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"Ben Oofana is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. He walks his talk and it all comes from his heart."  

"Ben helped me get my life back. When we first met I was a confused, angry and broken person and my body reflected all of this pain. I was also very determined to heal. Session by session, Ben gently and patiently guided me through the process of opening up to the pain, releasing it and replacing it with what was important to me. I began to feel less fragmented, more whole; living less in the past and more in the present. Benís medicine is strong; it is a process that requires commitment and taking responsibility for yourself. That is true healing.'
 - Lee, Boston

"I had a very difficult childhood and before meeting Ben I often felt that I was looking at the world through a window, or that it was only a dream. I also had a low tolerance for stressful situations and would be completely worn out after a tough day. After two sessions with Ben I noticed that I no longer had the feeling of being separate from the world around me and I cope with stress and conflict much more easily now."
 - Dawn, Kansas City

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Choosing the Most Effective Means of Communication

We are all relational beings. Anything important that we do or accomplish in our lives involves communication. How we communicate determines the overall health and quality of our relationships. Speaking in person is by far the most effective means of communication. There are fewer filters between us and others. It also provides the best opportunity for us to be fully present in our interactions. We can actually feel the other person's presence and pick up on all kinds of non-verbal cues such as eye movement and body language as we observe them in front of us.

Letters and emails are yet another step further removed, but they can serve as an important means of communication when we cannot express what we want to say in person. A friend of mine recently commented that seeing her thoughts spelled out across the screen gives her time to actually think about what she is saying. Writing also gives me an opportunity to sort out and clarify my thoughts. I have also made a practice of slowing down my speech whenever I engage with people just enough so that I can be mindful of what I'm communicating.

Many people have jobs that require them to talk on the phone much of the day. They feel totally exhausted by the end of the day and the last thing they want to do when they come home in the evening or on the weekends is to talk on the phone. Many of us are so drained by what we have to do in order to survive that we no longer have the time or energy to be present in our interactions.

People with a bad case of "Motorola mouth," do not know when to shut up and will keep running their mouths indefinitely if we allow them to. In some instances we literally have to pry ourselves off the phone and it can feel as if we have given a quart of blood afterwards. It's much easier to just send an email or card to people who have a tendency to talk us to death.

The downside of any form of written communication is that we cannot be fully present in our interactions. Email and texting has also become a very convenient way to avoiding confronting certain people or issues. People often say things in emails and text messages that they would never have the nerve to say in person. Some people break off relationships or tell their spouses that they want a divorce. I've received text messages on several occasions telling me that someone had died. I learned of my own fatherís death while working on this chapter through a message sent to via Facebook.

Many people do not write very well, and even if they do, it is so easy to misinterpret what another person is saying in a letter, email or text because we are not able to access non-verbal cues or pick up on subtle verbal inflections that help us to determine what they actually mean.

Writing has made it possible for me to reach so many people that I would have never connected with otherwise. But words on a page or computer screen can only go so far. Iíve healed from the traumas of my past and it saddens me to see how wounded many people are and to know that most will carry these wounds for the remainder of their lives. The main purpose of my writing is to help other people understand how they can heal and live more fulfilling lives. But I have become acutely aware of the limitations of the written word.

No one can ever completely grasp the kind of process that takes place as they work with a healer such as myself or go through the vision quest by anything I say or write. I spend so many hours working to convey what I want to share in the books and articles I write, but I can often tell that people are not fully grasping what I have to say. People only begin to understand the process after they've worked with the practices and have experienced the individual healing sessions or have gone through the vision quest.

People in developing nations are forced to rely upon texting to communicate when they cannot interact face to face because they cannot afford to talk on the phone. Many people text from work because they cannot make or receive personal calls when they are on the job. I'm very thankful that people text while commuting on busses, trains and airplanes that have the consideration to not annoy fellow passengers with their telephone conversations.

One of my friends recently told me about how her daughter equates texting to actually speaking with someone. Text messaging is about as far removed as we can get from directly engaging with others. Text messages are only short snippets or fragments of communication. People who constantly send and receive texts are always having to interrupt what they're doing to read and then respond to messages. Constant interruptions fragment our consciousness and that makes it very difficult for us to be present or maintain any kind of concentrated focus.

Many of us are living with a false sense reality. Weíre spending so much time texting, tweeting, and messaging on Facebook and we assume that someone on the other side is really listening. As a society, we are witnessing a decline in recent years in our ability to communicate and that has a lot to do with our reliance upon online social networks, texting and other mediums of communication that are placing so many filters between ourselves and others. Unfortunately more of us are relying upon texting, tweeting and messaging as our primary means of communication and that is taking us a step backwards developmentally.

