Create With Your Words with Satvatove CoachingIn The Beginning Was The Word

Just as the supreme creates with the word, we too create our lives with our word. Self-reflection is a core principle in personal growth, and it can be especially illuminating to consider our relationship with our word. In the Vedic tradition there is a literature called Upadeshamrita, or The Nectar of Instruction. The book concludes with a depiction of the most elevated spiritual consciousness, and it starts with a description of the importance of effective management of our words, for anyone interested in spiritual progress.

In the transformative communication seminars that I conduct we ask participants to examine the effects of kept and broken agreements. Typically, experiences and feelings connected with violated agreements include hurt, embarrassment, anger, betrayal, confusion, lack of clarity, disappointment and feeling devalued. Agreements honored are usually related with experiences such as trust, gratitude, responsibility, fulfillment, security, clarity, and respect. The purpose of such examination is not to moralize about the importance of keeping our promises. It’s about realizing how our relationship with our word affects our experience of life.

In this regard I suggest that there aren’t big or small agreements. Consider, for example, that I say, “I’ll call you tomorrow,” and I don’t call. We may think, “It’s no big deal.” With respect to our relationship, however, will the consequences noted above be in effect? Probably they will. At some level, your trust for me will likely diminish, and our relationship will be less whole.

Commitment is essential for self-development. Without it, we’re likely not going to significantly expand our possibilities and comfort zone. When we make agreements, we’ll probably find that, despite our best efforts, we sometimes don’t follow through. A strategy for handling broken agreements with integrity is a valuable tool for restoring relationships.

The Five As

An effective approach is the “five As”, which are 1) Acknowledge, 2) Accept responsibility, 3) Account, 4) Apologize, and 5) Amend. “Acknowledge” means to recognize that we have a broken agreement, and to express this to the person whom we transgressed. Accepting responsibility, the second of the As, denotes realization that I responded in a particular way that caused me to not honor my word. The third A is Account. Expression of accountability consists of genuinely explaining what happened. Apology is the fourth A, and it’s noteworthy that it’s fourth, not first. Oftentimes we act like apology is the first and only step in effectively handling a broken agreement. “I’m sorry” can be more about my need to restore my image, than about sincerely reinstating the soundness of the relationship. Amend is the fifth A, and consists of actively redressing the situation.

A Culture Of Trust

‘This is a season for making resolutions, when we consider things we can do to better our lives. This is a powerful opportunity to enhance the culture of trust in our relationships, and within ourselves. My proposal is that we invoke special awareness of the effects in our life and relationships when we make an agreement and keep it.

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