Good morning, I’ve missed you all and hope you’ve been well. I hope you all have a great week and please remember to try and place yourself in someone else’s shoes before commenting, judging, or joking. This weekend I allowed my sense of humour to trump my sense of love, respect and kindness, and I’ll be honest, it felt terrible. We are all different, each and every one of us has our own past to relate to, our own present to live through, and our own future to strive to. We also though, have our own way of viewing situations. We each have our own way of interpreting what those around say or even mean. I know many of you are probably saying, “Yeah…duh.” But here’s the true point to what I’m saying; What you say, what you mean, and how the person you’re speaking to will understand / feel about what you’re saying, aren’t always the same. So first, say what you mean and mean what you say. This is important in all facets of life, relationships and business alike. Don’t be wishy-washy, try not to sugar-coat when possible, and always, ALWAYS, tell the truth and be up-front. Honesty and lack of necessary interpretation go a long way to bridge the gap of understanding. Second, say what you MEAN. This is something I’ve known many people to struggle with. If you are someone who catches yourself saying, “Well, what I meant was…” or “That’s not what I really meant…” this may be important for you. Emotion is hard to convey in speech, and sometimes emotion is the driving force behind our communication, often taking precedent over logic, thought, or reason. Be careful here!! Emotion is powerful and one of the very essences that makes us who we each are, but remember, emotion can also be hasty, or thoughtless, and very often mis-stated. It’s important when you’re feeling some kind of way, good, bad, or otherwise, to not let those emotions do the communicating on your behalf. Your message will inevitably at some point get convoluted or misconstrued and people will get hurt or offended. It’s hard in the moment, but try and take one breath before you say something. This’ll let you think for just a second as to whether the words you’re about to say are what you REALLY want to say, or whether they are your emotions flooding out / venting. Lastly, and this is most difficult; understand your audience and how THEY will understand and feel about what you said. Often times there is a communication gap between people. This is natural!! But must be accounted for. Some people are very blunt, to the point and straight-forward. While others tend to sugar-coat things, lay things up in a little bit more of a palatable manner, or try and make those around them comfortable. You get those two people together (And there are many other types), and conversations not even involving emotion can sometimes be hurtful, or perceived as such. It is important when delivering a message or communicating in general that you realize who you’re talking to, what their perception of the topic is and how they’re going to not only hear/understand your words, but how they’re going to feel about it. Making someone feel bad unintentionally because there wasn’t enough thought given to the weight of the words you expressed feels terrible, on both sides!! Now, there are going to be times when in order to deliver a message, make a point or talk about something that your words are going to be either tough to hear, painful to listen to or even just rough to the person receiving them. This is okay too! But this is something you must be aware of BEFORE telling that person. Often times we look at how WE are viewing what we’re saying and assume that the person we’re talking to has the same view-point, or feelings, or values, or emotions about what we’re saying. Be careful here, the last thing you want to do is upset someone who neither was expecting, was needing, nor deserved to be upset by what you’re saying. Again, a really terrible feeling for all involved. Each and every one of you is beautifully perfect in your own right. In. Your. Own. Right. Remember that each person is in their own right. And right in their own. Remember that. Be conscious of that. And respect that. You all deserve it. You’re amazing. And to the special woman I happened to offend with my words this weekend, please know as you read this from the bottom of my heart that I love you and I’m sorry. You’re beautiful and one of the most important people in my life. This is for you. And as always; Much love, Smile on.