Ray and Joshua at Yosemite ParkWe did an article once before about listening, and how when you are actively engaged in listening, a part of your brain goes fully active and you receive information from all of the sources around you far more clearly than you had if you had been physically moving or distracting yourself… or even just fidgeting.

And today I wanna describe something that I’ve been learning the past month or so, with the help of my dear friends and companions Joshua and Raymond. These guys are amazing, I tell you, and they are helping me slow down, listen, and take in even more information than I previously had been doing so.

jordanandjoshuaIt’s incredible how much we miss in our day to day lives. There is so much data thrown at us that we’ve created our own programs to shut them out so that we can function with at least some level of proficiency. Ever heard of Banner Blindness? Yeah… that.

So today I’m gonna do my best to accurately share the 6 biggest things I’ve learned in the past month that has helped me overcome some of my biggest challenges, connecting with each other and genuinely hearing and feeling each other. I’ve split them up into the “Easy” steps and the “Steps for those who are In it to win it!”. Enjoy!

The 3 Easy Steps 

1. Drink Water

drinkwateroftenYou know how some people will go and take a smoke-break in order to create a distance and break from what they’re working on or doing? I know many smokers who (while they don’t like that they smoke), have turned it into a valuable tool while they work through the problems that will allow them to quit.

Well, turns out not only can you do the same thing with water, but it’s a million times healthier too! Do you remember the woman who drank 3 liters of water a day for a month?! That article blows my mind, and with a 3 Liter Camelbak (or lots of diligent trips to your nearest water source) you can very easily begin consuming water as a form of meditation when you need a break from your daily grind.

No, seriously… get a Camelbak (a water backpack). You won’t regret it! It has seriously been SO good for all of us in Team Spirit!

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 2. Posture

Change the geometry of how you’re sitting.This one is SUPER easy. Pay attention to your posture. When you find yourself sitting slumpy, change your vibe.

It is a very easy way to start moving the energy through your body when you are uncomfortable or going through some stuff, which can help you create a meaningful effect in those all around you.

3. Alertness and Presence

kirsten justin amandaThis one actually becomes really easy when you practice the other two for a week or two. It’s really just about noticing when you start to glaze over the world with your mental focus, and creating a sort of *snap* back to reality and full awareness of the environment and what is being communicated around you.

When you notice that you are not being present, drink some water, change your posture, and refocus onto the present moment…

Which, pretty soon you end up realizing – is a truly timeless state of being.

The 3 “Next Level” Steps for those who are in it to win it and want to go the distance!

1. Put your focus on Genuinely Feeling where someone is coming from.

justinandjonathanIt actually is a really healthy practice to observe someone from a space of “feeling” where they are coming from. Feel the essence of where they are coming from. People (everyone, yourself and myself included)communicate the best they can in the moment with the data they have… and sometimes, that data gets misconstrued in the process of translation.

In short: You might hear something differently than it was given, so it was not received the same way as it should have been. If at the very least ONE of you can catch it when it happens, you can bring it up and share that knowing with those you’re communicating with.

It can lead to some powerful growth and communication, and makes building connections easier than harder… ESPECIALLY once you get the hang of it!

2. Genuine, Loving, Warm Neutrality

raymondWhen you are approaching a loved one in a communication, whether you’re being inquisitive or with intent to share something important, doing it from a loving space.

The mental tag you can put on it is “Warm Loving Neutrality”, which can be especially helpful if you are frustrated with someone and want to communicate that without it turning into a raging inferno of anger and frustration on both sides of the equation.

Finally, if you know someone who continually demonstrates that they love you and have your best interest at heart, even if you don’t understand why they are taking the actions that they’re taking, it’s best to listen and pay attention. If you ask questions, do it with genuine earnest rather than as if you’re questioning their motives.

3. Attention to Affection

This is the BIGGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT POINT!! So important that it required me to BOLD the text. Yeah, that’s a big deal.


Recognize the difference between Attention and Affection. Are you giving your loved ones the affection they need? Or are you giving them mild amounts of attention to stave them off.

An example… My parents would used to want to spend time with me as a kid, and I would only ever want to be on the computer. I practically ignored them because I preferred doing what I was doing, which at the time was making cartoons.

joshuaandjonathanThing is, all they wanted was to give me some affection, and for me to return that affection. If i had spent 5 genuine minutes with them from a warm loving space, they would be happy to let me run off and work on my cartoons knowing that I love them.

A little Affection goes a long way.

So that’s it! There you have it :) These 6 things have been PARAMOUNT since the beginning of this year, and it’s only continuing to grow. Put these things into genuine practice, and I guarantee you will see some form of results over the course of the next few months of your life.

Thank you Jordan for sharing your life experience with us.  Love Jim Villamor 


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