A Rocky Mountain summer wildflower, Silky Fringe looks and feels like a purple explosion. It teaches us how to be direct and say-it-like-it-is without hesitation. Rather than sweep difficulties - no matter how subtle - under the rug, we can experience the joy and clarity of addressing issues head on. Instead of introversion or avoidance, we get a burst of energy that triggers sudden insights, helps us see new perspectives and encourages dynamic communication. Read more here!
By being intentional when taking our flower essences, we remind ourselves, our guides and the universe what it is we want to embody. Choose one of the phrases below that most resonates, or make up your own! Every time you take your elixir, close your eyes and set your intention:
To take it one step further, as you take your elixir and set your intention, visualize everyone else in this program, all around the world, addressing priorities head on. By connecting with others in our group, we exponentially multiply the benefit + ripple effect!
When do I withdraw?
What type of situations do I avoid?
When does it feel invigorating to be direct?
When does being alone feel nourishing and when does it feel lonely?
In what situations do I find myself wanting to run away?
When have I ‘faced the music’? Did it allow me to cut to the chase more quickly?
Prefer to have a printed sheet with the writing prompts, exquisite practices + a calendar to track your month?
Is there a conversation that's been percolating in the background you need to have? Bullet out all the things you feel need to be addressed. Then ask yourself: what's the worst outcome of having this conversation? What's the BEST possible outcome of having this conversation? Which of these possibilities are you willing to risk not happening?
Imagine you’re 90 years old, looking back on this time in your life. What will you wish you had done? What would you say if you had nothing to lose?
Practice speaking what comes up for you with those you trust. This doesn't mean speak without thinking - rather, practice bravery in sharing that which you may typically keep quiet about, particularly out of fear of how it will be received.
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Let your heart speak:
Use me when you:
This month we're working with the Silky Fringe flower. It looks like an explosion of purple fireworks. It's a really beautiful flower, and we collected it on the Wildflower Trail that we collected quite a few wildflowers actually in the Grand Tetons. This one is special in that we saw it sort at the end of our walking and collecting, and we came back actually a second day to collect this one because we felt it was so important.
Silky Fringe is all about being direct, addressing your priorities head on, speaking up, speaking clearly and just in all ways being direct. So we'll talk more about the different aspects of the flower as we go along the month, but the first aspect I want to talk about is its ability to help you be direct in your communication.
I just wanted to share a method of communication or being direct with communication I have found to be really helpful, since actually one of my main personal challenges is in being direct in specific difficult conversations. And not just in any conversation, but hard conversations. I think that the hard conversations are the ones that it's difficult to be direct in. We might beat around the bush or try to say it nicely or be politically correct or pad things or sandwich them in between positive things. We have all these little strategies to try to make the pain of telling someone something uncomfortable or hard to hear sort of land more easily, or so we think it will.
Along that one note, I wanted to share a strategy that I've been using, and started using it actually around the same time that I started taking Silky Fringe, and that is how to be direct, but also be soft. Because I think that a lot of the examples that I've seen of people being able to be verbally direct with someone even with things that are hard to talk about, for example working with contractors and saying things like this isn't done right or somebody was sloppy or careless or slacker-y in this aspect. A lot of the examples that I've seen either while growing up or just ... well, aren't we always growing up, have been sort of fierce examples, that you have to really kind of come at somebody fiercely in order to say something in a really direct way.
I guess for myself, I discovered this way to be firm, but also be soft because my nature is as a very soft person. I felt like I discovered a method to be soft, but also be firm and direct, and I just wanted to share that because it corresponded with Silky Fringe, and it may be of use to you.
The method is to allow a lot of spaciousness into the conversation and actually to be skillful about when you're silent and listening, and to be skillful about when you're talking. I don't always remember ... I'm not very verbally adept, so I don't always remember the things that I want to say at the right moments, and so for me, it's helpful to just make a list in my phone.
A personal example, in working with the contractors with the new building ... oh, if you've followed on social or seen the emails, just sort of like the trials that I went through with the different flooring companies and hiring two, or firing, hiring, firing two of them, interviewing eight more, finally finding the right one, and then even they did quite a bit of work that wasn't done properly. The last thing in my nature is to want to tell people that they're doing their job in a not proper way. But it has to be done because you pay a lot of money for services, and it should be done right, right? You pay someone to paint a wall, it should be painted correctly, because that what you're paying them a lot of money, and a lot of these construction crews get ... it's just very, very, very expensive. And I felt a duty and a sense of responsibility for all the folks who helped supported our Indiegogo campaign that their money went to a good place.
I ended up having to have conversations with this final and "perfect" flooring company at the end of the job to get a substantial portion of it completely redone - like stripped back down and start all over from the beginning. Anyway, without going too much into the long story, I'll just share the methodology that I used, and that was this particular conversation was on the phone.
For some reason, having it on the phone can be easier than having it in person. The other thing I did was write down a list of all the talking points I wanted to go over so I wouldn't forget, and I just had it in my phone and I could put the phone on speaker and just look at my notes, or you can put it in a notebook so you don't forget anything.
