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How We Say Things is Integral to What We Say….

Today was a more clement outing, the sun shone and the wind had abated… I chose to run around the edge of a football field I had discovered yesterday, smooth green springy grass…

Anadi came with me and we ran together the mile down the road to the field… A sign on the edge of the grass, said ‘keep off the pitch’… So we did, just running round the edge; but when we had run half way round, a man appeared, he picked up the sign and banged it loudly and quite crossly…

Ahhh, it meant keep off the whole field… I waved and put my thumbs up to acknowledge that we had received his message – and as we ran towards him, I prepared to have a chat – to apologise and say that we had genuinely thought the sign meant the pitch, not the grass round the edge… But, he disappeared and when we arrived at the exit he was in his van, and had his head down and didn’t look at us…

We didn’t mind, we’d seen another field by the leisure centre – and as always we can only ever ‘make up’ what is going on within another human being…

However, communication is such a vital and integral part of our day to day life… All day long we are weaving and moving around each other, connecting, impacting, sharing, meeting greeting, arriving leaving… working together, playing together, driving on the same roads, and using the same restaurants cafes gyms, trains planes buses, and playing fields…

And ‘how’ we say what we want to say is integral to ‘what’ we want to say… It can make all the difference both to how each person feels, but also to what happens next…

In Morocco Anadi and I were also asked to leave a sports pitch, but the manner in which it was done was entirely different… The man stood and waited until we reached him, smiled at us explained that the pitch was not for public use – in Arabic – but we understood, and then companionably walked us to the gate and saw us out…

In both cases Anadi and I didn’t mind, and accepted we were not were we were supposed to be; but maybe the experience and how they did it, left a different feel within the two men…

There is always a huge space between stimulus of someone’s words or actions – and then the response – and we can change both the relationship and the future in that moment by what we put into the space…

So, the secret is to remain aware of our own impact on others; both how we communicate and how we respond… If we are responsible for our bit in any interaction, and always use the infinite amount of time that there is between receiving someone’s words or actions, and responding; as much as being conscious of the words we utter – then we will remain conscious of our responsibility in any interaction…

It is also worth recognising that someone’s response to our actions or words –  is the meaning of our communication with them…

So in the case this morning, our action of running around a field which had a sign saying ‘keep off’ upset the ground keeper… And so although this wasn’t our intention, it is important to get into the shoes of another, cross the bridge into their world. This allows us to see the world not through our own filter, but instead stretch us to understand what might be going on for another….

Every single interaction is a multi faceted possibility and can take us this way or that… The more we ‘still’ ourselves and listen, the more we can be open to the different worlds we all inhabit – and find the richness in the complexity of our differences, and come to recognise our similarities within that…

Later….

I had a wonderful afternoon with my sister Rosy and my niece Jess at the donkey sanctuary… It was a place that they used to visit as a family when Jess and Jamie were little… It is ten years since their last visit when Jess was 7…

There were so many donkeys; beautiful gentle creatures, looking very happy indeed in their sanctuary…

As we arrived I was taken immediately back to a memory I haven’t accessed in years… It was of Rosy and I, aged 8 (me) and 5 (Rosy) riding the donkeys of great friends of our parents  round a huge field in Suffolk…

Suddenly I could feel the donkeys soft fur, and my legs hanging down either side of its slim back…

 

 

 

I have been running all of my life – it feels I was born to run. In the running step I experienced freedom and my true expression. I came to see that I needed to ‘get out of the way of myself’ and let my energy flow through the running step; allow it to express itself in the dance and the motion of running. I ran for England and GB for some years. My first international was in 1979, a three mile cross country race; and I continued to run at international level until 1993. Two of my best results were first place in the Dublin City Marathon in 1985 and 7th place woman, 3rd British woman in the 1986 London Marathon in a time of 2.36.31, which gained me selection for the Commonwealth Games.

As a little girl I ran barefoot for many years, and then I put on shoes to race around the world. Fifty years later I am travelling the world as a nomad with my husband Anadi and I have taken off my shoes and I am running barefoot again….

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Email : juliachitaylor@gmail.com

 

 

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