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30 October 2007

Listen fully

Spiderweb3Interesting how the web works. Kind of like....a web.

Marilyn commented on my complaint-free post and I read her post about that post which led me to another post, which led me to this very interesting post about "specific moral standards for communication." Ah, the webs we weave with posts.

From down that path of posts, this from Prospero's Books:

"In his book A Time before Deception, Thomas W. Cooper writes that native peoples around the world have 'specific moral standards for communication.' Those he lists are provocative standards for all of us who speak or write--that is, all of us:

  1. listening fully with the heart, no matter how trivial or wrong the discussion may seem;
  2. not interrupting another's communication;
  3. not walking between conversants;
  4. speaking softly, especially to elders;
  5. speaking only by invitation when among a group of elders;
  6. avoiding slander and defamation of all kinds;
  7. communicating as an individual (contributing independent ideas to the council) first, then communicating in synch with the group (once policies have been set);
  8. truth-telling;
  9. inner communicating (morning and evening sanctification, periods of guidance) must precede outer communicating, openness to the Great Spirit is essential;
  10. communicating with the whole tribe or whole earth in mind so as to honor others."
I love this. Let's adopt it. Let's make Successories posters of it (or not). More than that, let's just do it.

Cooper's book sounds fascinating: "Rejecting the assumption that literate cultures are superior to preliterate ones, Cooper explores how native peoples utilize a multitude of precise, stylized, disciplined communication forms ranging from chant, song, dance and memorized myths to sign language, facial and body painting and silent communion. In many native societies, the primary form of communication, he maintains, is with the Great Spirit, intermediary to a universe commingling animals, plants, spirits, weather patterns and humans in an organic whole."

When these moral standards for communication are added to the challenge from yesterday, I can see that I'm in Deep Trouble. Christine Kane makes it clear that if we falter from our complaint-free, whine-free, gossip-free, and criticism-free standard, no worries, we can just start counting our days over again: “And honey, it’s okay if you get 15 days into it, and then you forget. You just correct yourself, recognize you complained, and then start over at day number one again.” I can tell you right now that I'm on Day Two which very early this morning became Day One all over again. I think I might be on Day One for a Very Long Time. This is going to be like my pal Andie McDowell in the movie Groundhog Day  where the same day kept getting lived over and over again until they got it right.

It is hard not to complain or whine or gossip or gripe or complain. Did I mention no complaining? It's like an infinite regress of complaints--perhaps that is the point. How unconsciously we go for the whine. I think that's the point. In just 24 short hours, I have a list of 46 things I started to complain about (dog not fed, too many split squats, government officials, house too cold). It was #47 that finally broke the camel's back.

So, today is Day One all over again. Already, I've had to stop myself: too cold, too sleepy, too rushed... Could be a very long Day One.

But I'll add these new moral standards of communication, just for kicks. And soon--Marilyn, I'm just giving you fair warning--soon will be the 37days of Exercise challenge. Gear up.


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It seems to me that Day One of any project is the day you think most about it, and work hardest at it, so if you have Day One of the complaint-free challenge over and over again, that means it will always be foremost in your mind. Not a bad thing....

Wonderful webs we weave...I read the 37 days challenge yesterday, and this morning shared it with my little "Fitness Boot Camp" group. We spent our hour session (of very challenging sprints, lunges, runs, combat crawls and similar stunts in the name of increasing fitness) laughingly redirecting each other's comments... from "eargh, this is HARD" to "oooh, I love lunges"... from, "Oh, do I HAVE to do pushups on my toes" to "Ooooh, I LOVE push ups on my toes.. can we have another 50?" ..(That last one was an example only, no-one actually SAID that, I mean, really.. it's only Day 1 of the changed focus). So, your challenge has boosted the energy of a little Aussie fitness group on the beautiful south coast of NSW! The power of the webs we weave.

Exercise?! I'm not complaining...just hoping that biking will count... ;)

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