Our dosha expresses itself in how we think, speak, and write. With compassionate attention, we can elevate into inspiring communication that brightens moods and enhances connections."
Mercury recently went direct (July 13), and many of you know what that means: time to get stuff done! Mercury in forward motion allows us to move forward, too! The dates for the current Mercury direct period are July 13, 2020–October 14, 2020, in both Vedic and Western astrology. This is an excellent time to make progress on projects, start something new, take small trips, and communicate with clarity. Mercury enlivens any activity that involves written or spoken idea exchange. So, it is a perfect time to write this little primer for aligning the natural Mercurial energy in yourself with that in the cosmos.
Discover your dosha type here.
Talk Like Your Dosha
In Ayurveda there is a strong correlation between your unique dosha and your style of communication. Dosha means “constitutional energy type.” It is the predominant energy in your being, with implications for both mind and body. There are three different doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. We each have a little of all three in us, but one usually dominates. Understanding how your dosha influences your communication creates the possibility of elevating the quality of your thoughts and words. Doing this sets you up to achieve greater success in both personal and professional relationships.
If you’re a Vata you will likely be more talkative than usual these next few months, as Mercury’s direct motion is activating for Vata. Vatas are especially sensitive to the movement of Mercury since that dosha is comprised of air and ether (space), elementally. Air is the natural domain of Mercury. As a communicator, Vata is the most easeful and enthusiastic of the three doshas. In fact, inventive thinking, dynamic writing, and engaging speech are three of the strengths of Vata.
One of the ways you can elevate your communication skills if you are a Vata is to be mindful about over communicating. Though you relay ideas with considerably more pizzazz than other doshas, Vata’s downfall is excessive elaboration. Exploring ideas is a kind of play for a Vata! In many cases, the tendency to describe and embellish can be an asset (it captivates a crowd and makes for good storytelling). Vatas are also wonderfully skilled at creating the wording that will allow a complex or emotionally difficult idea to land with grace. They often have the ability to design a sort of verbal “traveling basket” for their ideas. This basket is tied with a shimmering metaphoric bow, enchanting you as you unwrap it.
Because of this captivating but circuitous style, Vatas easily become long-winded and lose focus as they head down intriguing intellectual side paths. When they need to create more purpose-driven communication, they benefit from being mindful of unnecessary description, elaboration, and redundancy. (Recipients of their emails will appreciate the change!) Vatas can work on pausing and editing. Vatas tend to be a bit snappy and will often send that email without a second look. Cultivating mindfulness about these tendencies and learning to be patient and concise will improve professionalism and make Vatas more versatile communicators.
The Pitta dosha is the most naturally direct and encouraging communicator. In stark contrast to Vata, Pittas do not dance around a topic, trying to make it more digestible. Pitta gets straight to the point. Their tone can be an uplifting “You got this!” or an intense “I expect to see ___,” depending on their mood. Often this change in tone can happen without much thought given to how it will be received. In some cases, the Pitta may be upset enough to want the recipient to feel the burn. If you understand the fiery nature of Pitta, you can have compassion for this. However, demands and expectations are not elevated communication; they can damage relationships.
Pittas have an achievement-oriented nature, and their communication style reflects this. They generally do not communicate purely for fun. Pittas are able to express their ideas succinctly, without frivolity. This is a wonderful asset in professional settings, especially scientific, financial, or academic arenas. The difficulty with Pitta directness is that their efficient communication can sometimes be perceived as harsh or abrupt. If tinged with annoyance or frustration, more common if Pitta is out of balance, Pitta communications can lower morale in office settings and plant seeds of discord. The thing they wanted accomplished is then done begrudgingly, rather than peacefully.
A good goal for improved Pitta communication is to try to stay with the motivational and uplifting vibration and mindfully become aware when they are becoming tense, terse, irritable, and overly direct. If a Pitta needs to convey a difficult idea or complaint, it is useful to pad it with a genuine, positive comment/praise on the front end and a supportive suggestion for improvement on the back. This technique allows colleagues and employees to be reminded of their value. A balanced feedback style preserves dignity by investing in the success of others.
Another awesome strategy is for the Pitta to try to put himself or herself in the other’s shoes and imagine why the person might have done things the way they were done. This allows the difference in priories to be considered. Maybe the Pitta’s way is more efficient, lucrative, or effective, and possibly that is what is most important. Occasionally, however, there is a good reason something was done another way or not done at all. Fatigue, different creative inspiration, lack of motivation, or other reasons (such as desire to enjoy the process rather than complete it quickly) could be behind a job not done to expectations. It’s elevating for Pittas to take a moment to try to compassionately understand others before reacting.
Kapha is the most steady and supportive dosha, and their style of communication reflects their nurturing nature. Kaphas are slow, thoughtful communicators. They are not overly direct, nor are they wordy. They are usually fairly mindful about tone and balanced in their word choices. The biggest problem Kapha faces is avoidance. Kaphas are usually somewhat unwilling communicators, especially if the subject matter is at all uncomfortable. Even if the communication is simply functional, Kaphas may procrastinate or avoid getting it done.
