Validation Station

StampsIt’s the holiday season again and many of us are in hyper mode:  high strung, scurrying about, impatient and feeling under pressure.  It’s also classically a time of year for heightened drama- think of those chaotic family dinners where secrets get spilled, tempers flare and even tears flow.  Trying to manage the “drama queen” amidst all that can leave us spent and wishing for a comfy corner to hide in. Continue reading

Language Arts

Human GearsRecently for fun, a dear friend of mine and I took the 5 Love Languages test together, (I’m an Acts of Service and Physical Touch, for those of you who are curious).  But, it got me to reflecting on how language and listening are all part of the communications hub.  In turning to my own experiences in parenting, friendships and workplace relationships, I realized that over time we often start “tuning out” those around us when they’re attempting to communicate with us:  nodding our head when our spouse vents about their work day, giving noncommittal email responses, throwing out the occasional “uh-huh” when our children rattle on about their play date or some new video game.  As a parent, I catch myself doing this:  “half listening” to my son telling me about his comic book or conversation with a schoolmate.  We all do it.    Continue reading

Touch: A Sensory Story

Our 5 senses:

  • The olfactory sense (smell) is often attributed to memory recall:  like the scent of a tobacco pipe after your childhood Superintendent, Gord has walked through the halls of your building.
  • Sight and sound we rely on heavily as navigational aides.
  • And, taste serves double duty as both a pleasure center and detector.

But, our dear, under-rated touch!  Touch is a unique sense which allows us to be in tune with our bodies, connect and convey non-verbal messages with one another, detect different forms and textures, and holds us to our humanity; it is grounding and comforting and NECESSARY regardless of age group.  Despite all of touch’s admirable traits it is still not fully valued in Western culture.  We’ve become saturated, and in some cases, desensitized by media and real world experiences of stylized, sexualized and unwanted forms of touching. Continue reading

Communication Quandary

Communication.
Video Wall with Human Silouhettes
It is such a broad and weighty term.  It’s a subject that commonly comes up in our workplace environment surveys and is frequently noted as a key challenge in our relationships, whether it’s work, family, or friends related.  Perhaps, when we use the word “communication”, what we are really referring to is “effective communication”.   Continue reading