In this guided meditation, we will use specific emotions to directly witness your tone of voice.
In doing so, you can begin to guide yourself to the best parts of yourself as well as those of others. We will explore the emotions of intolerance, impatience, and annoyance. So, if your emotions are different, simply substitute your own emotions. Recognize your tone of voice and whether it is annoyance or irritation, timidity or insecurity. You need to be aware of the tones of voice that cause you and others the most suffering. Only you can decide whether you’re going to look at your tone of voice and which ones are most helpful to you and which ones are more injurious. It’s very important to bring your heart and wisdom into your tone of voice and notice how much it can change the quality of your life.
If you see any resistance, notice and acknowledge it. You will see how to go deep and allow yourself to be exactly where you are. Then ask, “How would I like to shift my tone from irritation, impatience, intolerance, and agitation, and move it toward being more friendly.” It’s a combination of shifting your tone, taking care of your needs, and asking what kind of tone gives you the best chance of receiving what you need. This experiment may need to be repeated because it’s not easy at first—especially when you’re impatient or intolerant or when you’re reacting in a resistant state and not in a state of well-being. Often, you can recognize a shift in your tone of voice when you’re feeling uneasy because you have a need that was not responded to in the way you desired. You will be supported to look for the tone that is going to serve your most important needs when your emotional reaction is impatient or intolerant. When doing this investigation you can experience it like having a harmonic, musical sound, optimizing the chance of receptivity. By continuing to practice, the payoff is that your heart becomes more engaged and negativity becomes more contained. See if you can appreciate that you have a desire to discover your needs and convey them with a tone that dignifies your life.
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Awareness That Heals, Episode 104.
The Awareness That Heals podcast helps its listeners learn to develop the capacity to have a more healing response to emotions and situations rather than becoming stuck. Your host, Robert Strock, has practiced psychotherapy for more than 45 years. He wrote the book, “Awareness That Heals: Bringing Heart and Wisdom to Life’s Challenges,” to help develop self-caring and the capacity to respond in an effective way to life’s challenges. Especially at times when we are most prone to be critical or to withdraw together, we will explore how to become aware of our challenging feelings and at the same time find alternative ways to live a more fulfilling and inspiring life.
Robert Strock (00:47):
I want to give you a very warm welcome joining us at Awareness That Heals where we’re bringing our heart and our wisdom to life’s challenges. And today we’re going to go to an area that has been such a central focus of my life where I have been incredulous that it isn’t a major part of psychology and it has to do with the importance of recognizing and working with our tone of voice. In my experience, tone of voice is the most easy way to access our subconscious, but most of us had that natural intuition when we were a child and lost it or most of it when we were growing up. So as I’m speaking to you, let yourself have glimpses even of tones of voice either that you’ve received from your parents, from your partner, and most importantly from yourself.
And we’re gonna look at today, not only how your tone of voice is, but how you can use it to discover parts of yourself that weren’t as obvious. And also most importantly, how you can bring your heart and your wisdom into your tone of voice and how much it can change your quality of life. When you look at your tone of voice that’s most discordant, that causes the most suffering, whether it’s suffering for you or suffering for another, it’s worth just starting off by starting to see it. It may be annoyance or irritation, it might be timidity being passive, it might be insecure, it might be pleasing. And constantly you feel like you need to please, but it’s so important for you to be aware of the tones of voice that cause you and others most suffering. And let that wake you up to, ah, what tone of voice could I find in my heart first and then deliver through my vocal cords? It’s important to recognize, but changing our tone of voice is not just cosmetic. You don’t just push a button and okay, here’s the love tone of voice. You need to recognize the quality or the emotions that you’re generally or specifically at a time putting out. Then you might wake up and you might say, you know what? That wasn’t very sensitive. I found a place inside me that actually wants to be more caring. And then you deliver a tone of voice that was more conducive to connecting.
