It is empowering and connecting to speak from our own wisdom and knowing, drawn from the deep well of our experience and clarified through the fine sieve of our values, our humanity, and all we hold dear.
I’ve learned that listening to my intellect, my heart, my body and my intuition, what I call the Circles of Knowing*, continually helps me hone the skill of listening and discernment so that another’s words, along with my own thoughts and speech, can be truly heard and felt. With full listening engaged, the essence of communication reveals itself. I’ve come to recognize when the essence is a murky, uneasy dissonance and needs to be addressed. When the essence is a clear, calming resonance, powerfully connective communication invariably takes place.
Compassion has shown itself to me as the ability (however difficult and near impossible it may often be) to honor another’s way of being. There are, after all, almost seven billion humans and a boundless living environment around all of us. This evolving compassion, when coupled with speaking from a constantly-tuned personal knowing, allows for the practice of Compassionate Power.
t is a practice that gives space for two disparate, seemingly opposing ways of thinking, feeling, and being to exist. It is precisely this paradoxical tension between compassion and power that gives this practice its strength and beauty. For it foregoes blame and judgment while fiercely insisting on clear communication, informed choice, and strong presence. Ultimately, Compassionate Power fuels freedom.
* Circles of Knowing © 2012 Nancy G. Shapiro
Painting: Jeune Italienne by Sonia Delauney. Georges Pompidou Museum, Paris.