Tag Archives: movement

Day 460: The Professionalisation of Inspiration

“If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.”
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Is it possible to be a genuine musician, actor, or artists and still be professional? Is it possible to express ourselves purely and creatively in moment because money dictates that we have to?

In current society it is common place that artists build a living on their skills and their creative expression – in other words – they need to produce and be creative in order to survive. And obviously this creates pressure, anxiety and stress to express and give birth to the right kind of expression, or rather, the expression this is certain to generate an income. Though is it even possible to combine these two? When we express and share ourselves not due to inspiration/joy/the pleasure found in being creative, what are we then really giving birth to?

We are all artists in some area of our lives and the key ingredient to any artists expression is inspiration. It is something arises without our direct control. It is something that comes through from within when the conditions are here. And for any artist that tries to make a living on their interest the nature of inspiration becomes problematic – because they money system is not designed around unpredictable, unforeseeable bursts of creative juice – the money system requires a schedule, a goal, a vision, it must be decided and planned beforehand, and the expected profits have to be calculated. This is not how inspiration works. To flow from our heart  we have to let go of any desires and stop wanting to control the outcome and instead open up to what is HERE – and that is simply not possible to do in our current money system.

In our current money system artists are forced to become professionals – when the core of their expression does not follow such restrictions. In our money system we have to select our one field of expression, such as one instrument, or one genre of music, and then invest ourselves into that fully, in order to push through the noise of the system, so that we can hopefully reach that fame and start earning the money that we need. It is a form of abuse that takes place. Because inspiration, expression, artistry, and now I mean real, genuine, original expression that flows from the heart, has never meant to be boxed in. I suspect many artists have become imprisoned in their professional shell and have forgotten the inspirational expression that guided them initially.

And this is important to remember for all of us. We have to remain sensitive and open to our inner movements – because it is not necessarily so, that only because we are good at something, and we have done that for a long time, that is what our heart is at – or rather – our self-honesty. To be able to see/experience/feel that slight breeze of movement within us we have to be sensitive to ourselves – and that involves letting go of any warlike strategy that we want to impose on ourselves in order to survive in this reality. Expression does not follow rules, it does not follow right and wrong, it simply is and opens up when we dare to listen.

 


Day 449: Dreaming of Tomorrow and Losing Today

Today I cleaned and sorted out old stuff and decided what to throw away and what to keep, how to organize it, etc. I found a book called ‘Pregnancy’ that I got when my daughter was still in the womb. I did not read it. In-fact, I did not read up that much at all about children, pregnancy, what the human body goes through, and how to prepare myself for the birth. When I held the book I realized that I had missed a lot by not allowing myself to fully immerse myself in the process of having a child – and I asked myself – why?

I realized that I had not immersed myself because I had been to busy with other things, primarily work. And this is a pattern I have seen repeating for myself. It is only after the opportunity is gone that I see I missed it because I stressed and hurried myself through the experience. It happened to my studies as well – when I went to the university – I did not take the time to really explore the student life because I stressed and hurried through my days. It happened when I built my house. I did not enjoy and neither did I fully commit to the process because, I was stressed and concerned about other things than building the house. My weakness is that I become too focused on the future, or too focused on some part and aspect of my reality that is not present here, that I miss out on everything else – that I miss out on life.

For example, one of these points that are here now, an opportunity, is my relationship to my daughter. That is here, it is ripe and it is ready for to explore, however, I have been allowing myself to be distracted by work, by future, by ‘projects’ that I perceive to be very important. If I do not want to look back in five years and regret myself and think, why did I not spend my time where I should have, I need to refocus and place my attention on that which matters. And the interesting thing about what is real and worthy of my attention is that it is always right here – it is not something that I have to reach and attain – it is already here. And it becomes obvious when I take a breather and look at what is in my reality – then I can see – aha – that is my point right now – that is where I am able to express myself.