Now, brief reflection. My very first experience when I was 18, I was a volunteer at the foundation for the junior blind and I was given complete freedom. And I said to the kids, you guys can’t see. You’re legally blind. I’ll bet you’re very skilled at listening to tones of voice. So I had them experiment going home and at first just saying hello from their heart and they’d come back and go, oh my God, everybody was more friendly and you can just fill in the details. We spent the whole semester with them experimenting because they were hypersensitive and could see the benefit of how much more connection they could create through their tone of voice. So it is a key to quality of life and it’s also a key to looking into your subconscious. So today we’re gonna be focusing on a guided meditation that that’s gonna allow you to be put right in the center of your tone of voice and witnessing it, accepting it, and then asking yourself, what quality would I like to try to find in my heart to be able to optimize my tone of voice so it can move me toward connecting with the best parts of myself and the significant others around me?
Now that might sound like an act of magic and I want to be very clear that it does require an honesty about what your tone of voice is. And it also requires a sincere intention to bring your heart to your life, to bring your sincerity to your life. So many of us have a sincerity, but we’re in a habit of talking with a certain tone. So this is a chance to wake yourself up, but only you can decide whether you’re gonna really look at your tone of voice and which tones are most helpful to you and which ones are more injurious. And then, whether you’re game to do the work. And really I wanna say you get to do the work. This is not a “should”; this is really an opportunity for you to improve the quality of your life and your relationships. In the following guided meditation, I’m going to use a specific emotion, but I’m doing that so you can learn the nuances of how to deal with it.
Because if I leave it to all challenging emotions, you’ll miss some of the nuances. But I’m wanting you, even though I might be talking about a specific emotion that’s not yours, I want you to substitute your challenging emotion all the way through. And the specific emotion that we’re gonna use today is intolerance, impatience, annoyance. And if that’s a part of you, stay with that. But if yours is something very different, as I said before, substitute in yours because you need to be in the center. And that’s the whole point of the guided Meditation.
Guided meditation is for so many people, the best way to truly gain benefit in your response to personal challenges. As you invest and bring your own experience to the guided meditations, you’ll give yourself the best chance to change long-standing patterns from suffering toward a state of well-being, peace, and healing. It’s important to put yourself in a comfortable body position in a private space where you’re not disturbed. Turn off your phone and be ready to really be alert. So let yourself start off by just being aware of how you feel right now. Would you say that you feel up or down or medium or relaxed or tense?
Whatever you’re feeling, let yourself have a voice right now and please hear the tone. It’s okay that you’re there. And recognize that the tendency that you have is to always want to be in a great place or a good place. And that the way to support yourself is to embrace where you are. You don’t have to improve, just let yourself say it’s okay exactly where you are. And if you see any resistance to this, notice the resistance. Say high resistance, I’m going to go deeper and allow myself to be exactly where I am. And notice how easy or difficult it is for you to say to yourself, it’s okay to be exactly where I am. And as you’re settling into yourself, ask, how would you like to shift your tone from irritation, impatience, intolerance, agitation, and move it more toward being friendly, considerate, kind.
And you may need to address when you’re doing that what it is that you need. In fact, most of the time you very likely will. So if you’re impatient because someone’s just talking over you and and they’re not giving you space to even be part of the conversation, you have a need to be able to speak. So you may say something like, could you let me just say something, ’cause I have something I really wanna say. And if someone is just spaced out and they’re not paying attention, they’re looking out the window, you may need to say, with some kindness as much as possible, you know what I’m saying is really important to me? Could, could we have some eye contact? So it’s a combination of shifting your tone of voice and taking care of your needs with what it is you’re saying.
Now, just pause for a few seconds and see if you can be aware this isn’t giving up on yourself, ’cause oftentimes when we’re impatient or intolerant, we think, ah, they really deserve it because they’re, they’re, they’re so gone or they’re so self-centered or they’re so critical and we don’t see that we’re in a reaction that’s gonna compound the original source of suffering that you had because of what you were experiencing. But if we are aware of our own tone of voice and we don’t get caught in just judging them, then we have a chance to go inside ourselves and ask, okay, I know you’re feeling intolerant or impatient, annoyed, you wanna get outta here, but what is it that you need? And what kind of tone would give you the best chance of actually receiving what you need? And even if you aren’t able to actually implement it the first 10 times, you know that each one of those 10 times are like practicing a sport, or practicing anything, because this is not easy, especially when you’re impatient and intolerant. So many people would say to themselves, “Nah, this person’s been such a shit that I, that I don’t want to, I don’t wanna change my feeling. They deserve it.” And not see that you yourself, when you’re reacting that way are not in a state of well-being. You’re in a state of intolerance and patience, aggravation. And even though you might deceive yourself that you’re in the right place.
