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In Search of Conscious Conversation

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I’m also a college instructor and teacher. Does the crucible of education produce a Conscious Conversation? Maybe, though it seems more likely in a one-on-one mentorship setting than in a classroom lecture with an overhead projector, a lesson plan objective, and an auditorium full of over-caffeinated and mobile-phone-irradiated students. I may aspire to deliver a committed, honest, compassionate, and exploratory learning experience, and my students may want to experience it, but there are a lot of variables and antagonists. That’s not to say it’s a bad experience, but in education as well as business, I find true Conscious Conversations are the exception.

Beyond work, I am a husband, father, and friend. Do love and loyalties produce Conscious Conversations? While it may be easier to align the required foundation elements, I believe the answer is still a firm “maybe”. The boiling cauldron of visceral emotions, expectations, and orientations in these familiar settings often impede Conscious Conversation. A couple expressing their love and relationship goals may be successful, as may someone comforting a child or close friend in need. On the other hand, a parental lecture, the deception of an unfaithful partner, or a banal chat about the cable bill probably don’t cross the threshold of Conscious Conversation.

Then there are the dialogs one has with oneself, God, or a spiritual North Star. Are these Conscious Conversations? While it may be easier to achieve, it’s still not inevitable. These internal dialogues are often hijacked by feelings of pain, guilt, fear, or undefined aspirations. There may be challenges stemming from self-doubt or the echoes of a corrosive relationship. Still, this type of self-reflection or prayer may offer the best tinder to ignite a Conscious Conversation.

As a personal example, I fight an ongoing battle with a chronic, debilitating, and currently incurable medical condition. This illness has significantly impacted me, my career, and relationships; in little over a decade, I went from being an avid mountain hiker and cyclist to spending significant time in a wheelchair, with an uncertain future ahead. That’s not to say I’m helpless or bitter; I feel very lucky to have the love and support of people around me and I continue to thrive despite a series of relatively dismal prognoses. As the medical community currently lacks satisfactory answers, I’m largely on my own to find solutions, manage my emotions, and determine how, how fast, and how far to push myself. At times, I feel like a fugitive on a prison break, savoring sought-after freedoms or abilities that may be suddenly denied by barking dogs and a stethoscope-wearing warden.

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