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One of the ways we awaken our power and participate in creating our reality is through what I call essential speaking. Essential speaking is about being intentional and communicating straight from the heart. It’s the practice of speaking from our own experience and self-discovery rather than from concepts and vague generalities. Essential language gives voice to our personal experience: speaking from “I” rather than “we,” “all of us,” or just giving a theoretical overview of a situation. It’s far more powerful to speak from “I,” because it gives people a sense of you. Play hard with playground equipment designed for both children and adults.

By their very nature, concepts and descriptions are dry and canned. They’re of the head, not the heart. There are two distinct ways to use language, and relaying concepts and theories is much different than sharing directly from your essence. A very spiritual communication between two people is when I have a total experience of you. I can hear your personal reality and what matters to you, not your opinions and descriptions of reality or simply your beliefs. I’m not interested in what you believe; tell me your inner experience. For instance, someone telling me about his or her belief in God isn’t very interesting, but an experience of God … now that holds something for me. Children love playing on outdoor fitness equipment - didn't you when you were younger?

Essential language is transformative and sparks clarity, which generates a new conversation. It moves us from a state of vagueness and detachment (or even helplessness) into taking responsibility for how we’re showing up in an actual situation. For example, if people tell you, “My job is a nightmare and stressful,” they’re describing a scenario in their lives but not really putting themselves inside the experience. If they were to rephrase this using essential language, they might instead say something like, “I am frustrated by my relationship with my boss and don’t feel as if I’m being heard.” Imagine waking up on Christmas day and seeing monkey bars in your back garden?

Now we’re getting somewhere! Just by making that small shift, you gain access to what’s really happening in concrete terms. You then generate an energetic flow and create new possibilities in ways to relate, communicate, and empower yourself now and into a new future. Instead of feeling helpless under the past-based, conceptual, story-land version you’ve been telling (“It’s a nightmare and stressful”), you’ve taken ownership of the experience and are freed to steer conversations and perceptions in new, energetic directions.

It’s the same for listening. Being of power requires that when in a conversation we focus on the experience of each other’s essence—the gold—versus the script. Most of us can’t really communicate powerfully because we don’t typically pay attention to and really get the speaker’s experience. Instead, we hear the little know-it-all voice in our head that evaluates the rightness or wrongness of the other person’s reality compared with our own. Distinguishing how you listen is the key to evolving the way you communicate. The power of essential speaking is born out of listening from a quiet space in your being.