Then you want to be careful how much you listen to the other side and how much you speak. Obviously this kind of example is ... it may not work in situations like with your best friend or your lover or a family member because in those situations, you may listen differently. This is in a situation where a conflict could arise and I had hired somebody to do a job, and I needed to negotiate a pretty substantial redo.
So I made sure that I didn't listen. Normally my quality is to just turn into space. I'm a Pisces, so I just listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, and I realized through this experience that if you listen to people's reasoning and excuses and their story, and if you keep nodding your head and keep listening, they fatigue you actually. You get to this point where you're just like okay, yeah, whatever, I'm just ready to be done with this. And you don't get what you want.
Not listening actually, it can be really helpful in this type of a negotiation, and at the right moments kind of inserting yourself into the conversation and listing out softly, but firmly all the different reasons that things went awry or the ways that things need to be improved or the way that things weren't done correct. Just listing them out, listing them out, listing them out, and this one, and this one, and this one. You kind of just hammer out that list of things until you exhaust it, until they interrupt you or until you exhaust them and you get what you want.
Let me be clear. This is not any sort of manipulative conversation style. It's when you want to be righteous and you want the right thing done, and you actually want to improve not only the situation, but you want to improve - like in my case, I kept thinking “jeez, if they keep doing this to people, their business isn't going to go well. They're not going to get referrals. If they don't fix this and make this right, I'm not going to tell anyone about them. If they fix this and make it right, I'll tell everyone about them.” It's in their best interest that I'm direct with them and tell them these are the reasons where I think you can improve. It's strategic negotiating, but the intention is righteousness, and things just being done correctly and virtuous, righteousness. Not self-righteousness, but righteousness, things being done correctly in a virtuous way. That's good for everyone.
In this particular dynamic, if you ever find yourself negotiating for improvement or noticing that someone is not doing as good of a job as they could be, and it could ultimately harm them in the future or others in the process, then this style of speaking that I'm talking about, so you have your list of items, you insert yourself into the conversation, you don't listen to their reasoning too much. Obviously you want to listen enough that you're having a conversation, but don't listen to all of their excuses. Just keep hammering from your side gently and softly, listing, listing, listing. When I say hammering, it means just simply listing gently and there was this, and there was this, and there was this, and there was this, so that they're the ones being fatigued and not you.
Who knows? Maybe this advice only applies when you're working with construction people, and in that case, the next time you have something remodeled in your house or your building or your office, then this could be of use to you. But then the second part of it is besides listing off all of the reasons, in some ways they've heard your story and you've made your case, and they actually kind of start agreeing with what you're saying. They may not show you, but you know that you've been heard, right, that oh yeah, this didn't go well, and these guys actually were pretty lazy and oh, they did make a mistake here. You kind of get a sense that they're assimilating what you're saying. They're taking it in and they're seeing the truth, right, because truth is truth. Truth is truth, and you can't say no to truth. Or rather, they can say no to you, but truth resonates so ... they're assimilating the truth of what you're saying.
Then you just hold firm and if they don't say anything, you just stay silent and you hold this giant spaciousness for them to transform, for them to change their opinion, for them to say oh, okay, okay. We'll do it right for you. I even said on the conversation can you just make it right? Why don't you just make it right? Just do the right thing. Just do the right thing, and then I would just shut up and hold space. And even if it was silent, even if he was complaining and moaning, I just held firm, and I didn't waver.
I don't know if this is at all helpful, but I found it kind of interesting timing with the Silky Fringe and being direct in communication, and especially since it's hard sometimes for people, especially for women, to be really direct with men, I thought that this could be helpful, strategic negotiation and ... yeah, I have to sit and think about how to sort of apply that to a more personal friend and family conversation. All strategy goes out the window there, and you're really just looking for common ground, but if you have to work with someone who is being unethical or you need to negotiate for what you deserve, then this may be a helpful method.
Make a list, keep it handy, don't listen to them too much, insert yourself into the conversation, go over each item on your list, and don't stop until they get tired. And once they start seeing your point of view, hold firm. Hold firm. Hold firm. Hold firm until they change and do what's right.
One of the other magical qualities of the Silky Fringe flower is that it helps us really sharpen and clarify our ability to figure out what our priorities are. I think a lot of times we have these massive to-do lists. Everything's just sort of glommed on to one big list - whether it's on paper, on our phones, in our minds - you know there's just this huge sort of cloud of things that we have to get done. And we don't always think about the ramifications of each of those items. And that they're probably … 80% of the items on our to-do list have low impact and 20% have really high impact - meaning they affect people or they set into motion a domino effect of certain projects or really affects health. Deep impact.
So I guess I don't really have an answer for these things. Just to simply ... It's like a reminder. Silky Fringe is a reminder to help us to remember every now and then to look at our list of to-dos or actions and really distill out in our minds which of those things to do first.