It is like life is already here, it is just that I do not see it – and I spend my time in my mind thinking about where I should go next instead seeing that it is not really important – because the next step is infront of the last one. Taking the next step is natural and it happens by itself when I am here, present, and I see the opportunities in my life. When I am already thinking about the next step, trying to foresee my third and fourth step, that is when I miss my balance, and I miss reality around me – and that is NOT what I want to do. It is literally one of the worst experiences, to look back and see that I have missed things because I was not present.

Somehow experiencing loss is a good way to open up and see where I have taken things for granted. Losing a loved one, being forced to give up a way of life, or being close to dying, that tends to put everything in a fresh perspective – and voila – NOW we know what is important in life.

What will I change?

I will push myself to live in the present and not get caught up in my mind-storm. I will focus on the creations processes that are here in my life, that develop and that come up naturally. I will put my attention and focus on creation and movement in the physical, real creation and movement, and not envisioning movement in the future – because that is not real. And thus – every day – and every breath will be my vision.


Day 447: Our System Lacks Resilience

All the while the world is going through some hard times, people panic, and the news are filled with information about the Corona virus, nature still moves on. I live out on the country side, and it is so fascinating to see the contrast between the information I get on my computer compared to the serene stability of the environment just outside my windows. Nature is simply HERE – as it has always been – and it will not change, panic, lose stability when there are unbalances – it moves, slowly and deliberately to correct itself. And that is significant about nature. It never hurries, yet everything is accomplished.

Compared to nature, we humans have built a system based on strained relationships, tense, rushed timetables, abstract numbers, complicated and theoretical lines of ownership, all mixed with our emotional conditioning where we are constantly in some form state of survival. It is no wonder that our entire community goes down when a small virus yet efficient virus is introduced, because we have no resilience or sustainability in our system. In the country were I live about 30 000 businesses are about to go bankrupt because they have lost revenues for one month. That is pretty significant as it tells you a lot about the state of our economy. Even though I am in a rich country – we still live hand to mouth – from paycheck to paycheck – and there is little to not savings to fall back on when suddenly things does not work as they used to work.

In past times, they had a better understanding that the world was not predictable and that you needed to save and store up to be able to face the dire times. That is especially significant on the country side where I live, where past generations used to literally save everything, which then created problems for the younger generations, as more and more space had to be assigned for storage.

We could have a resilient and sustainable system – we could have a safe world for everyone – it is a decision that we can make. It will require for us to give to one another as we would like to receive – and that seems to be the big hurdle at the moment. We are still too focused on our own individual survival that we are not able to see that everyone else are stuck in the same kind of rush. If we would work and cooperate – we could relieve one another and build security for everyone. When one is strong, someone else might be weak, and when that someone is weak, someone else is strong – and thus we complement and support each other through rough times.

I have learned a lot from this Corona virus crisis. It has been like a mask has been ripped of the face the world to show what is really underneath and how dire the situation is for many of us. Not only are bodies in a dire state, but businesses and peoples private economy. And our current system cannot be saved. It is doomed to fail. And if we refuse to let it go – we will have to pay the consequences.


Day 439: Resisting Change

There is a quote from Lao Tzu that I have found very supportive and insightful when things in my reality seems to become shaky:

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

What this quote shows to me is the benefits of letting go of control and expectations. Why struggle to create something that simply does not want to come through effectively? And how many of us do this. We are stuck in life situations that we desperately try to keep moving – and all the while – there is this struggle that underlines every push. What would happen if we let go of our visions and start working with what is real? What would happen if we dare to kill our darlings and look at things with fresh eyes. Sentimentality is a completely unnecessary luggage.

I have seen this clearly when it came to the career I decided upon. The interesting thing was that I initially tried to become a musician. And even though I loved it – there was a struggle, a fight, and conflict existent. It was seldom smooth and effortless and I never got the results I wanted. It was as if there was something off – I could not get through the way I wanted. And then I decided to change direction – and I pursued a profession that I did not particularly enjoy – however – I was really good at it. And when I aligned my vision/future according to my real self and my actual strengths – and even though it was not easy – it was not the same struggle anymore. There was a light in the tunnel. And the results I achieved were very cool and convinced me that I was on the right track. I stopped resisting what was naturally here with me and instead went with it/nurtured and strengthened it.

