It is important to be clear on just what these blogs are and what they are not. Blogs are great for sharing concepts and ideas. However, some topics are just too delicate to be addressed in blogs or emails. Some topics require face-to-face interaction. The written word is too easily misconstrued or insufficiently communicated. Recently, for example, I received a number of requests to address the rights of passage, which is obviously a very delicate subject. I’ve also been asked to discuss seva/service and the issues that come up for people regarding that topic. In general, topics that involve people’s personal issues are much better addressed in person face to face. Otherwise, any little miscommunication can trigger the reader. Once a person is triggered, it is difficult to move past that, particularly if the interaction is not face-to-face.
When you do read the blogs, if something is not sitting right, please give it some space. Ask yourself if the words on the page could have another meaning… another intent… another context. For example, a subtle point, when given too much emphasis or weight, can be distorted when the bigger picture is ignored.
Oftentimes, it is easier to tell if a person is triggered by the tone of their words, as opposed to the literal meaning of their words. For example, the simple phrase, “I don’t understand,” can be said with a humble, reflective, and sincerely inquisitive tone, or it can be thrust out as a wall or declaration, that they flat out don’t agree. It is all in the tone. When the interaction is not face-to-face, the inferred tone of the words can be quite different than the original intent. That can create problems that can feel irreconcilable, particularly if the face-to-face meeting never happens.
As the years go by, I am receiving more and more emails, blog questions, and blog requests that are really not proper blog material. They are questions that the person would need to deal with in private sessions (usually with Barbara) or in class with me. When I do try to address them through email, I usually find it unsatisfying for myself and, I suspect, for the person receiving the response.
In short, the blogs are no substitute for class or personal process sessions. I am reaching out to everyone with all of my heart and soul. At some point, you do need to take it upon yourself to take that extra step. I trust this blog is understood and received in the spirit with which it is intended.