With all the accelerated whirlwinds that make us lurch from thing to thing, I am advocating for the slow dialogue movement! The slow food movement has been around for a long time and there are also slow design and slow cities movements, so why not slow dialogue? I feel so much urgency for change and there’s so many things to respond to moment by moment. Even despite my best efforts, I still get drawn into the social media crisis du minute where people are hurling thoughts, accusations and insults at each other. How does that help anything? So I am advocating for slow conversation and deliberate relationship building across differences. This is a long game strategy and though truly lives are at stake right now, I have to believe that it is only through authentic connection (and, of course strong advocacy and active voting!) that we can expand hearts and minds.
I have been practicing and talking about mindfulness for awhile now and what I notice is that mindfulness almost creates that cartoon-like slow motion where you see things happening fame by frame. In being mindful to the conversation, I am attending to the whole picture – my body, the other person’s energy, our connection, their words, my thoughts. By slowing down and being attentive to the relationships around me, to the conversation that is unfolding, I can respond from a place of empathy and clarity and not flight or fight emotion.
Take the time to connect with someone that you’ve been wanting to have a conversation with. Approach it with curiosity and compassion. Be willing to sit in discomfort. Refill your tea. Keep listening.