Integrity & Sanity Require Respect For Diverse Experiences & Expressions of Loving, Learning & Relating.
Just as we want our different subjective preferences, boundaries & freedom equally respected for our own lives, once we clarify what they are to people so they can know.
To assume ones own current limited range of acceptance, appreciation, comfort, preferences and dogmas are the limits of what are good, acceptable or "right" ways of being & relating in general and for others, and can be known by others without one first honestly clearly verbally telling those we relate with, is inaccurate and ultimately abusively oppressive.
Such a short-sighted, dogmatic & totalitarian attitude is abusively disrespectful of the equal validity, rights & freedom of all beings. And our natural rights & freedom to live, love & creatively explore Life as each of us is open to, capable of perceiving & creating love, kindness, beauty & value their our lives and consensual relationships.
And as each chooses to offer to others to learn who else is appreciatively resonant & open to sharing being & relating however each chooses in each moment for themselves and together. So as to co-create more love, healing intimacy, growth and creativity in diverse ways.
This is what life & love thrives on. Diversity.
Not hateful, narrow-minded repression based on some peoples fearful projections and limited capacity for appreciation & respect beyond their own understanding, comfort and preferences.
In order to have our own personal, subjective preferences, boundaries, values, comfort and lifestyles respected, we must clearly honestly directly communicate them to whoever we relate with & they are relevant to, before expecting them to understand & thereby be able to respect how they are or may be different from others at that moment in time.
And to equally give each other & all peoples different ranges of comfort, ways of relating, appreciation and loving the same freedom & respect that we wish for our different preferences for our own lives & relationships.
This is so basic. Yet so essential to co-creating a truly loving, peaceful consciousness in ourselves and collectively in this diverse world.
The Subjectivity of Interpreting & Experiencing Invitations,
Ways of Being, Relating & Learning.
I also have done this as a way of expanding beyond my own previous limits of appreciation of diverse & focused ways of meeting & sharing learning & relating with people.
At times it has been for purely professional networking.
And at other times with an openness, only if & as mutually resonant and desired after meeting, as part of non paid, personal relating context as I have done & continue to share with some people for personal friendships and natural, more intimate relationships.
My interest in these embodied meditation qigong & massage arts is not simply about making money by giving them in a professional, for pay context. Even if I were not providing them for money, I would still be practicing them on my own, exploring and sharing them more fully with friends & intimate companions. As there is more than a lifetime of learning and enjoyment available through them.
It is an overt example of subjectivity & diversity, how different people interpret, feel about, respond or react to the same or similar experience, words or situation. And the same people at different moments.
The Rorschach inkblot tests used in some psychology assessments are another, popular example of how peoples often subconsciously biased, diverse ways of perceiving & relating to people, themselves & life effects what they perceive and how they respond.
Do we project and thus see kindness & respect for equal validity of diverse experiences> Or do we project & perceive fear, negativity and suspicious interpretations?
Do we even directly communicate and ask questions of people we assume about in order to understand beyond those assumptions?
For instance, do you assume that because I included in this blog post the image depiction of diverse ways of relating, that I personally choose or agree with all of those ways of relating for my own life and ways of relating?
( Note - I do not. Yet I respect all of them as equally valid for those who choose them for themselves. Minus the lying, as I feel honesty is an essential quality of being and relating with integrity & mutual respect. )
For me the offers have always been very straightforward. They are simply a way of reaching out in this world filled with diverse people to learn who else is also appreciatively interested in learning, experiencing and relating with each other through these embodied meditation arts.
Either in more professionally limited, formal networking contexts & ways.
Or as some people I know and have developed friendships and other relationships with chose to open to and appreciate, in more freely open, personal ways. Since friendships, as with many types of human relationships, tend to be most fulfilling when shared with people who enjoy the same & related experiences & interests.
My invitations have simply been that, invitations. Offers to learn if and which people are interested. And if so in what ways. While fully respecting that some people will not be interested, even as some people are appreciative and open to them.
Yet due to their own or others fearful and mistaken assumptions, projections and associations some people chose to misinterpret such offers as if they were an expectation or demand for relating at all, or in any way they did not want to. Even though I clearly stated in such invitations, if the offer interested them they were welcome to connect to schedule times to meet and, as mutually comfortable, to talk and receive and / or trade for their respective arts or skills. Depending on context and natural mutual interests & resonance when relating in person.
Some people mistakenly assumed & projected ideas of unkind scenarios & intentions in their minds about what the offer meant, who I was and why I was offering. Without even directly talking with me first in an open minded, non assumptive way to learn what specifically I was offering and the kind intention motivating the offer.
Some people did not even slow down to recognize & respect that it was indeed an offer to learn if, and if so in what ways, meeting, sharing of the arts & relating was of interest to them and mutually comfortably resonant.
Not an expectation.
Some people simply never responded.
