NaBloPoMo 2020 – Today’s Lesson
Tonight’s lesson emerges from my Engaging with Difference class. It’s a classic “Duh-HA!” (Duh + ah-HA!, thank you Tony & Diane!) epiphany, arising from a novel (to me) and profound mindfulness practice that I plan to adopt permanently.
Duh-HA! At my best, I am relentlessly curious and ask excellent, open and honest questions. When I’m hijacked or triggered, I speak in unqualified declarations and generalizations, which I hate.
What is the worst version of yourself, is it what you loathe most in others?
The practice is Critical Moment Dialogue (CMD), developed by the Personal Leadership folks. In a nutshell, when I feel “something’s up,” ie I notice some kind of internal hijack occurring in real time, I can choose to react as usual, or do a CMD and find a better way through.
I reflected on a recent, disconcerting conversation with a colleague. One of the six elements of CMD practice is attending to physical sensation. The Duh-HA occurred when I recalled my desire to raise an eyebrow, cock my head, and curl my lip, which manifested as left temporalis muscle tightening. The CMD exercise helped me understand my subjective experience in that moment: I felt a disconnect. My counterpart and I were enacting our usual misunderstanding pattern. I usually blame him for being vague and self-absorbed, but now I realize that we probably grasp divergent meanings for the words we choose. Just this one insight, in the instant I apprehended it, reoriented my entire attitude toward him and our future conversations.
The next time we meet, I can breathe slower and more deeply, and slacken my jaw. Evoking my commitment to curiosity, I can remember to ask more clarifying questions before making false assumptions and jumping to antagonistic judgments.
Seriously, DUH. HA!