Kaphas are not good initiators. They are much better at responding and following through. Kaphas are excellent listeners. Soothing others and helping solve problems are two of their greatest strengths. Kaphas do this with their words, as well as their energy and presence. Kaphas hold space for others, and they will often respond with a few encouraging words or loving attention that indicates someone else was heard and witnessed. This is a beautiful service that no other dosha can provide to the same degree.
Suggestions for enhancing communication for Kapha include becoming aware of the tendency toward passivity and conflict evasion. If avoidance is severe, there usually is a Kapha imbalance going on. Kapha imbalances are important to catch since they can lead to depression and isolation. Best to keep things moving for Kapha—physically and with regards to communication. This may take discipline and effort, but it can be accomplished. In trying, the Kapha will gain experience and confidence and can slowly move toward a middle position with regards to how they handle addressing the various less comfortable issues and circumstances in their lives. As a Pitta would say, “You can do it!”
5 Keys for Elevated Communication
In addition to the above dosha-specific recommendations, here are five general recommendations that will improve spiritual progress and heart-development, as well as communication.
1. Welcome Responsibility
By acknowledging your unique contribution to any interaction, you immediately take the encounter up several spiritual notches. Taking responsibility means not placing blame on others for things that happen, even if it seems they did something “wrong” (possibly a Pitta is thinking this, as placing blame is bit of a Pitta tendency). Taking this a step further is the idea that all things happen as they do for a reason. They are happening for us.
If we trust that every single thing happens exactly as it should, we learn to embrace the challenges rather than defend against them. We can then imagine how difficulties may be teaching us something or preparing us for something. If we are stuck in the righteousness of thinking our perspective is superior (even to the mystery) then we may think it acceptable to place blame on others. This is a waste of time and probably is also inaccurate. Remember, the mystifying force of karma is always at play. So, when challenging things happen, they could be balancing some karma, which is another way of saying, “teaching us something.” Humility is a worthy lesson.
When non-loving responses are given (temper is activated or mindfulness lost), say you are sorry. Sometimes in life we are triggered—we have an emotional reaction that wells up from a deep, unhealed part of ourselves. This makes us have an uncontrolled (unconscious even) reaction. When this happens, it’s an opportunity—a chance to look once again at that deep, unhealed wound and give it love.
Triggers offer us a chance to try to understand our wounds. Understanding allows us to make the button a little more conscious and a little less raw. Say “thank you” to yourself when you are triggered and “thank you” also to the person who did the triggering (internally). If you turn into a monster temporarily, have compassion for yourself, but also take responsibility for the impact of your energy on others and apologize.
3. Set Boundaries
To remain in balance between the needs of the self and others, we have to learn when to speak and when to be silent. Being silent is an internal boundary (one that Vatas, especially, will need strong mindfulness to achieve). Setting boundaries also means we may choose not to reply to certain messages, not to interact with someone for a few days, not to talk about upsetting things, or not to over-engage with stressful people. We can set boundaries around communicating at certain times of the day, week, or year that may be triggering.
Setting boundaries is done to protect ourselves (or others) from becoming excessively triggered. They can also minimize the impact if triggering already happened. Setting boundaries is an act of compassion, as well as a sign of emotional maturity.
4. Find the Middle Path
Honor your needs, but try to do so without causing harm to others. Aim to find a sense of balance in what you express and how you express it. Try to anticipate and take some ownership of the possible impact of your conversations. Ideal communication, from a spiritual perspective, features relating in a way that is mutually inspiring and elevating. It does harm to none. This is not always possible, but it is an excellent goal. If we find ways to express ourselves that honor our position but do not offend, degrade, or disappoint someone else, we elevate our communication into an advanced realm.
It’s not our role to be totally responsible for someone else’s reactions. Those reactions are related to their thoughts, experiences, values, and unconscious wounds. But we can be present, think ahead, and be kind. We can try to find the most loving way to express our needs while simultaneously considering the needs of another. If we aim to make a conversation result in a situation that feels mutually enjoyable or a fair compromise, then we are operating in the top tier of communication possibilities.
5. Brighten Your Tone
Light comes in many forms! Use inflection, lilt, intention, and specific positive word choices to uplift and inspire yourself and others. Realize that words, tone, and style of speaking have the power to transform, elevate, and motivate or depress, discourage, and stagnate. People who are prone to depression, for example, are often thinking and speaking rather negative phrases in low and monotonous tones.
The words we use and the way we use them reflect our interior. When you feel a little down or just want to feel even better than perhaps you already do, a nice place to start is by animating your tone, speaking in more generous and energetic phrases with a cheerful cadence. Open the channels that connect your innermost good intentions with your outward expressions.
Becoming masterful in the way we communicate, we gain significantly more control over our mood/happiness/motivation and amplify our positive impact on others. Each dosha has amazing strengths and a few humbling weaknesses. The goal is not to be perfect, but to always grow in the direction of love. Whether you’re a creative and enthusiastic Vata, an energetic and motivational Pitta, or a supportive and stable Kapha, your communication can be harnessed to transmit your soul’s unique beauty. Let your words reflect the energy you are here to share with the world! The world needs your sparkle! As you give it, you receive it. Let’s light this place up!