I learned to make guacamole from my dear aunt, Liz, a number of years ago. She taught me a certain way and for a while, I did exactly what she had showed me: I diced the avocado, tomato and red onion, added in some lime juice and cilantro, and stirred it all together. Then one day, my husband asked me to mash it all together, providing me an opportunity to stop and think.
That moment, that decision, was a gift. It allowed me to truly examine why I was doing what I was doing. It presented a crossroads to either continue with the way I had been going along or to take a turn and change directions. So often we choose to continue on down the way we have been going without thought, on auto pilot. But when we embrace the pause, we take a step back and evaluate the WHY of our actions.
Another gift was presented to me in the guise of guacamole. I chose to mash the avocado into a creamy paste and fold the tomatoes in. My husband and I chose to substitute milder green onions for the stronger red onions and we incorporated garlic powder, because we like garlic. Each decision was reached together.
This is the power of compromise. Finding something that bridges the gap without either party feeling like they have gotten less. We may not get everything we want, but sometimes what we get is even better than what we wanted in the first place.
In The Journey Training I learned tools that help to bridge the gap in communication and find solutions that benefit both parties. I also learned the value of pausing my life for the training weekends and discovered the most amazing things about myself and others.
“Mind the gap” is a warning phrase issued to rail passengers in the United Kingdom (and elsewhere) to take caution while crossing the gap between the train door and the station platform. There were many factors as to why this phrase was selected but among them was the need to communicate a concise message quickly and effectively.
The technology we have available to us today allows us to communicate very quickly! We carry our phones with us everywhere we go and we text, post comments, email, or call each other whenever we want. I do love that capability!
Yet I fear this same technology is actually helping to make us more ineffective. The technology itself is not to blame. We are choosing to interact face-to-face less often. We’re even choosing to talk to each other less often while using our phones to type our messages instead. Our electronic messages are becoming shorter and shorter. Their meaning becoming less and less clear.
Important pieces of what we are truly trying to convey are falling into the gap. Because of this we are misunderstood, we become frustrated with ourselves and others, and we begin to make up stories in our head to try to fill in the gaps of what we think is missing.
We may even take things a step further by not communicating at all with those closest to us. We take advantage of our closest relationships as if they should be able to read our minds and know what we are thinking or what we want. We get upset when they don’t guess correctly and we begin to make up stories in our head about how little they must care about us.
Does any of this sound familiar?
It’s as if we are beginning to forget how to sit still, look at someone, and talk to one another. Is it time to stop looking at our electronic screens for a second and “mind the gap”?
In The Journey Training, we talk about the importance of being present with other people. It’s not that hard! We simply need to sit down with someone, look at them, and talk. Use simple questions or statements like: How can I help you today? What do you need from me? How can I love and support you? You’ll be amazed at the answers you’ll receive if you’ll only ask the questions.
Life is about relationships and we should constantly strive to create a win-win situation whenever we can. Remembering that we can choose to slow down a bit, sit down and talk, will do just that. Choose to stop allowing things to fall into the gap!