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Offerings & Invitations

What would it be like to perceive and direct experiences in life from a place of offerings and invitations? How would it feel to embrace every shared #communication as an opportunity to witness different perspectives and to cultivate skill in the use of intentional choice? The weblike journey through our #relationships to self and others, as well as an individual’s orientation to the experience of living, casts out and catches a plethora of requirements and demands mixed with offerings and invitations. In a world that focuses on #PowerStruggles and the drama of #conflict for survival, a feedback system for the reality we create is perpetuated in the #consciousness of self and the collective. This feedback system thrives by the perceptions we carry within that orient our behaviors when moments of change and choice arise. Conflicts with self and others are the fertile moments that set the sails, based on the navigation of one’s #receptivity to personal growth and co-creating with others. Conflicts present opportunities to refine perspectives with new information and to step out of the storm of power struggles. This is achieved by becoming an objective witness of the experience, in order to acknowledge the trade-offs of #offerings and #invitations with #requirements and #demands.

Offerings may arise as direct favors and physical gifts, but they are also the simple or profound moments of shared observation, analysis, and advice that are in service to personal desires and resolving conflicts. The latter form of offerings, often invoke a question or weighing out of ideals, thoughts, and/or feelings about a specific subject or occurrence in one’s life. These #offerings may originate from within an individual’s mental processing or “self-talk” and from others that are delivered intentionally in a compassionate, guiding way. If the one receiving the offering perceives #judgments or #assumptions are being made by another, this is an indication that the communication was not neutral in its delivery or that one is unable to receive due to their own overlay of self-judgment, assumption, and defensiveness. This type of #perception may be a prevalent pattern in how they interact with others or perceive any observation made or spoken of them.

Bias is an inherent part of consciousness within self. Any event, concept, or feeling is tied to the individual perceiving, analyzing, and responding to it. #Bias creates resistance to #empathy and consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others, which shuts down the flow of #receptivity in communication and #connection. Bias can mire one’s vision like looking through dirt-coated glasses. You always see the dirt first, even if it has become so normalized that you ignore it’s presence, and it takes effort to truly see beyond it without cleaning the lens of #perspective. When one is unaware of their own biases or does not take the time to re-assess them, receptivity to other points of view and the commonality of “#JudgmentalListening” resists a path to #HealthyCommunication with self and others. It is unlikely that bias will ever be fully removed from the individual or the moment that one is seeking resolve and confidence with, but with awareness and effort all of us have the opportunity to acknowledge our bias and clear, subdue, or substantiate and uphold the bias we decide is most important. By clearing distorted, inapplicable, or unsubstantiated bias and lesser valued biases, one can be open to more fulfilling solutions while simultaneously resolving much of the #EmotionalReactivity and internal or external conflict that arises in the defense or demand of bias. This allows a clarified and centered focus on what matters most. It also consolidates the energy needed to achieve it within self or in discourse with others.

If an offering is perceived as an insult or overreach, it is the #responsibility of the individual who feels that way to communicate their perception or confusion about it for maintaining rapport or to take the time to discern what it means beyond the initial experience of it on their own. It is important to understand that when misperception without #HonorableTransparency and the disregard for clarity occurs, the original offering no matter how loving and considerate may be used as a mast to standby in self-righteousness or one to cut away by an unyielding mind. For the giver, it is key to remember that the altruistic offering does not require a return like an #invitation. It may not even require #acknowledgment, although this is the most considerate form of discourse. It is a gift without attachment to how it is valued. In the current climate of social exchange it is common for offerings to be missed, disregarded, inaccurately perceived, and judged in the #projections of others struggling to sustain an open heart and mind with less confounding bias. Having confidence in self for the offerings given with #integrity and consideration of others is all that is required by the self if it is truly an offering.

An invitation is an offering that carries expectation for response or action. When someone puts forth an invitation, the origin comes from an open heart and mind that seeks the opportunity to share something with another. What is shared may be a moment, advice, or an object that is dividable or transferable. The moment or advice proposed by an #invitation may carry any number of possibilities with respect to purpose and who it serves. It may serve the “inviter” initially, but also carry positive returns for the “invitee”. It may predominantly serve the “invitee” if accepted and acted upon, or it may serve others beyond the “inviter” and “invitee”. Ultimately, all true invitations carry the opportunity for everyone to benefit in some way, even if this benefit is not equally weighted. The difference between offerings and invitations is the attachment to an #exchange that is about intentional sharing. #Altruism is not inherent in an invitation as it is with an offering due to an individual’s expectation for the obligation of response that accepts or denies the invitation directly. Offerings and invitations are similar in their root of open-minded and open-hearted intention to put forth possibility without the requirement or demand of acting upon it that create definable consequences for self and others. However, the #effort and #intention to communicate effectively and authentically to achieve receptivity with self and others, is essential to clearly distinguish offerings and invitations from requests and demands.