Animals do this as well. They are most of the times extremely specifically designed to fulfill a particular role in their environment. And no animal tries to actively alter their physical design to fulfill a different purpose in their environment – because for example – they have a dream or vision about it. Animals embrace their physical strengths completely and use them – they do not resist their nature. And that is something many of us humans miss. We think we have to become something different – we compare ourselves – and we use ideas of what is good and what is bad to make decisions. None of that is based on REALITY – on WHO we really are.

Change is part of reality – resisting change is the same as resisting reality. And what happens when we do resist reality is that we create conflict – both within and without. However – this does not mean that we should become followers. Rather – we should become practical and learn to work with what is here to achieve our goals – and to align our goals to reality – and be open to change our direction when something does not work. This is something that I am practicing. And it is balancing act – because being too practical, and too accepting of what is my reality at moment, can also lead to complacency and the creation of comfort-zones. Going with the flow can easily become detrimental if there is no direction – no vision of what we want to create/manifest – and in such a state we can accept less than what we are capable of becoming/doing.

Hence – while I do not want to resist reality – I also do not want to accept reality when it is less than what it can become. And struggles do not necessarily need to indicate that our approach is misaligned – it can be a point we are trying to create that is a big challenge – yet still possible to be created. What it comes down to is self-honesty. We need to listen to ourselves, our hearts, and our self-honesty and also let some doubt in now and again, so that we can question where we are at and what we are doing and if that is what is best.


Day 431: Jumping Off The Stress-Train

I have been working with anxiety/fear/projections last week. I have realized that the key to stopping anxiety/fear/projections is to stop the train of thought and bring it back here. The emotions need thoughts to become fired up – they need some image or vision of something going to shit – and by not going there – the emotions remain small and easy to direct.

The solution is simple – the application can be tough – because it is easy to go into that train of thought and the justification is usually that it is somehow needed for me to protect/prepare myself. However – that is the illusion – that feeling of need – because there is really no need to think of anything – it does not make things better or worse. Thinking about things just perpetuates a state of feeling. For example – if I have a test I need to prepare for – thinking about the test will perpetuate a state of stress/tension and it will not increase my chances of passing the exam. The only thing that will increase my chances of that is actually sitting down and studying. And that action is not itself associated with anxiety/tension – it is simply what it is – sitting down and studying.

The same goes with the test – it is what it is – me sitting down doing a test. Though when we think about it – that is when the demons start coming out of the woodwork. Suddenly the test seems to be too big, and there seems to be a grave shortage of time. What to do, what to do? The stress starts seeping into every cell of the body and corrupts every moment with a foggy state of being half alive and half zombie. That is no way to live – that is survival – and why even be here if it is only to survive? We are meant to be and do more than that. Life is about exploration, experience, expansion and movement – it is about finding out what we are all about and the difference we can make. And to get into that zone of expression – we must drop the thinking – it is only holding us back.

I have understood that in order to stop feeding the stress-demon – I must be consistent in my STOP-application. The train of thoughts leading me down into the rabbit hole will move again and again – and each of them will try to lure me away on a small trip to stress-land. Each train will have its own unique attraction – something that creates that desire to jump on and find out where it is going. When that desire arise, that is the moment to step in, take a breath, and hold the reigns. Because if I go into that desire, I will start feeding the monster – and soon enough – I will yet again be engulfed in an experience and not able to live and experience each waking moment with the presence and clarity that it deserves.

The interesting thing about stress is that we believe we need it. We have created this idea that we need competition, we need to fight for our survival, struggle, or exist in austerity and lack in order to get going – and hence – we created capitalism in our image and likeness. Capitalism which is the very essence of the struggle to survive and the glorification of the winner at the peril of the loser. And we believe that we get some many fantastic things out of capitalism; advances in technology, creature comforts, more and better food – though what is growing inside of everyone is the tension/anxiety/fear – the understanding that in a capitalistic world no one really matters.

