From the forthcoming book, How to Talk With Anyone, Anytime, Anyplace, about Anything.
The Joy of Mindful Conversation.

Conversation.

Some love it. Some fear it. But you won’t go far without it. Conversation feeds the soul. Or starves it. Maybe it’s the conversation in the car pool on the way to work, or later in the day talking with teammates about a problem customer. Or around the BBQ at the family picnic. Maybe it’s a candle-lit dinner with your partner, or sipping tea with a friend, or it could be a chance meeting with a stranger in line at the DMV.  So common, conversation is like the nose on your face. For many, not worth much thought. But without that nose, how different you would be.

Mindful conversation is the glue that holds us together. Conversations are where friendships are made and deals are sealed, where careers begin, where love blossoms … or withers.  A conversation is an invitation to learn and explore, to share who you are, to connect with one’s self and with another, to heal the wounds of life, to relieve stress, and to break open our self-made cages of isolation. Conversation is not about what you know, but about who you are. More about being, less about doing. The best conversations are spontaneous, open-ended, growing out of a desire to connect with others, not to convince or win.  The tools of conversation are words, to be sure, but equally gestures, facial expressions, tone, pitch, posture, and silence. Conversation can be as much about what is not said as what is said. A common language is not even required. Some of the most delightful conversations I’ve ever had came about when my conversation partner and I, through grunts and points and flapping of arms, and letting go of fear or attempts to impress, created a common stage for our own impromptu magic.  We met as travelers connected by a willingness to enjoy a moment together.

At its best, Mindful Conversation is a beautiful path to spiritual awakening, wellness and stress reduction. This book will show you how to walk that path. It will take practice and patience. Anything worthwhile does. Mindful Conversation is not for the faint of heart. It requires the courage to be vulnerable and the patience to listen. But for those with a willing spirit, this book is an invitation to more joyful, connected living.

“Sure,” I hear you say, “But ‘Anyone?’  How to talk with anyone?”

 “Yes, anyone,” I say. You may not always want to talk with anyone, and anyone may not want to talk with you, but if you both want, you can make it happen.

A shadow of skepticism falls across your face. “And how can I talk about anything. Topics I know noting about?“

“It’s not about knowing,” I say. “More about being open and curious. Learning to listen and inquire, putting your effort into understanding rather than trying to impress or to win.”

Some walk away in disgust at this point. Some nod and say, “Okay, that sounds simple.”
My turn to shake my head. “Simple but not easy,” I say. But the rewards are there, in virtually every aspects of life. Conversation is for friendship and intimacy, for work and play, for the young of heart and the old of body. Mindful Conversation has the power to unite us across divisions of ethnicity, economics, religion, politics, language, age, interest. Mindful Conversation can be your secret sauce of life, ready to spread joy, learning, connection and performance into a dance with anyone, at work, at home, or on the street.

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Mindful Speaking - Mindful Writing

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In a small town on the west coast of Scotland, five-year-old Peter Gibb trades his soul to the devil in a futile attempt to win the approval of classmates, teachers, and parents. Follow the story of Peter's humorous but desperate struggle to find a way out of the dungeons of doubt. An insightful tale of lost and found, King of Doubt grips you with tension as it warms you with heart. Anyone who has ever struggled with self doubt -- and who among us hasn't? -- will see themselves in these pages. This moving story, one man's journey from doubt to wonder, will fill you with hope and promise. The story rivets your attention to the final word, while the beauty of the language still sings long after the reading.

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