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MeditationBe Direct With Your Needs

Be Direct With Your Needs

When having tough conversations, it's helpful to speak with compassionate directness. In today’s exercise, Mel helps you explore what speaking with both clarity and kindness means to you.

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How do you start a tough conversation? There are times when all of us have to speak uncomfortable truths. It might be giving notes to someone we manage at work. It might be asking a romantic partner to show up more. Or establishing boundaries with a family member or friend. Relationships are built on having these kinds of honest, tough conversations. But even when we know they need to happen, it can be hard to find the right words. That's where compassionate directness can help. Tough conversations don't have to sound tough. We can balance honesty with compassion. We can lead with clarity and be direct about what we need to say and why it matters. And then we can end with understanding, inviting the other person we're speaking to to share their feelings or offering them support to create the changes you want. Today we are going to do a visualization of what compassionate directness might look like in practice so that we can advocate for ourselves with kindness, clarity, and generosity. Find yourself in a comfy position whether that's sitting or standing. Gently close your eyes if you can. Take a deep breath in and out. Take a moment to slowly rotate your neck. Make gentle circles slowly working through any tension as you find it. Now, reverse directions, again, gently circling your neck. Take a moment to stretch your hands above your head or clasp them behind your back, opening your chest. Once you've moved in a way that feels good to you imagine a thread anchored to the crown of your head. Gently pulling up, lengthening your spine, creating space in your neck. At the same time, ground your feet into the earth, anchoring down. Allow yourself to feel this gentle tension. Feet to earth, crown to sky. In these opposing forces, find space and balance. Continuing to breathe. Great work. Now call to mind a conversation you need to have or maybe you'd like to have, but are struggling to initiate. Once you have this topic in mind, put your hand on your heart. Feel it's beating. Now ask yourself, what do I need? What truth do you need to speak? What do you need this other person to understand? I'll give you some time. Let your hand drift down from your heart. Flip your hands so that the backs of your hands rest on your legs and your palms face the world. Ask yourself, what can I offer the person I need to speak with? Can you acknowledge something they have done right? Can you create space for them to express their needs back to you? I'll give you some time here. Great job. Now take both your hands and press them together palm-to-palm in front of your heart. When we advocate for our needs with compassion we find balance and tension, and we create ways to move forward. Let's take one last deep breath together. Breathing in and out. Repeat this after me,...


Duration8 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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