’t believe in killing animals, and I know that insects are not animals per se, but whatever, this is a subject for another time. So, the slugs and snails. I tried my best to avoid running them over with the wheels of the buggy, but I knew that I couldn’t avoid every single one of them. I felt pretty bad about that.
I didn’t feel as bad as I could have though. Because my intention was to NOT run over any slugs and snails.
Trying to avoid running over the slugs and snails got me thinking about how we communicate with others.
We’ll always run people over with our words. It’s just one of those things. We don’t really have any control over how someone chooses to listen to and digest what we say and how we said it.
We’re meaning making machines us humans. We absorb and analyse what we hear, and in order for us to do that, we filter the information in a way that makes sense to us. That’s why people have really different opinions and beliefs about things. It’s a great thing. Imagine how boring the world would be if everyone just agreed and thought about things in the same way?
The thing is though, in the same way that we choose to filter what we hear, we similarly have a responsibility to choose THE ENERGY around how and what we say to others. There’s a difference between intentionally hurting someone with your words and unintentionally hurting someone with your words, right?
For example, if you’re returning a pair of trousers in a shop, because they split at the crotch the second time you wore them, you have a choice in the energy around how and what you say to the person behind the counter in the shop. You can be kind and patient and respectful. Or you can be a twat. Either way, you’re probably going to get your money back or a new pair of trousers to take home. But one way will probably feel better in your heart than the other way.
I know I squished some slugs and snails the other day on my run. But my energy and intention was to not squish them. And that way felt better in my heart than not giving a fuck and intentionally hurting them.
Over and out.
ps: In case you don’t already know, my popular group coaching course (via the online magic of Skype!) is starting again in August. This course sells out prettttttty quickly, so if you want to be part of a group of 8 people (and me!) and dip your toe in the water of life coaching, without the intensity—and cost—of 1-1 work, this is for you. You can read more about it here, as well as find out what others have to say about their time spent with me.