We do not need stress or fear to create awesome things. We do not need these demons to push us forward – we can do that by ourselves. All we need is our common sense – and our body will take care of the movement. Thus – I will continue to embrace and live a life-oriented living where I focus on the creation and enjoyment of living instead of living with fear/stress.


Day 429: Survival and the Environment

One thing that is not properly addressed in the climate crisis debate is the human crisis and how that is the main contributor to the destruction of nature. Lack of human rights, such as money, will make men savage opportunists that do not care about ecological balance – they care about survival. An example of this is Brazil and its use of the Amazon rain-forest. The Brazilian farmer och logger does not care about the rain-forest as a ecological resource – they view it as a source of money. And that is because the average Brazilian is in dire need of money to survive – and the amazon offers such opportunities.

When people are in need of money – they will act in a state of survival and do whatever is necessary to survive. When there are no Human Rights – there cannot be any Animal or Nature Rights. And thus – from what I see – the problems with nature and our environment will only continue and increase until we as a race stand up – together – and start taking care of one another. We cannot ignore that most countries in the world are still poor and that their inhabitants want to increase their living standards to the level of the western world. They also want I-Phones, cars, new clothes, and bigger houses. And it is understandable that the leaders of developing countries have a difficult time keeping their composure when the industrialized world wants them to cut back on their environment footprint.

Nothing exists in a vacuum. To come to grips with the environment – we have to look at the underlying causes – the reason why we put such strain on our surroundings. Why is it that we have no learnt to live in equilibrium with nature and animals? Why is it that we have not learnt to respect nature and animals as equals? The way I see it – it comes down to a few primary aspects. One of these is capitalism. This is a system built on the urge to survive and compete – and for those that are at the bottom – there is no time to value life. Capitalism needs inequality, it needs misery, it needs fear – it feeds on these conditions – because from it is birthed the motivation/drive to win and survive. That in turn apparently supports people to come up with marvelous ideas and new ways of contributing to society. The truth is that it creates a race to the finish line – nobody works together because somehow – there is not enough for everyone.

This is the real problem we need to deal with – massive inequality and poverty. Those are the real threats to our environment. And for anyone that cares about nature – it should be a given to focus also on finding solutions to these problems. The cause of all our misery is the human being forced into a state of survival – and the solution to our problems will be a human being supported into a state of stability/happiness/giving.


Day 424: Big Changes In Small Steps

There is this notion that change must imply something big, massive – one decisive revolution – one impactful movement that puts everything on the line. What I have noticed within myself is that  this belief about how change takes place often has discouraged me from pushing to make the apparently insignificant changes in my life. When I have considered changing these aspects, or contributing to society in a small way, by for example engaging in a political group, I have thought that there is no use – it will only bring about so little – there is simply no meaning to it – hence I will not do anything at all.

This kind of thinking shows us two belief systems. One of them is that we alone are too small and insignificant to make any kind of lasting impact in the world. The other is that what we do and how we live in our day-to-day life does not matter – and that we have to become president, famous, a star, to have any form of influence. The result of living out these belief systems is that we do not do anything at all – and that we do not push for the small improvements in our life – because we believe them to be of no worth. We do not even push ourselves to correct our immediate relationships – because what is the use? It will not create any lasting change anyway.

And it is interesting as well to observe how people that have lived so called successful and influential life’s, many times have had massive issues in their private relationships. They have only been able to live their passion to improve and expand outwardly into the system, and not been able to share this process with their close ones. And many times the personal hell they created not only for themselves but also for those around them caused deep ripples. Hence – it is important to remember that all types of change for the better are important – not only those happening out in the world system.

