It’s a funny thing. What do we do for long stretches of every day with ourselves and to each other?
Yes, this precious nectar of the Gods, this gift from On High that, when well used, can offer love, understanding, connection, empathy and a whole lot more. When mishandled, though, the very opposite comes to visit.
I suggest that the thing that can bring lasting peace, prosperity, wellness, sustainability and regeneration into every corner of the world is very commonplace and simple.
Well, how is that possible if that thing we do so frequently and fluidly, could be just that action that could bring about world peace, prosperity, love, wellness and even sustainability?
Why then hasn’t it led to these wonderful outcomes already? It certainly has at different points historically, but not yet sustainably. It has not yet shut the door on war, violence, injustice and exploitation; may this exploration move us a step closer to this desired outcome.
For talk to be considered “Power Talk”, it has to be tailored, shaped and crafted in a certain way to have the outcomes we all truly desire.
What does this shaping, tailoring and crafting consist of?
To start, the sounds uttered from the voice box have to arise from the heart. When they do, there is a discernible, palpable resonance that touches people’s hearts. It’s a “frequency thing” like a tuning fork resonating in the quantum field, opening a door or when an operatic voice cracks a crystal goblet.
There is a difference in the experience of the words on a page or mechanically spoken and their felt sense. There is a distinction in the resonance of the word’s meaning when spoken with the intent of what I’m calling “Power Talk”. The words enter one to the levels of heart and bone.
Words and their meaning issued from the head, not always but too often, may sound like a thin reed. They have meaning for sure but it’s a little like “how exciting could a spreadsheet be”? But when spoken (or sung) from the heart, the words become infused with passion and life, con vivace. It feels more like the power of music moving through us or strong frequencies projected through a resonant chamber.
The content of the words holds meaning certainly. But the resonance field in and through which they flow is more like the feel and sound of the breath through a flute. It makes the difference between someone playing from their heart or just reading music off the page.
In fact, it is the small bones in the ear that allow for the frequencies of sound to be transmitted to the brain, the meaning of which is then interpreted by the mind. Bones mean depth. Bones conduct sound. In indigenous cultures around the world, bones are fashioned into instruments. Bones of the ancestors were buried near the living’s homes so that those living could receive information and guidance conducted by the bones of the ancestors. This was the origin of the ancient Chinese practice of Feng-Shui.
If you want to reach down deep into someone, speak from your heart to their heart and bones.
As said, Power Talk is predicated on deep listening, or call it Power Listening. Power Talk picks up on the field generated through deep listening and speaks to the meaning behind the words: the sub-text conveys what frequency through which to respond. It is what is between the words, the implied text.
If we look at the challenges facing us at home, work and in the world, we will see that if there were deeply-felt, thoughtful, empathetic communication between us, war and conflict, stress and much illness could be neutralized or altogether prevented.
Power talk is skillful communication
Notice the way you usually listen to your partner, parent, worker, sibling or child. It is probably somewhat superficial and your reply is not always but often glib; after all, the football game is about to begin or dinner about to be served. In the beta state, we may tend to be quick and dismissive.
When one slows down and breathes deeper, when the brain and heart’s hemispheres are more aligned and coherent, one generates some high alpha activity as well. In this more relaxed, deeper-breathing state, one feels more grounded and centered and can hear and speak more powerfully, one’s presence is felt.
In this state, one’s attention and focus are honed, able to be wholly present for the communication. There’s nothing quick or glib about it.
In this more inwardly quiet state, imagine fully listening to those important to you and see if the meaning of their communication is more ‘taken to heart’. You can put yourself into their shoes and understand what they are saying more fully. The ensuing conversation will be Power Talking & Power Listening, where you are more deeply impacting each other with the power of the words. In short, one is also more present.
Imagine at another scale of life, this kind of alpha-anchored, centered speaking was taking place between Heads of State. Imagine Presidents Biden, Putin and Xi exercising this kind of deep listening and speaking. What a different world we could have.
When one listens, one empties. One is not planning the reply or retort but doing a single thing: listening as an empty vessel empathetically, understanding the meaning and sentiment of the speaker without one’s commentary or input.
It should be noted that a lot, in fact, most of the listening is non-verbal. Listening and reading the signs of meaning expressed through movement, eye and facial gestures, smiling, grimacing, etc. are all a part of listening.
