Day 17: Mindful communication

Whether we’re practising mindfulness formally or informally, it’s very challenging not to get drawn into mental images, thoughts, stories, or memories that can so easily kidnap our attention. Sometimes we get so distracted, we actually forget we are meditating or in a conversation with someone else. 

The word mindfulness is a modern translation of the Pali word “sati” which can be more literally translated as remembering or recollection.

This is very relevant to our practice as we try to “remember” to keep our attention on sounds, breath, or another person during conversation.

This is a great opportunity to practise mindful communication. With the speed of our lives and competing forces constantly pulling at our attention, mindfully listening is a truly precious gift.

Experiment today with bringing your full attention to someone as they speak.

Here are some tips for mindful communication.

Twelve steps to a mindful C.O.N.V.E.R.S.A.T.I.O.N: 

  • C – Create a clear intention to be fully present and mindful
  • – Open to the other person
  • – Notice their features
  • V –  Voice quality
  • – Engage with the content
  • R – Restrain from interrupting
  • – Speak the truth
  • A – Allow for pauses
  • T – Tune into your body and its responses during conversation: breath, heartbeat
  •  I – Invite a non-judgmental attitude
  • O – Observe judgements when they arise
  • N – Notice when your attention has drifted and bring it back to the person’s words
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"If we wish to be healthy, happy and clear-minded, we need to upgrade our “inner technology”of attention to meet the demands of our increasingly complex world. That's where mindfulness comes in.."




Elise Bialylew is the author of the bestselling book, The Happiness Plan, and founder of Mindful in May, the world’s largest online global mindfulness fundraising campaign.

A doctor trained in psychiatry, turned social entrepreneur and mindfulness expert, she’s passionate about supporting individuals and organisations to develop inner tools for greater wellbeing and flourishing, and offers workshops and training at The Mind Life Project.

Her work has been featured in the Huffington Post, New York Times and on Australian Television. She was recently recognised by the Australian Financial Review as a 2019 AFR Women of Influence.

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