I love the movie Before Sunrise and the whole Before trilogy for a variety of reasons.
For one it’s set in the backdrop of beautiful European locales, then there’s the exceptional acting and how organically the movie unfolds, all of which makes it a joy to watch. But most of all, I love it because of the stimulating conversations between the protagonists Celine and Jesse throughout the whole series.
So why am I talking about conversations on a blog that is about spirituality and personal growth?
I am sure you can recall at least one occasion when conversations were able to cast its magical spell on you - an occasion when you completely lost track of time, your cares, and your worries, and got drawn into the present moment. Now if that is not a meditation, I don’t know what is. (Conversations are one of the best forms of active meditation, in my opinion.)
Sometimes it’s the simplest of things that can make us really happy rather than achieving some big goal. And that can be something as simple as a conversation with someone, whether it’s with friends, a family member, acquaintances or even strangers. It has the ability to make us smile, laugh, reflect and even heal and ease our minds.
It has been there to lift me when I have been down, healed me when I’ve felt hurt and brought joy to my life when it has seemed dull and lacking in excitement. As I look back upon my life, many of my favourite memories include being completely lost in conversation with people.
Sometimes when I am absorbed in stimulating conversations, I can’t help but think in those moments that there is nothing I’d rather do or nowhere else I’d rather be than where I am right now.
However, unfortunately nowadays, we can be so distracted that we often fail to become truly present with the people around us. Our dwindling attention span, coupled with the constant beeping and notifications on our phones, certainly doesn’t make it any easier to have such kind of interactions on a more frequent basis.
On other occasions, we may have a never-ending to-do list in our head that we never allow ourselves to slow down and be present with the people next to us or take the time to ring up an old friend.
Moreover, so much of our communication is now over texting that it gets relegated to merely a surface level conversation with people. There’s an exchange of energy that takes place when we are with someone or talking over the phone that simply can’t be replaced by texting. And this may perhaps be the reason why teens are feeling more depressed and lonelier than ever in a world that is more "connected" than ever before.
Often when life gets serious many of us tend to withdraw and retreat into our shell and feel in no mood to interact with anyone. However, conversations can help us to stop being stuck in our head, enlarge our perspective and serve as reminder to not take life so seriously.
In this blog post while I remind you of the joys of conversation, I’d like to leave you with a small tip to enhance the quality of your conversations.
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Listening to understand
To get the most out of conversations it is of course, important to be fully present and sometimes to listen more and talk less. The author Stephen Covey one remarked that,
Most people don't listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
This is something I am often guilty of and is something that I’m working on changing. After all, we know what we know, and we can be enriched further by listening rather than sharing what we already know.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of our daily life, one thing we don’t quite make the time for is conversations. Conversations are simple, they can happen anywhere and don't cost a thing, but they can fulfil us beyond measure.
I encourage you to make time for more conversations in your life, by slowing down and giving your complete and undivided attention to people. Not only will you make others happier but it will also offer you an opportunity to forget your cares and worries in the process, and bring more joy into your life.
What are your thoughts regarding conversations? What do you like most about them, and how do they make you feel? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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