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Mindful ActivityPreparing for Difficult Conversations

Preparing for Difficult Conversations

Take a moment to reflect on the situation, clarify your feelings, and connect with your conversation partner’s experience before having a difficult talk.

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Difficult conversations are a necessary part of any intimate relationship. And they can bring up difficult feelings that can make approaching the conversation a daunting experience. This practice is intended to help you reflect on any feelings that are present, clarify intentions and needs, and then connect with your conversation partner's experience before diving into the conversation. So let's get started. Let's take a few moments to get comfortable and still, bringing spaciousness to our experience. And go ahead and find a comfortable, upright seated posture and allow your eyes to close if that's comfortable for you. And when you've found your position, just take a nice, slow deep breath, inviting yourself to arrive. And we're just gonna bring our attention to the points of contact between the body and the surfaces that you're resting on. So first just notice the sensations of your feet upon the floor, and then notice your hands resting on your legs or the chair, and then feel the support of the surface underneath you. And then bringing some length into your spine and take a slow deep breath in and out of your nose, feeling your abdomen expand and contract. And then allow your breath to find its own natural, easy rhythm, letting go of any effort. And we'll bring our attention to our shoulders. Just inviting them to release down, away from the ears. And invite ease around the delicate area around your eyes and your forehead. And then invite your jaw to relax, just allowing your teeth to separate and allowing your facial muscles to let go. And at any time in today's practice, you can always bring your attention back to the natural rhythm of your breath, wherever you notice it most easily. And as you anticipate this upcoming conversation, just take a moment to ask yourself, what are you feeling? What are you feeling? Just allowing any feelings to emerge as you name them one at a time. And if you notice fear arising, just remind yourself that difficult feelings are arising because you care. You care about the person, the outcome or some other aspect of this conversation. And you can remind yourself that feeling fear or stress is a normal part of living a full life, being engaged in human relationships. And now as I say these phrases of compassion and kindness, see if you can repeat them silently to yourself as you would say them to a friend. This is a difficult moment and I'm here. May you accept your feelings just as they are. May you bring curiosity and openness to learning and growing from this experience. And just take another slow, deep breath in and out through your nose. And on your next breath, just allow your exhale to be slightly longer than your inhale. And then just allow your breathing to be natural and easy, letting go of any effort. And now we'll gently invite a question and see if you can ask yourself...


TypeMindful Activity
Duration11 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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