Learning to Cultivate Good Communication
“Oh, behave,” (said with an Austin Powers’ accent). “Yeah baby!”
I say it that way to make it funny. Humour makes it possible for me to disengage during those times when I’m bursting at the seams with any of the various things I think and feel. I think big and I feel big; those two energies come together to create the passionate person. Those two energies are also my Achilles heels. We have two feet, and there are many days when both my feet are in my mouth, at the same time. I have always known in my heart that I am a change maker, and that I am on the forward edge of new ideas. This was easy and exciting when I was younger, when I was only evolving and innovating myself. Now that I am older, I am responsible to not just my patients, but also to educating those around me about their health, and most importantly, carving the space and mindset for that paradigm shift of our understanding via our own bodies. I need to do this because it’s my livelihood, and because I’m an authority on the subject of health – people ask me.
Over the years, I have come to be known as a bit of a radical, especially in my own discipline of Homeopathy. I don’t bend to what we deduce is true – allopathy, social welfare, benefit packages, antiquated or marketed recommendations, antiquated Homeopathic practices, and/or Google.
What we think is the right way of creating health is only true if our bodies agree, and if you really want to get down to it, so much of what happens inside our bodies defies basic science, and is better explained using quantum physics. In fact, your physical dis-ease itself is 100% positive communication from your body indicating that something is misaligned. It might be scary, but it’s that simple. The kicker is, executing and fulfilling the request of a patient’s body requires finesse, patience, wherewithal, and self-discipline – my self-discipline. It requires me to behave. Because when I don’t, I just roll in guns a-blazing. I create conflict, I create resistance, I create a negative atmosphere around me that repels change. I let my patients down, and in the authoritative position I hold as an experienced practitioner, I let my colleagues down. I provide a really poor example of what radical and self-empowered health care can be, and I make the future of wellness (that brilliant paradigm shift) impossible.
My mom calls me a “bull in a china shop” when I’m like this. Now that I’m older, and the motivation for this behaviour is well-intended – I’m dedicated to my patient’s health and I’m extra protective of all those who are close to me – I’ve had to take a really hard look at the results my style actually creates. I’ve had to learn to cultivate good communication, and change my behaviour to suit the target I’m trying to hit when I shoot from the hip.
I have many examples of this, but the most recent one occurred a few days ago, while having a beer with some friends. One of them had just had a wart removed earlier that afternoon, and he was showing it to the room. One of the other guys yells out “hey, I have one too! I definitely got it from you!” Some witty banter back and forth, and then the first guy goes into how that’s true, they’re “catchy.”
Well, I’m having a blast listening to this out of the corner of my ear. They’re funny, and I am in a side conversation with another woman. The wart info-session goes on, and then suddenly I burst out with “That’s crap. I mean honestly, you don’t get warts from other people. Pull your head out of your ass.” It was like someone else had said it, and I was instantly embarrassed for that person who was about to get bombarded. The two men stopped dead, and turned to me, rightfully so, shocked, defensive, and insulted. Deservedly, I received some aggressive explaining about how he had researched it. Fortunately, I am a hardened warrior, and I just let it fall. I have taught myself to literally, on a dime, pretend I have nothing else to say. In an instantly heated situation like that – especially when I had completely interrupted their conversation – the person I have challenged (or corrected) is usually quite relieved I have backed off, and they just resume their conversations. And they should – I’m pretty rude!
You’ll find this strange (tongue safely in cheek), but this behaviour does not bring me new patients, it does not make me approachable to my colleagues, and it does not spread positive information about Homeopathy. What it does is solidify the perception that Homeopathy is ineffective, or that the practitioners don’t know what they’re talking about. And worse, in my personal life, this has put a strain on relationships. That behaviour is viewed as know-it-all, aggressive, and…you got it…unsolicited coaching. Extra haughty, hold the compassionate connection.
So, as always, loving the topic. I have actively been perfecting this method of information share, a bed-side manner so to speak. My patients inside my office receive compassion and connection, but outside of my office, my fans don’t – not always. They receive the mood I’m in, which is often absolute exasperation at our current health care system, and its inefficiency. I mean, forget Homeopathy! There’s no room in the bad communication-behaviour for any type of connection. It’s very difficult to avoid informing people along the way, and I have taught myself to be better at it as a result, so that when the information lands, that person is still standing there, listening. This topic has given me a chance to see how far I’ve come, and how accessible and approachable I truly am. I love that I have the ability to acknowledge it, and do even better.
Oh behave! (And take your remedy)