And people who have expressed interest and been mutually respectful enough to communicate clearly and honestly to me during their sessions & relating about their related, subjective preferences, boundaries and interests so I know and can give & relate according to them, have generally expressed deeply appreciating meeting, enjoying receiving the massage & qigong arts and talking with each other through the same offers others chose to view negatively.
Many of them have become friends, clients or have otherwise expressed being grateful they were open, honestly communicative and non assumptive enough to say yes to the offer.
It has been a learning experience for me as well to not take personally other peoples choice to feel offended by and otherwise negatively misinterpret offers and, as mutually open, ways of sharing kindness from people who they assume to be different from their own preferences.
It has also heightened my respect for people who share the maturity, respect and clarity to communicate their questions, assumptions, boundaries & preferences openly and honestly. Who ask questions directly of people rather than assume negatively about them based on their own fears & limits of appreciation or those of others via gossip. And who respect the equal validity of ways of being, relating & learning both similar and different from their own preferences, comfort & appreciation.
The more we recognize & quiet our assumptive, fearfully projecting beliefs, interpretations & limits of understanding & appreciation about people, experiences and what we assume them and people open to them to be, the more respectful, peaceful, clear and loving we become ourselves.
Expanding our capacity for recognizing & respecting diverse experiences & offers from people as equally valid, creative ways of exploring life & sharing kindness, learning & love. When & as learned to be mutually desired. This is an essential aspect of how we contribute to inner and relational peace, integrity, mutual respect and love in this vastly diverse world.
" We're all born with selfish desires, so we can all relate to those feelings in others. But kindness is something made individually by each person...so it's easy to misunderstand when others are trying to be kind to you. "
- Natsuki Takaya.
Maturing Beyond the Abusiveness of Negatively Judging Based on Gossip, Personal Biases & Projection.
Often these same people ignore or deny that they would likely not enjoy, feel respected or understood when being misinterpreted & treated the same way by people with different life preferences, beliefs & dogmas. And by people who make negative assumptions about them & relate accordingly.
While in essence it does not matter what anyone else presumes about us or others, sometimes it can have negative effects on our own & others lives directly and indirectly. In addition to lowering the vibration and integrity of people who spread, believe and relate according to negative gossip. For these reason it deserves to be stopped & not engaged in.
It is essential that we recognize often unquestioned, negative assumptions & interpretations based in our own ( and that of others via gossip ) limits of appreciation & understanding, biases, fears, dogmatic blinders. And a how a lack of honest, direct communicating with those gossiped about of ones own personal subjective preferences, boundaries and beliefs effects, changes and damages the flow of relating with people and their being. And that we not confuse negative assumptions, hearsay and projections for facts about other people, experiences & events.
When given attention & belief, negative gossip of others infects & changes how people interpret & feel about each other. Sometimes even about people they have never even met, communicated and related directly honestly with in person. Or who they have even had positive experiences with in person.
Believing and spreading negative gossip is an expression of short sighted lack of love, and empathy & clarity inhibiting abusiveness.
Of those gossiped about.
Of those engaging in gossip as it degrades ones integrity, clarity and trustworthiness.
And of the harmony & cultivation of Love, clarity and respect for the equality of diverse ways of exploring & sharing being & love.
We develop ourselves to be more integral, respectful, spiritually & emotionally clear and loving by choosing to not listen to, believe and / or spread negative gossip. By speaking fully honestly, mutually respectfully and directly with people & listening to their honest communication with us, we promote mutual understanding and respect. Thereby allowing ourselves to perceive the truth & goodness of people beyond misinterpretations, biases, dishonesty and fears of our own & others negative assumptions & projections.
This more balanced, quiet clarity of being & relating is a core practice and benefit of sincerely engaging in embodied meditative practices such as Tai Chi Qigong & Zhan Zhuang. And in general when we apply this approach to our lives and ways of relating.
"If we never look beyond our prejudices and assumptions, & those of others via gossip, we don't meet, relate with & understand each other, we meet & relate to our projected fearful dogmas, biases, and limits of loving appreciation. "
" My point is this — you don't know. When I was first here, people looked at my hair, noticed apples on my tray, and thought 'hippie.' Then, from 'hippie' they thought 'druggie.' From there it went to 'will get me in trouble' and 'not worth my time,' and then they stopped thinking at all.
No one bothered to find out if what they thought about me was true. No one wanted to hear what I thought. No one cared what I believed in. No one cared about talking to me or asking what my plans were for the day or night.
And then came you. Don't let what you think you know make him into what I could have been. Don't become someone who doesn't think, just because you assume you don't like him for some reason. Because, quite frankly, I like how you think. Except for now, of course. "-
" In any kind of relationship, we can make the ( erroneous & misleading ) assumption that others know what we think, and we don’t have to say what we want & don't want.
We assume they are going to do what we want because they know us so well.
If they don’t do what we want, we feel hurt and think, How could you do that? You should know. "
- Don Miguel Ruiz. Author of The Four Agreements.
"We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking. We move along the surface of things. But there are times when we stop.
We are still. We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper."
- James Carroll