Each speaker wants to express themselves, their joy and their pain and be heard, with the value of their experience acknowledged. When that happens, other neurochemicals get catalyzed such as endorphins. There is a physiological experience of being heard, acknowledged and appreciated which confers a sense of relief and connection with the listener so breathing deepens and oxytocin gets released bonding and harmonizing (yes, like music) both or all parties.
There’s a chemical release and dynamic magic begins to emerge.
As an example, look at what’s happening now between Ukraine and Russia. Putin wants to be recognized and appreciated as the leader of a historically and culturally, old and rich heritage. If asked sincerely, he probably doesn’t really want to own and control the whole world. Can you imagine the management and administrative headache that would be? Only the most deluded of individuals would have such a desire. Our shadow may entertain such a bizarre, private wish for a minute or two, but brought to light, the absurdity of the idea becomes ridiculously obvious. It ‘ain’t’ going to happen, for Putin, Biden, Xi or for that matter, the World Economic Forum. Or anyone or any one entity.
Where does even such a thought come from but feeling so little ‘in control’ of oneself and one’s own living conditions, so the wish to control these gets projected onto ‘the world’. As a passing phenomenon, when frustrated and stressed, it’s just one of the silly, reflexive things the mind does.
Not to mention that Russia in itself is plenty big! But, as with a president of any country, they do not want to be encroached upon, their borders challenged or be disrespected or attacked.
The famous phrase “Give me some space man!” applies here. Or as the Cole Porter song famously says “Don’t fence me in!”
The U.S. and NATO have been encroaching on Russia before and since the U.S.S.R. dissolved despite President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker famously stating “NATO not one inch Eastward”.
But encroach they did and do with military bases and chemical factories, menacing and taunting Putin for years despite his repeated requests to stop. The U.S. and NATO keep ‘poking the bear', and act surprised when the bear aggressively responds. What did they think would eventually happen, nothing?
Circumventing the paranoid, egoic sickness inherent in geopolitics, if Biden and Putin were to sit down like mature men and engage in Power Talk, or as I also refer to it in a prior article as Dynamic Diplomacy, granted that below is a highly simplified version with rosy-tinted glasses, it might sound a bit like this:
Vladimir: Joe, you know I’ve asked you time and again to live up to what President Bush and his Secretary of State promised back in 1990, that if my predecessor, Gorbachev, let the Soviet Union collapse, we wouldn’t have to worry about being encroached upon by NATO or the U.S. We kept our word that time. It’s up to you to keep yours.
Joe: I understand Vlad. We should, everyone should keep their word. We’d have a better world if we all did. I understand your position, I feel your pain and even your sense of betrayal. How could we trust the Americans you must ask yourself. The track record is dismal. Though we have done a few things we said we would Vlad, like with nuclear disarmament, so let’s give a little credit. But, I do understand the overall picture here. I wish I could say that you’re more wrong.
Vladimir: Well that’s a relief Joe because it was seeming like everyone across the Atlantic was tone-deaf. You really think I want to fight my brothers in Ukraine, are you kidding? You think I want to spend billions and jeopardize even our own people? Not at all. But if the West doesn’t stop encroaching and pestering, I warned you that war would break out and it has. It appears that the U.S. has this hegemonic ambition that is wreaking havoc all over the world, and let me tell you, the world recognizes this narcissistic ambition and won’t stand for it. We’ve been watching you and the CIA for decades. It’s destructive and not the way to achieve cooperation or peace with anyone.
It wouldn’t be true to say that I don’t have a nostalgia for the old Soviet Union when Russia was the center and all the states were eating out of our hands. Those were great days. It’s not that I don’t have ambitions to control pipelines in our neighboring countries, I do. But I admit that the world is different and those days are gone. And invading other countries just to control pipelines and ports should be a thing of the past. If you stop encroaching and goading, I’ll give up my ambitions; that’s fair enough. Stop this nonsense with sanctions and deal more openly with fair and equitable trade from which we both could benefit. We’ve gotten along for years and can do so again. But not if you keep pushing this super-power agenda.
Joe: Vlad, I’m a Catholic. We are taught that love, including loving our adversary is the way to salvation and redemption. Do you really think I want to perpetuate war? You’ve been in leadership long enough to know that we leaders don’t make decisions by ourselves but have a lot of people, like big party donors, we have to satisfy and they have their own agendas. Take the military-industrial complex for instance. Do you think it’s easy to stand up to these fat cats?
