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The Art of Meaningful Conversation

By Jan Marie Dore

The degree of meaning and fulfillment you experience in your life is a direct result of your level of engagement and conversation with the world around you and with yourself.

The poet David Whyte tells us there are three key courageous conversations to engage in on a regular basis: the conversation with your work, with others, and with yourself. He suggests being in daily disciplined relationship or conversation with your work to ensure that it is not too small or limiting for you. This entails being attentive to your work, mindful, and fully engaged in what you are doing, so that you will notice if your work brings out the best in you, and if it is using the best of your talents in the service of a greater good.

Dialogue with others is becoming a missing art. If you are in business, engaging in thoughtful and stimulating conversations will enliven you and attract people who want to be around you. It's the mark of a true leader. People love doing business with people they trust and connect with on an emotional level. This can only happen through conversation and making time for the more "human moments".

Conversations in your personal life sustain the relationships with your partner, children, relatives, and friends. Without those conversations, we lose the deep connection over time. In the midst of our busy lives, remembering to make the time for what is truly important, and carving out personal time as a high priority, will enliven our relationships.

There is deep value in having daily conversations with yourself to reflect on how you are living and working, to witness your thoughts, and to learn from daily lessons. Taking time to listen to the still small voice of your intuition and soul will guide you in the next right action to take. In the busyness of our modern world, our inner voice is often drowned out by the constant noise, unless we take the time to be silent and listen.

Put yourself in conversation with the outer edges of your existence - the frontier territories that beckon to you to listen. Your soul thrives on these conversations. Make time in your busy life to open the curtain to this vast world that you most often fail to notice.

Have the courage to create a meaningful life by forming an intention to be in dialogue with your inner and outer worlds on a regular basis.


There are many conversations to have on a regular basis in order to live a truly fulfilling life. Make time to have regular and sustained conversations with:

- self

- work

- others

- nature

- inner wisdom; intuition

- the universal energy, divine life force, sacred mystery, great mother, God - whatever name you use for something larger outside of yourself.

Meaningful conversation with your work would let you know on a daily basis if the work you are doing fully engages your heart and soul. Does it bring you more alive, or deaden your senses? Do you come home from work enthusiastic or exhausted? Are you using the best of your talents in your work?

In your personal and family relationships, what courageous conversations do you need to initiate? What is the cost to you and others of not having those conversations?

You can engage in conversation with yourself through silent reflection, journaling, listening to your intuition, any creative pursuit - even through dancing and movement. Five or ten minutes a day intentionally connection with your inner self can go a long way to re-establishing this inner connection.


Take out your journal, and write your answers to these questions:

- What would it take for me to "fall in love with my future in each of the three areas of self, work, and other relationships?

- What steps do I need to take to feel more connected to myself and the world around me?

- What do I need to change to be doing worthwhile, creative work that uses the best of my strengths and talents daily? What changes can I make in my current work to bring alive the best of myself?

About The Author
Copyright © 2006 Jan Marie Dore. All Rights Reserved.

Jan Marie Dore, Master Certified Coach, Speaker, and Writer, publishes articles like this one in her free ezine designed to inspire, challenge, and support you in creating a life that is meaningful, authentic, and a joy to wake up to every day. You can sign up for your own subscription by sending a blank email to For free resources and programs on living a purposeful life, visit Jan Marie's website:

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