The key is to stop valuing and comparing the movement to improve, to empower and to change. We have to understand that each and every step forward that is taken is needed no matter how small it was. And that the interesting thing about change is that it takes place in the small, in the parts that are barely noticeable, and then one day, the small parts have together formed so much momentum, that what seems to be a big and overwhelming change takes place over night. However what has been missed are the small, apparently insignificant actions, that brought about that shift. And this can unfortunately go both ways. We are also able to accumulate acts that are negative and that diminish us – and then after a while – we notice the destructive end result without being able to see how we got into such a bad situation. This is the magic of accumulation in the small.

The same principle of accumulation can be found in how what we think will eventually influence what we speak, and that what we speak will eventually influence how we act, and that our actions will eventually become our habits and our general character. In when we are at the end of such a process – it seems as if it has always been that way. For example – we have apparently always been lazy and there is now nothing we can do about it because it is such a big and general characteristic to change. However creating that laziness was a process that initially started in the small, in the minuscule, in the barely noticeable, with apparently innocent acceptances and allowances, that then got bigger, bigger and bigger.

Hence – anyone that feels that change – whether in the system or personally – is too much – and because of that does not do anything – remember that change takes place in the small and manageable. Change takes place in our sphere of influence – and unless we are HERE – PRESENT – and WILLING to act we will miss our moments of opportunity – because you will have opportunities – every day to take the path you desire for yourself, your fellow man and our common future.


Day 416: Children of the Future

This week I have begun my mornings by stating:

“I am mother earth, I am father sky, and I am the children that will become the future of this world”

Stating this each morning has helped me to be more stable in the face of the current situation in the world – because it is easy to lose hope – it is easy to lose interest, faith, creative juice, desire and want to change and to make a imprint on this existence. It is easy to think that I am only one person, and what can one person do? Because it feels like the world is so, so big, controlled by such powerful interests, and that I am so, so small, insignificant, and unworthy.

However – what I have realized is that I am the future – in each breath, with each word, with each action, I am involved in this world, and I am involved in creating the future. It might feel as if it something that is beyond my grasp, though it is not, it is right here. And each morning when I wake up, I can either approach my day within this stance, that I am here to create a better tomorrow, or I can approach with a sullen indignation and hopelessness, thinking that there is nothing to be done. For me the choice is easy, I want the former approach. I want to make this life count, and I want to make myself count, one voice, one vote, for a better me, a better future, a better reality for everyone.

It is important to not become engulfed in the state of the world as it exist at the moment. What is here is not the end, it is the beginning. What is here has been created over centuries, and it will take a long time to change – however as with all journeys – it begins with a single step. And if there is a clear decision, a steadfastness and consistency, then time does not matter – the point has already been created and what is left is to walk it into manifestation. It is similar to making a movie – when the script is done it is only a matter of shooting it.

To be the children that brings the future – one point that must be practiced is being open, receptive and interested in solutions. I see many that loose themselves in a state of complaining, diminishing, finding fault in others and themselves and criticism. And many times they can clearly see and outline the problems – however – they do not script a solution – the remain at the stage of seeing – and that is not enough. What matters is what we do when we see. An effective response would be to investigate what we are able to do to change and bring through what is best – and then act on that. Children do not hold preconceived notions. When they see a problem, they find a solution to it – and they are open to the fact that every problem have a solution – there is nothing that cannot be solved and directed. And whereas we as adults might give up before we have even tried, because we push ourselves down harshly within our own minds, children go for it. And that is something I want to emulate. To approach the world fearlessly and without beliefs as to what is possible and what is not. Change within and change on a global level is not a dream – it is a possibility – and to get there we must begin walking.

However it is true that change will not come through by waiting for external forces to move – and why should we wait? The future is created in the small and seemingly insignificant actions that make up a usual day. We might not see it, but each day holds potential for movement, exploration, creation and expansion. The challenge is to see and even create those moments and to act. Too many adults become dull and boring – they loose touch with their wit, strength, power, playfulness and drive. For them life becomes a series of uneventful days all about survival and making it through to the next day. Their eyes become hazy and unfocused, and their voices become monotone and slack. Children are not like that. They are bustling, feverish, intense and driven, they explore and are curious about the world around them, and they make sure that not a moment is lost. They are hungry for the life that is here to be experienced and lived.