It’s like this Vlad, I do understand what you’re saying. We’re both guilty of heinous crimes in the world and against each other. We in the U.S. are relatively rich and we’ve been drunk on being a super-power. We try to control the entire geo-political landscape. We don’t mean ill for others, but we’re completely preoccupied, you could say narcissistically, with maintaining a standard of living for our people at any cost to others. It’s true that it’s not fair, healthy or balanced. It’s unethical. Even the Pope has been very outspoken about this. The Pope! So I am sympathetic to your and other leader’s point of view on this.
I admit that we’ve gone too far. Look at global warming. Look at the number of armed conflicts around the world that we’re part of or initiated in one way or another.
We’ve spent trillions of dollars on a war machine, all about killing and controlling. It’s time to go from destructive to constructive, from domination to what our mothers taught us when we were children: “Come on boys, stop fighting and share and share alike!”
You have my word Vlad that we’re going to scale this back and work on creating a new relationship with you, with China and even North Korea. One that is based on mutual friendship and benefits, economically, culturally and spiritually. And enough of nukes. We have to disengage them all, all of us.
If I take the first step, are you willing to take the next?
Vladimir: Joe, your leaders have made promises many times and don’t fulfill them. How can I trust you? Or the people behind you, your donors? Or the WEF who is trying to control all of us? And conversely, I have to admit too that I’ve gone back on my word too many times. How could you trust me??
Joe: Vlad, you’ve hit the vein. It’s obvious that you see what I’m up against, what every American President is. And I see some of what you’re up against. So we lie and you lie. We have to put an end to this, hit the refresh button and start over. Step by step, rebuild trust. We in America believe that where there is a will, Vlad, there is a way. I’ll learn some Russian, and you some English, Da? a deal?
I’m going to use the power of my office as best I can to settle matters between us and I ask you to do the same. Let’s get back on track with our collaborations in space, medicine, agriculture, science, the arts and sports and get back to the fun our people and your people have in putting their minds, hearts and spirits together. After all, our people love each other. And have fallen in love with each other so many times. We’ve both seen it and we both want more of all of it, da? I heard a rumor that you were eying one of our top-level ambassadors, is that true? That aside! we’ll be heroes. Think of the legacy!
Vlad: Da Joe! Let’s go for it.
Now that is a very positive, fun rendition of what could really happen. We see the bloodshed and insanity that ensues when it doesn’t happen. Nothing short of insanity.
When people decide to soberly review the facts of history, apologize, ask for forgiveness, then bury the hatchet and decide to deal, let go of an impossibly conflicted past, very positive things can emerge. With that purview and shared spirit, with that level of listening and speaking, I’m proposing, we have seen and can see more breakthroughs happen.
This applies to the macro and micro levels of our lives. We can take difficult, challenging situations and dismantle them, de-construct and then re-create and re-construct based on trust, goodwill and good cheer. Nay-sayers say no because that’s what nay-sayers do! And the rest of us say “yes” because that’s what we do.
While freedom of speech is essential to any civilized society, free speech should not be conflated with crass abuse, rude and crude talk and insulting or harming others with speech. Courtesy and respect should predominate all the more. Violence is committed all too often verbally as well as physically. Time for us to be responsible and accountable for both.
We have a right to free speech and an obligation to speak respectfully, while in agreement or disagreement with another. The simple rules of the road of dignified verbal conduct create a context for Power Talk on every level of society.
Greed and fear have to go as they are the poisons of society as the Buddhists have been telling us for centuries. These have dominated business, government and society at large until now. They prohibit humane and ethical values to rein. They have outstayed their evolutionary value and we should now declare them extinct. Be gone!
The complexities of contemporary life are extraordinary. Yet the frequent simplicity of the solutions should never be overlooked. As many of us have been saying for years: “The complexity of the problem should never be confused with the simplicity of the solution.”
Good thing that there are more people who want to say yes to Power Talking & Listening, and this can, in fact, permeate the political world, the business world and the world of our personal lives.
We can insist that our leaders engage in Dynamic Diplomacy and Power Talking/Listening now to stop the madness of mass murder and destruction of people and the planet, but take the rarer, much more noble and courageous opportunity to bridge differences and establish peace.