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Earth and Spirit Medicine is all about helping you learn how to give cooperation, honor, respect, and trust in all your sacred RELATIONSHIPS.

Effective communication creates solutions that bring about win-win situations for all parties involved. I have found that most people want to be listened to, not just spoken to. Most people want to be able to communicate without interruption.

Most people start to keep their mouth shut when they sense that they are not being heard or valued. Think about how you as a spouse, employee or individual, communicate in order to create win-win situations.

I was working with a wilderness youth therapy program here in southern Utah some years ago. Temperatures were getting well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and we were hiking to a new destination when one of those unexpected events happened. I hear students frantically yelling “He’s down, he’s down, he just fell down”. I quickly removed my pack and started the assessment. He is laying crumpled up like on the ground unconscious, I immediately check for breathing and pulse Thank God he has both.

Now begins the simultaneous efforts of revival. Have a student two way radio for help to other guide who is driving our emergency vehicle to our new destination so he can radio in for medical help.

I start treating for the worst, and dehydration and heat exhaustion are at the top of the list, and I have the other students make a temporary shelter out of a tarp. I had one student collecting bandannas to saturate with water in order to cool him down, and as he regains consciousness get him to drink sips of water to start the hydration process. He ends up over a period of about an hour stating that he has regained his strength and composure and is ready to hike to our new camp site about a mile away.

We get to camp he goes down again and this time we put him in the truck and the other guide takes him to the hospital. He is treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration and is returned to camp the next day. 

I realized that we had a communication breakdown going on between students and guides. Communication breakdown that almost cost a life. This experience allowed me the opportunity to make some very necessary adjustments as to how I communicate and follow through, because I never wanted to experience that again.

The type of communication that breeds cooperation, honor, respect and trust is the most effective and profound. Whether it is parents and children, bosses and employees, teachers and students, we all want to be heard and respected. 

I began observing business meetings, family discussions, etc. and decided that there were many dynamics to ineffective communication and that there was a simple way to get everyone to come together in effective communication and reach desired results. Facial expressions, tone and volume of voice are just a couple of reasons why people do not respond well with each other, hence divorce, business partnerships dissolved and the desired result down the tubes.

We must be willing to create the environment and the processes of effective communication in order to have cooperation, honor, respect and trust in all our communication. I will outline the process in which you can have this type of communication in your homes, workplace and in all your relationships, remember though it requires effort.

Through the next week start observing yours and others methods of communication.

We are certainly interesting as humans and especially about how we communicate. Listening is the element that provides the advantage in communication.

Most people just want to be heard, I am sure you can remember hearing comments like this; did you hear what I just said, are you listening to me, do you understand what I am saying, and the volume and tones are usually not the healthiest at the point of these types of comments.

Think about this for a moment, imagine a group of departmental supervisors sitting in a room with the manager or owner sitting at the head of the table and everyone is talking and no one is listening and no solutions being created. When people are talking over each other with a motive of ‘you better hear what I have to say’ no one is truly heard and unfortunately it is a common and ineffective method of communication with no solutions.

In nature it is imperative to always be listening to the all that is going on around me. I am listening to the animals, birds, for signs of water, or anything that would exemplify a shift in the consciousness of the landscape. Usually in groups, people like to talk and then nature is a little quieter, the animals and birds move to different locations until they feel it is safe and the people in the groups sometimes miss out on the most essential information.

If you were stranded in the wilderness and you wanted to be found, I am sure you would be very quiet and observant. Listening for possible helicopters, airplanes, vehicles, or even voices of rescuers or other hikers, would be a priority.

Challenge for you the reader is to facilitate this method of communication and this is how you will do it and I promise you will see results. I call this method ‘Speaking Stick’

Step one: Have your family or whatever group you would like to start with sit in a perfect circle on the floor, yes I said in a perfect circle on the floor. This creates a feeling of equality.

Step two: Blind fold everyone except yourself with a bandanna and you can get these for about a buck each at Wal-Mart. This eliminates anyone being able to assume inaccurate information based on facial expressions.

Step three: State the rules of communication;

Rule one: is to choose a topic of discussion that needs a solution.

Rule two: is that you will be the facilitator.

Rule three: is that the only person that speaks is the person with the stick, or pencil or whatever you choose, everyone else listens.

Rule four: is that you will choose how many circular rounds of communication you will need until there is a solution. Usually 2-3 circular rounds are effective, especially for just beginning.

Rule five: is keep the time of everyone’s comments to 5 minutes, so you will want to have a timer, or stop watch to ensure this.

Rule six: is for you to open up the method of communication by stating the rules, the topic and state the five minutes of time each person gets to communicate.

Rule seven: have fun and have some refreshments afterwards.

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