People were more likely to feel isolated and lonely if they were not directly engaging with others before the internet became so widely available. Someone recently said to me "I donít really need to see my friends and acquaintances because Iím in touch with them all day." The false sense of connection being provided through emails, instant messaging and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter enables many people to feel content sitting at home in front of their computers and that is preventing many from reaching and out to others.

Communicating by text, tweet and email is a way to sort of connect with another person ...but not really connect. More and more people are avoiding communicating in person or over the phone in favor of texting and tweets because it involves less vulnerability. Texting, tweeting and emails allow people who don't want to experience their true feelings or be directly engaged in the human experience to remain isolated within their bubble.

Texts, tweets and emails can easily become a distraction that fills the empty void by giving us the illusion of being connected. These continual bits and pieces of electronic noise are cluttering our minds. This endless sensory assault is conditioning our consciousness to jump from one thing to another and thatís making it more difficult for us to remain focused on what we really need to be doing. It's also making it much harder for us to be truly present with ourselves or anyone else.

I don't have the patience to type out text messages and it irritates me to receive them. I don't feel that people are being fully present with me when they text and in many instances begin to wonder if Iím even dealing with a functional adult. I recently came across an advertisement for Blackberry Messenger that said "Get their PIN number and continue the conversationÖ Mingle to your heartís contentÖ Itís like theyíre right there next to you." Iím thinking "No Öthey are not here next to me." And it frustrates me that so many people have become so disconnected that they donít even get it.

Email is great for utilitarian purposes such as forwarding travel itineraries. Many business are providing tech support through email. That seems to work well for some people, but I find it much faster and easier to get the information I need and accomplish whatever it is I need to do when I can get verbal feedback from a live person.

I used to include my email address in the section that provides contact information on my website. People would email me from all over the world asking how I could assist them with various personal or health related issues. I would spend a great deal of time responding to their emails, but in many instances I never heard back from them. Time is valuable and I realized I could no longer afford to waste my time and energy. From that point I began to reply with, "I'll be happy to answer any questions you have. I can better address your needs over the phone. Call me at..." I eventually took my email address off of the website.

We are becoming less directly involved with one another as technology takes over. The quality of our relationships decrease when we are not willing to show up and be present in our interaction. Every now and then I get an email or Facebook message from someone that I haven't talked with for months or years. It leaves me thinking "Why are you emailing me? If you really want to communicate you could have just as easily picked up the phone and called me. This way we could have a real conversational exchange"

Technological advances are making it possible for us to stay in touch with friends and family across the country and around the globe. The disadvantage is that we have become so overly dependent upon the technology. In many instances that is giving us a false sense of connectedness, when in reality we are becoming further removed from direct engagement with other human beings. Our reliance upon email and texting is causing many of us to become increasingly more isolated and that is diminishing the richness and depth of the human experience.

How I use my time is very important to me. I always communicate with a purpose in mind. I communicate with people all over the world. I sometimes email friends and clients when I have no other alternative. I much prefer to talk over the phone if I cannot communicate in person, because it is much faster and easier for me to understand and then address another person's needs and concerns. Talking by phone also allows me to communicate in a way that people can better understand the message I have to convey. I can tell right away if what I'm saying is not being understood and that gives me the opportunity to clarify my message.

One major advantage of conversing in person or over the phone is that it gives us the opportunity to be present by fully focusing on the conversation for a specific period of time. Unanswered questions can be answered right then and there rather than shooting emails or texts back and forth ...or being left wondering what's going on. After the conversation we can move on and be present by focusing on the next thing we're doing.

We are not wired to be alone. We need support systems that involve real face time with other human beings. We cannot work through issues that we are not even aware of. Other people serve as mirrors by reflecting the issues that we need to address within ourselves.

Communication is one of the most important aspects of any healthy relationship. Our communication becomes more powerful and effective as we become more present. It is critically important for us to show up and pay attention as we interact with others. If at all possible at least communicate by phone or better yet face to face. Learning to communicate will help us to deal more effectively with our issues and emotion and that dramatically improve the quality of our relationships. 

Relationships provide us with a valuable opportunity to heal and grow as individuals. That can only happen when we are being fully present in our interactions. My desire is to fully open up to the richness of life by experiencing the full range of feelings and sensations as I engage with other people and the world around me. I can best do that when I'm communicating face to face. My intention is to communicate so that my words have impact and change lives for the better by causing people to think, feel and recognize new possibilities.

©Copyright 2011 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved.  This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission.


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