Because we all have that get the little, easy quick ones out of the way, when what's really crucial and important is to look at a list of action steps and ascertain which is going to have the most impact. Which is going to get you where you want to go fastest? Which is really, deeply meaningful?
A simple example would be, I've been working a lot these days and I keep letting it slip through the cracks to some food that I need to be buying for my old dog. And so then I'll have this realization of like, yeah but that's really important. Like you could drop all this other stuff and just go and get this rich supplementation that you need to get for your dog because she needs it. Because she really, really needs it for her survival.
So things like that, that we may think about as like small errands but can really have big impact on another human being's life or a pet's life or our own life or the life of our projects. Just a reminder to look at all the things you've got going on and to be really intentional and aware of which of those items that you're spending your time on are going to have the most impact and create the most positive domino effects in your life right now.
So one piece of homework for today or like a question for this week would be:
What are like the top five things on your list right now that are going to create the most impact in terms of positivity and forward motion?
What are those five things? Or three things? Or what's that ONE thing that's going to make the biggest difference.
And what can you do to sort of daily take a little time to yourself to be able to sort and address those priorities?
I just love Silky Fringe. It is, I think my new favorite flower elixir, and … it is so fabulous for being direct, but also for being soft. I think what I'm realizing in a lot of the conversations that I'm having to have this month in terms of being direct, is that things are much more complex than they seem. That it's not just a simple yes, or no, and that most things aren't straightforward - that there are many complex little details that make up our decision.
It's almost like negotiating. I used to teach a negotiating class when I lived in Mexico. Mostly, because I was teaching English, but they were so advanced that I wasn't just teaching English language, I was teaching how to negotiate in English. And I remember when you're at the negotiating table, there is so many different little threads and factors and features, and if this one is a no, then the other one might be a yes. This one you might come 50% and that one they might come 50%. There's all these little details that make up a deal or a decision point, or a negotiation, or a compromise.
Just looking at what are the ways that we can be really direct, and that we can say yes and no at the same time. This concept of yes and no - is very interesting. We just had a huge salsa dance party at our building, and originally that came about because one of the women in the salsa community was saying to me, "Oh, it's my birthday, I'm going to have a party," and I thought, "Oh my gosh, well you can just have it at our space." Thinking, making the assumption that it would be something like what I would have, which would be invite 50, 60 people, all your closest friends or folks in the community who like to dance. We'll make it super exquisite and memorable and unforgettable and the best of the best, and high quality, not quantity.
And I quickly realized after the "mock-up," had gone up onto the Facebook page that we were indeed committed to having this event and over the course of a couple weeks, figured out that for this particular person, a birthday party - for her - meant quantity. Like, could we get 300 people there. What would be the ways that we could maximize getting the most amount of people there, because it would be the most impressive type of party.
All along the process, without getting into too much detail, I practiced doing the yes and the no. Some things were yes, and some things were no, and some things were compromised and stretched and tweaked. In the end, we had a salsa party and 200 people came. The building was very, very, very full, and it all worked out and everything was fine. But it brought us to sort of an edge of capacity, our capacity. And not just occupancy for the building, but also just energetic capacity to hold a group of people who are not typically taking flower essences regularly.
This particular community is really, really, really excited about the event that we just had, and just loves it. They were asking can we do this every month. The answer is going to be no, but not just a no, but there will be some yes to it as well, like future types of collaboration. I guess what I'm sharing is that when you're in situations where you are experimenting being more direct in your communication - which I'm sure you're getting more opportunities, because Silky Fringe is sort of like leave no prisoner behind - it really just puts us right up to the plate for the stuff to be said and the things to be done. It's giving us opportunities to be direct, and speak our minds. At the same time, when you get those opportunities, taking pause, taking a moment, being direct doesn't mean being rash. Being direct doesn't mean rushing. Being direct doesn't mean being too simplistic and just cutting it off.
There's a finesse to it. There's a softness. There's an awareness, an openness. This perspective that any situation has a lot of complexity, and if you just sort of mull over it, you may realize that there are a few yes’s, and a few no's, and that the conversation you're going to have is much more interesting and dynamic and complex and lots of little threads in it. Lots of yeses, and some nos. Or, lots of no’s and some yes’s.
I think sometimes when I think of being direct, I might think being harsh. Or, harshly fierce. Mostly harsh. Or, so to the point that it's almost jarring, or being blunt. When in fact, you can be direct but also complex and flexible and malleable. You can adjust to the proper recipe or combination of elements of the situation.
For this week, something to reflect on would be what are those opportunities that are arising in your life right now, to have direct conversations. And instead of direct being a clear 100% no or 100% yes, what are the complex little threads or details that you could dissect it into?
What are the elements to this story that make up a bigger story that might be inclusive of some yes’s, and some no’s. Or some compromises, or some interesting innovative unique ways of finding a solution, so it's not 100% hard yes, or a hard no?
What are some complexities you can discover? Or some aspects that you can bring into your expression so that it's multi-layered, so that direct isn't blunt or harsh, so that direct simply means speaking from the heart? At the same time being open to all the possibilities.