If you look closely, it doesn’t feel good. You’re almost invariably unaware of your need. So this shift of tone of voice is a combination of recognizing that the reason why you’re feeling the way you are is ’cause you had a need that was not responded to. And you want to find both the need and the tone of voice that’s gonna take care of you and also give the best chance of taking care of the relationship as well. It’s helpful sometimes, and I would suggest you tune in or use your most intuitive hearing and imagine that you’re hearing your own tone of voice on a tape recorder. And that allows it to be really lucid. Like you’re listening to music and you are really able to hear the intonations. And if you look at it separately, you aren’t as likely to get caught up in, well, they deserve it, so I’m just giving them what they deserve. But instead, you see yourself as, and I don’t mean this in an esoteric way, you see yourself as a creator no matter where you are in a interaction with a person. Your response can be highlighted and you can see, I wanna get off this track of mutual aggravation or somebody being passive and someone being aggressive. I want to try to find the place inside me, like I’m listening to a tape recorder and have it convey what I need and have it have a tone that sounds musical imagining on a tape recorder.
You’re really looking for something that’s musical and the music might be tender, or it might be like the Rolling Stones and be strong, but whatever it is you’re looking for the tone that is going to serve the need of the moment, and you’re looking for the specific need that’s going to help you feel comfortable with using that tone. It’s such an important area that many of us, most of us, even when we take this first stage of I want to be aware of my need and I want to convey it in a way that’s loving or caring or strong or tender that the original impatience or intolerance will sneak in. It’s a sneaky little sucker. You need to be extra aware that even though you might think you cleaned it up, that the normal tendency is to still express the impatience or intolerance with the need that’s not gonna work out very well. So right now, visualize yourself when you have been or you are intolerant or impatient, and see the need.
And see if you can hear it like a tape recorder as having a harmonic in some way of having a musical sound that is going to optimize the chance of receptivity. On the other end, let yourself realize that this truly is an evolutionary step that you can choose to take. And the stakes are monumental because it’s gonna give you a chance to actually be peaceful when you are more warlike and you’re breaking unquestionably generations of patterns to just be that way. So it’s not something that you’re going to learn right now. And again, keep going to your impatience, your intolerance and see if you can discover that need and you can convey it in the way you want to and the way that has your heart and see that this is something that needs to be practiced over and over again, but the payoff of your heart being more engaged and your negativity being contained and transmuted like nuclear power plant being created instead of a nuclear bomb. See if you can appreciate as we wind this, that you have this desire, this longing to discover your needs and convey it with a tone that dignifies your life. I truly wish this for all of us.
So again, it’s important to see where this leaves you. Are you more and more convinced that this is the direction you wanna move your life? Are you interpreting, or I would say misinterpreting this as giving yourself up, if you’re going to have your intolerance or impatience taken away, or do you see the gain for you if you are able to see what you need and can deliver it with the quality that’s gonna most take care of not only your life but the other person you’re with. And by the way, it may not take care of the other person you’re with ’cause they still might not be open to it, but at least you’ll have the feeling and the reality of giving your best self and that creates a certain amount of peace. Now, I’ve given you my view, but it’s so important for you to stay aware and open as to where this leaves you and to continue to work with your reality.
So I respect your reality, doesn’t mean I agree with it, necessarily, but I hope that you’ll continue to see the wisdom of using your tone of voice for your heart and your wisdom. And if you’re skeptical, keep engaging what’s being said to you. And I wish I could have a conversation with all of you if you’re at all skeptical at this point. So I wish you trust in your own wisdom, in your own heart, in your own tone of voice. And to see this will inevitably change the quality of your life if you make it a practice. Thank you very much.
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