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Harmlessness

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inquiry & integration

inquiry instructions

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Inquiry:  As you scan your daily life, ask what are the words that are least consistent with my tone of voice that create harm?

Personal Integration: This practice can be done alone or with a friend, lover, or counselor. Take one to five minutes or longer to contemplate and answer the question. When done with another, it is essential that the listener remains neutral and encourages you by repeating this inquiry as needed to help maintain focus.  All of us have times where we are more withdrawn in our tone of voice, irritated, impatient, angry etc.  Many times we will say words like “I am sad” when we are angry or irritated while we’re using words like “all I’m asking for is…   Finding these discrepancies between our words and tones is an extraordinary way to be more harmless and stop fights..  It is helpful to focus on your most intimate and conflicted relationships, as that is where we can see it most clearly.  If you can’t find any situations, keep looking, as none of us are perfect in this action of pure speech.
 
Inquiry 2:  How much are you aware of yourself when you have a tone of voice that is harming others, and how do you rationalize or avoid the impact that you are having?
 
Personal Integration 2: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format. Many of us have no awareness of using a tone of voice that is harmful, while others of us have various levels of fleeting awareness.   As you find your moments in your key relationships see if you are aware at all in those moments.  Plant a seed to remind yourself next time which will support you to start to have a choice to purify your tones and motives.  Also take a look if you have rationales that you let yourself believe in the moment.  The most common justifications  include “He or she deserves it because of the way they treated me!” “I amin a bad mood, and I am just expressing my feelings” or “This is nothing compared to the way they speak to me.”  Even if these rationalizations are true, the quality of our lives and relationships can’t improve significantly until we take more responsibility to admit our harmful tones and work to purify them.
 
Inquiry 3:  How much are you motivated to be accountable for your tone of voice when you are hurting yourself andothers.  (spend time increasing your motivation as you scan)
 
Personal Integration 3: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  Spend some time asking yourself “does it make sense  to dedicate attention to the wayI speak?   Am I willing to spend time really reflecting on this?   Can I do it now for just five minutes?   Am I complacent, inspired, or distracted?   Let yourself be honest about your gut reactions.  No matter what they are, don’t let them override your own greatest wisdom guiding you as to the importance of being accountable for your tone.  It is a great state of awareness and integrity to see that your wisdom is telling you to pay closer attention, but your mind isn’t all that interested.  If this is the case, gently realize that your ego is in control of your attention not your wisdom.  This realization mayvery well jolt you into having greater motivation.
 
Inquiry 4:  How much can you and do you feel regretful, guilty or sorrowful, that you are not able to control your tone of voice at certain times?
 
Personal Integration 4: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.  It is an optimistic sign if you are in touch with feelings of regret, sorrow or even guilt as they reflect at least a partial accountability for your own hurtful tones.  This has the capacity to deepen your ability to find your real witness rather than judging the other as the “culprit.”   This is a key step in our development as we find a softer, more self-reflective side of our self, rather than just continuing to project the “enemy” as on the outside.
 
 
Inquiry 5:  How dedicated are you to want to develop a harmlessness practice with regard to your tone of voice. 
 
Personal Integration 5: Follow the same instructions as above in the monologue or repeating question format.   Talk with your partner, or think about your dedication, lack of motivation, struggle, or whatever is true for you when it comes to the challenge of staying aware and harmless in your speech and tone of voice versus, just expressing whatever it is that you feel.  Take a look and see that you might be motivated with specific people in your life, but not others.  It is a comprehensive check on your dedication to be harmless.  Recognize that harmlessness is a key step towards developing compassion, and therefore will be a central influence on your fulfillment and well being in your life.  Remember that your ego will rarely be motivated to look closely at the ways in which it is hurting others.  Your wisdom and higher intelligence will want to care for the truth.  It is important not to be judgmental towards yourself, and yet at the same time be honest.
 
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Since 1972, Humanistic Spirituality founder Robert Strock has maintained a private spiritual and therapeutic counseling practice that specializes in purposeful living, relationships, spiritual psychology, and death and dying counseling. Humanistic Spirituality provides various spiritual workshops, guided mediations, and licensed marriage family therapists and licensed social work continuing education courses. Contact us to learn how we can help you find inner peace and spiritual awareness through our counseling, or our free guided meditations, videos, audios, writings, introspective guises and more. A warm welcome from the team at Humanistic Spirituality.

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