When consequences are put forth in a negotiation with self or others, the feelings that arise may evolve through the analysis of those consequences. Often, the root of these feelings is initiated by surprise, fear, or anger about having to choose #consequences at all or with the limitation of the specific consequences that are defined. The building pressure in the psyche for liberation and #fulfillment or #closure and resolve can skew one’s impressions of the moment presenting as #demands or #requests. Until the emotional experience is subdued and the objective role of the #witness in self takes over the perception of demand versus request, the clarity for how to weigh consequences of choice will be obscured.

Requests are similar to invitations, yet #requests carry a specific need to be fulfilled. If the need is not fulfilled, regardless of the individual’s perception of the request directed at them, a clear consequence of inaction, poor action, or opposing action will be stated or revealed. Sensing defined or undefined consequences is an instinct most individuals carry within. The tone, delivery, and placement of requests are often distinguished by circumstance. The circumstantial experience may involve direct #conflict or nuances of #ConstructiveObservation leading to requirement. With respect to personal and #InterpersonalRelationships, demands may present in the form of authoritative assertions that evolve out of requests. This occurs when an individual believes that what is needed must be fulfilled by the person that they are demanding it from. #Demands often carry larger consequences than requests due to the perceived infringement of emotion and severity of #obligation for fulfillment, which is evident in backlash #behaviors. Although demands may also be slightly intensified requests without backlash behavior, they are clearly defined by the assertion that an imbalance of power exists, either within self or with others in relationship to self. Beware that the emotional intensity often displayed within a demand or felt by a demand can parade the illusion of power being taken or lost, but #FreeWill to respond in a way that seeks to #harmonize a perceived power struggle in communication is always there. It is the responsibility of those involved to weigh responsibility and reflect on the power of demands as well as the #choices available for #MutualFulfillment or #MutualResolve. It is also the responsibility of every individual to themselves to assess what they are willing to agree to as well as their ability to follow through on that agreement. When mutual fulfillment and a #BalanceOfPower has met a stalemate, it is natural and most beneficial for every individual to remain empowered and reconsider paths to self-reliance and self-resolve.

The ideals of harmonization, #negotiation, and mutual consideration are founded in #CompassionateCommunication and #Compersion that are focused through the intentional practice of #offerings and #invitations. Managing awareness of the #AuthenticSelf and attending to one’s needs for fulfillment within, before seeking offerings and exchanges with external sources, is the most effective approach to achieving perceived harmony. In relationship to self and others it is inevitable for requests to form and evolve as well as the assessment of trade-offs in consequences to be cultivated. If one maintains #awareness in what fulfills the authentic self while managing #HealthyBoundaries, adaptability, and objectivity for perceived choices and outcomes when #WantsOrNeeds for self or others arise, the occurrence of demands from self to others will be less. Likewise, the emotional response to the demands of others to self will feel less overpowering. This allows a balance of power to be negotiated through requests or equally demanded for fulfillment and resolve.

Engaging with life through the intentional act of #witnessing self and others enables the opportunity for #IntentionalCommunication, in order to achieve the most harmonic outcomes for all. Seeking #HarmonicFulfillment and a balance of power in one’s #InternalDialogue and #Exchanges with others cultivates sustainable and healthy relationships that mutually serve the intelligence of those involved. The approach of #invitations, #offerings, and #requests honors free will and upholds the #integrity of the authentic self. True #respect is only found where the integrity of oneself is evident in their words and actions, which requires a balance of power and #responsibility. Leading with an open heart and mind is essential to compassionate communication, adaptability for #negotiation, confidence with establishing #boundaries, and the clarity of #effort put forth to achieve #receptivity.

Let offerings become a ritual of the heart and mind. Define the wants and needs within to discern the weight of invitations or requests, while cultivating reliance within. Balance the power of demands and align with what serves the authentic self to create harmony beyond resistance.

Excerpts from the Writings of Julie Hightman

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