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  • Gabriela Moreira

The power of a meta conversation

The metaconversation is an excellent tool to transform your relationships from something ordinary to something extraordinary, and I can prove it to you!

I was talking to a friend while we were having lunch. There was a drop of ketchup on my hand and she said, "watch out! there's ketchup on your hand, it's going to get your clothes dirty!". I was immediately hooked by this phrase and returned it with a reactive response saying, "I feel angry because it seems like you are trying to save me, you are acting like a mother, I don't mind getting dirty" (I spoke this with a tone clearly of emotional anger and not feeling).

Realizing this, she proposed a meta-conversation by bringing the following question to the table, "What is really going on?"

Immediately my gremiling cut her off, running away from the proposal and not wanting to have a conversation about the conversation. My gremiling did this, because of course, this question from my friend had the potential to bring transformation (and all gremiling wants is to avoid responsibility and transformation). I replied to her, "let's not get into that, it was no big deal this ketchup thing, I'm already tired of diving into such small things".

Metaconvesa is a way to create greater authenticity for you and your relationship by navigating to a liquid state from a conversation about the conversation. Having a conversation about the conversation is called a 'Metaconversation'.

The way to enter into a metaconversation is to place your attention outside the limits of the original conversation, as an observer, and then talk from outside the conversation about what you observe happening inside the conversation. So, in order for a metaconversation to happen, the initiator of the metaconversation needs to have the sword of clarity raised, because gremiling and boxing will inevitably come in between.

In this case, my friend who proposed this metaconversation about my reaction to her warning about ketchup spoke from outside the conversation about what she observed had just happened: "Gabriela, you had a reaction to my comment and when I asked what was going on you let your gremiling possess the space bringing explanations for not feeling what you are feeling. I am not available to be in relationships with people who have no availability to dive into the context and what is really going on. What's happening?"

At that moment I let that hit me and that's when I was able to access my feelings and connect with what was really happening.

I realized as I let my feelings come up that this simple and silly comment from her triggered an anger of being controlled by someone else, I immediately projected scenes of my mother and grandmother during my childhood onto my friend. This is very common to happen when we are in a relationship with another: projecting unhealed things from the past onto words, situations, tone of voice, attitudes, almost as if it were reality, but in fact it is an emotion, something from the past being projected into the present, like a movie.

Not being aware of this is a perfect door for the destruction of any relationship, and the metaconversation is an amazing tool to find these doors, write them down to work on and say: "it's not about you, in this moment I projected something from my past, I commit myself to look at it.

Continuing on the lunch situation: next, I shared about the anger I was feeling that had been building up all day, from small moments, from feeling my limits being pushed. She shared that she felt anger and sadness that she knew I was not communicating my feelings and that this was the beginning of destroying our friendship. She asked why my gremiling was doing this? Why didn't I communicate the anger when I felt it? Why did I decide to 'save it'?

What I discovered with these questions is that my gremiling has a pot of resentment. I spent the day collecting little angers and putting them in this pot, hoping that one moment it would be full so that I could have enough reasons to cut the connection and take revenge. For some reason my gremiling wants me to be alone, and this was a great healing door for me, which I will dive into later.

That moment created, was a magical space because it was a dangerous and safe space at the same time. It was an experience of an adult and radical relationship of taking responsibility for what was happening and using feelings to create high drama, liquid state and transformation. At the same time, I was able to experience the most genuine love, to feel all the feelings and express them, including anger.

We used the metaconversation without knowing we were doing a metaconversation, and it was revelatory and magical. The space was completely transformed.

If this same situation happened and nobody decided to take responsibility for changing the space, what would happen is that both of us would keep our feelings unexpressed and pretend that nothing happened. This would be the perfect seed to start the destruction of intimacy in our friendship. How many times has this happened to you? How many times have small, almost invisible things started to eat away at the love and intimacy in your relationships little by little? This is how relationships begin to die.

This is why I decided to write this article. I decided to write this article because I feel anger at continuing to undermine my relationships with low drama shit. I feel sad for the friendships that I have already let die because of this strategy of holding resentments instead of communicating my feelings in an adult and responsible way. I have found with this experience that metaconversation is an incredible tool for building and nurturing intimacy in relationship, just as it is a way of finding healing doors and bringing us into a liquid state.

But in a practical way, how can you start a metaconversation?

For you to be able to create a meta-conversation you can start by talking about how the conversation is happening: the tone of voice, the impulses, the word used, the purpose, the intention. Talk about how the conversation is going and what is actually happening. It is entirely possible that the person may not want to leave the common space they were inhabiting, like me for example, who didn't want to get in touch with my feelings that were going on because my Gremlin was wanting to feed.

So the first step in initiating a metaconversation is the hardest: placing your attention outside the limits of the original space of the conversation. We are so easily hypnotized into the story that is happening that we lose the possibility of taking that place outside the situation. When children are yelling at each other, or their partner is complaining, we tend to believe in the reality of their feelings, their reasons, and their stories. By being hypnotized you lose the possibility of changing the space.

One way not to get hypnotized is to bring up questions like this one my friend asked me: what is really happening?

You can also ask questions like:

  • I hear what you are thinking, I would like to hear also what you are feeling;

  • What is your purpose in saying what you just said?

  • Could there be something about what you just shared that is scaring you?

  • What part of you is saying this?

  • I notice your shoulders are tensed, are you feeling something?

Also, for a meta-conversation to happen you need to:

  • own your attention so that you can move it freely;

  • be centered so that you are not surrendering your authority;

  • going non-linear so that you are not limited by the apparent barriers of reality offered by the space of a conversation.

What I discovered with this extraordinary experience, over lunch with ketchup, was that it is possible to use metaconversation as a great tool to transform the relationship and furthermore, reveal authentic Portals to Emotional Healing Processes.

If you keep your Sword of Clarity, your Purpose Sniffer on and at the same time maintain a Being-to-Being connection with others, then this Meta Conversation has the ability to take people to the edge of their comfort zone, into a Liquid State, as happened between me and my friend. In the Liquid State our certainties and defenses become less solid, and real beliefs, purposes, and assumptions can surface and be transformed.

Any of the people in your Metaconversation, including you, are under the transformational power of Metaconversation and can discover parts that have been waiting to be healed, seen or heard.

Very small things can be great portals of healing, like a comment about a ketchup on your hand. It is about having the eyes of the beholder and the willingness and commitment to your process and the process of your team partners. Because the healing of one is the healing of all.

I am deeply grateful that this metaconversation has given access to great healing doors to me, despite my gremiling resistance at first. I am grateful for the persistence, love, and willingness to create intimacy in our relationship on the part of my friend. I feel great joy in connecting so deeply with so many human beings who are as committed to their own transformation as I am to my process.

If you want to go deeper into this topic I strongly recommend doing some experiments that are at the end of this website. Only conscious practice creates conscious competence.

With Love and Adventure,

Unfolding Essence Gabriela

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