“Whatever the tasks, do them slowly with ease, in mindfulness. Don’t do any task in order to get it over with.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness (affiliate link)
It’s the rare person who’s willing to confront a difficult conversation slowly with ease, in mindfulness. So many I talk to take the latter approach: Get it over with. As quickly as possible.
Slowing down is one of those insider tips that good mediators know. We know to help the conversation slow down at the points most people want to pick up the pace out of discomfort. We know the importance of attending carefully to the parts that feel uncomfortable, because in those parts are the keys to unlocking the conflict.
I wonder what would happen if you engaged a dispute with the pace and mindfulness that Thich Nhat Hanh invites?
Instead of verbally vomiting your frustrations in one tumultuous flow, you might have the presence of mind to enunciate those concerns that matter most to you.
Instead of starting your part in the conversation by trying to get out of the conversation as soon as possible, you might relax into it the way you do when you’re sitting down to chat with someone you haven’t seen in a while.
Instead of hurrying through the most difficult part because it’s uncomfortable, you might deliberately slow yourself down to do it right. You’d examine why that part’s so uncomfortable and find the clue you’ve been hurrying past and hadn’t noticed before.
What gets in the way of you engaging your disagreements with mindfulness and care?