Thus, we adults, we must embrace and live the fact that we are the children that will bring through the future in this world. And each day adds a brick, in the brick wall, that is the world we share together. And either, we can approach as adults, believing that there is no chance in hell that can we do anything, or we can approach it as children, with the understanding, that what we do will ripple out into the world and have an effect. We are not alone in this world, we are all dependent on each other, and what we do, will have an impact. And even if we are not yet able to see it, and perhaps, will not be able to see it in our lifetime, the ripples are there, undeniably. As children, we must be unconditional, and create our ripples, and not accept and allow our motivation to become bound to external events – we must move from within that deep, bountiful, limitless playfulness that is the hallmark of children everywhere. That is where we will find the patience, steadfastness, drive and motivation to last for a lifetime.


Day 414: Public Speaking and Creativity

During last week I was away on a 3-day course. It was very intense, with scheduled activities from nine in the morning till ten o’clock at night. One of the lectures was about rhetoric and how to speak with a crowd to arouse interest and curiosity – and that was something I passionately enjoyed. I remembered how amused I was by the creative and expressive arts, such as theater, music and painting. Those expressions are part of my nature and activities I have to give myself space and time to indulge in – if I want to experience the full pallet of colors that is me. It was interesting, that I did not really notice how my own passion and enjoyment was coming through – until after the course, when I came back to work and one of the secretaries pointed it out to me.

What I enjoy about public speaking is that there is a nerve to it, there is a performance. The thing about performances is that you have to be fully present, and you have to dare yourself to step out of your comfort zone. It is not possible to hold back, because everything depends on you. If you do not open your mouth, move your body, or do whatever you have set out to do, there will be no performance – there will be no act. I also appreciate the freedom of expression that is available in public speaking. You are bound only be the limits that you have created. One and the same topic can be approached in a thousand different ways, and it can be delivered in as many ways as there are people on the planet. Our voice can be soft, stern, sleek, whispering, or, silent. Our body language can be engaged, held back, impressive or intense. There are so many ways to frame ourselves.

However I do see, realize and understand that I am not able to practice public speaking everyday and everywhere I go – though – I still want to experience and bring creativity, inspiration and enjoyment into my life. Thus – I see that I must apply and live these words everywhere – however in particular – when it comes to speaking and interacting with people. I tend to hold myself back and fall into self-created limitations when I interact with others. And it is these limitations that I want to break through – that is what pleasures me – when I move through fears and anxieties and allow myself to express creatively.

And it does not necessarily have to be speaking with people. Creativity can be applied and lived everywhere. It can be applied in for example, driving a different route to work, adding new and different spices when cooking, reading a new kind of book, about a topic that feels as distant as Pluto. I would say that the main component of creativity is to be open and excited about trying new things, seeing how it fares, and enjoying the process – and not accept and allow fear of failure, or fear of losing control to stifle. The process of creativity is a walk into the unknown – it is about venturing into undiscovered spaces – and maybe that is why so many have difficulty bringing in creativity into their lives? They fear the unknown, the uncontrollable, the opaque – however – that is the charm. Do we really want to live a life that is in all its facets calculated, exact, without surprises, without uncharted avenues, without any sense of adventure or opportunity for change and expansion?

And that is why I will strive to bring more creativity into my life at large and explore the various ways in which I can realize this word in my daily living. And even though I have a desktop job, and most of my day is spent sitting in an office, I am convinced that there is much still to be explored. Being creative is not something that can be made dependent on the environment – creativity in itself comes from within and is something we have to nurture and actively bring through into our life’s.

I will in the coming week explore this word – and report on my progress.


Day 403: Directing Conflicts

The theme of my week has been conflicts, primarily in relation to money, however it has also touched other subjects. It has been interesting, because I have been both on the receiving end of criticism and complaints as well as on the giving end of criticism and complaints. Having had a taste of both worlds – it opened up some interesting realizations.

I realized that the normal way we tend to approach dissatisfaction with products/services is by anger/frustration. We feel harmed and unjustly treated – and we approach the other person in that state of anger/frustration and discontent. Oftentimes this results in more conflict, more irritation, more anger, and more confusion. We start to fight instead of coming up with solutions – and we believe that the other person is out to get us – instead of seeing that it could be a honest mistake – and that we could potentially have a mature, and stable discussion about what we are unsatisfied with and find a solution together.

A better way to approach conflicts is by being humble, being open to hearing the other perspective and being open to consider solutions that are mutually effective. Disputes where both parties decide to go full on for their own desired outcome with no quarters are really destructive. In a best-case scenario, one of the parties’ wins – in a worst-case scenario – both lose. Fighting, it always creates losers, which is why it is pretty fascinating to see how often we choose this route. And it is not because of reasons that we can explain rationally, it is because of how we feel – and we seek our perceived version of justice through the conflict. The problem is that we seldom see the problem, the area of conflict, with any clarity because everything is very much shrouded by our own self-interest – and having regard and empathy for our opponent can in such a case feel like a weakness. Though it is the ability to keep a cool head and place ourselves in the position of the other party that will allow us to find a solution that is going to work both for the other and us.

Another difficult emotional experience that can make conflicts hard to solve is idea that we have to stand by our feeling of being wronged because it is a matter of principle. The problem is that the ‘principled’ party is unable to consider anything else but their own principle, or rather, their own emotional experience. The ‘principled’ party will thus seldom be able to expand their seeing to take into consideration the other party as well – and will oftentimes stick to their demands stubbornly. And there will be a great fear of letting go of the emotional experience because of the belief, that if we do, then we have admitted defeat. That is obviously not the case. Defeat is subjective, and in the case of conflicts, defeat would be to not find a solution that is effective and works for both parties.

Conflicts are a natural, recurring and big part of social life. It comes through in nearly all type of relationships, whether with humans or animals. Learning to deal with conflicts is because of that an important skill to acquire. A basic component of dealing with conflicts effectively is communication. I would say that bad communication and the consequential misunderstandings are the prime reason for the creation and continuation of conflicts.

Recently I have watched a Danish TV series that is about a collective with young people that are brought together in order to research their personalities and behaviors. Naturally, many conflicts, emotional experiences and misunderstandings occur. For example, two people initiate a sexual relationship hurriedly. One of them does not see a future with the relationship, the other falls in love. Neither of them communicates their experiences. Thus the one that is not interested in continuing feels bogged down and stalked and the one feeling in love feels rejected and becomes increasingly sad and emotional. And the conflict is created because neither party communicates about how they feel, their intentions and their aspirations.

The reasons why we decide to not communicate in such situations probably differ from person to person. If it would be me, I would most likely hold back because of fear of being vulnerable. However others might not share their experience because they believe the other person already knows. Sometimes we become so lost in our thoughts, and they become such a big part of our life, that we believe that everyone else has access to them as well. However, that is not the case. In order to break through and find solutions we must dare to be vulnerable and also understand that we cannot expect anyone to understand unless we have communicated and clarified our position. It is basic common sense and still it is normal to lack such basic skills of communication.

Another example that read of in a book about learning how to negotiate is the following. Worker A is pissed off because his chief B always selects him to lead the one of the most physically exhausting undertakings. He thinks that B is singling him out and is punishing him. Thus A decides to contact his union and refuse to follow orders. B on the other hand reasons that because A is one of is best and most trusted workers, he chooses A to head the difficult undertaking, because then B knows that the job gets done. This is a clear-cut example of how the lack of communication creates conflicts. If A would have voiced himself and if B would have explained is reasoning, there would most likely not have been any issue between the two.

Thus, to summarize: To avoid conflicts, effective communication, empathy and openness are required. We must embrace the possibility that the other party is not necessarily evil, but that there might be a misunderstanding or a miss-match of expectations. Through communication we are able to find and resolve differences and establish solutions that work for both parties.