Think about the most sacred conversation that you've ever had. Who was it with? What was it about? What did you learn about your self? What changed in your life? 

I love having sacred conversations with other people, and I love teaching people how to have more sacred conversations in their lives. 

Sacred Conversations are human interactions designed to help participants involved become better versions of themselves. If you missed this postI'd suggest reviewing my article which breaks this definition down. 

Having studied and taught students and leaders about Sacred Conversations for more than 20 years, I've learned seven important lessons about them that are worth sharing. 

The 7 Lessons About Sacred Conversations
Lesson #1: It takes time and practice to put the pieces together. 

Sacred conversations require "uncommon sense." They're not like everyday chit-chat. They have a different structure, flow, and rhythm to them. We assume formal roles of "Seeker" and "Helper" (see previous post on these roles) during sacred conversations.

The Sacred Conversations Model (Figure 1) requires time and patience to learn, but is not difficult.

Lesson #2: They don't require complex tools, just a willing tool user.

Sacred conversations are easy to learn and practice. They don't require complex tools. But they do  require a willing tool user. To get ready for sacred conversations, you must want to change. You must be open to the possibility of having your pain, suffering, hopes, and dreams transformed. You have to be open to becoming the best version of yourself that God has in store for you. You must be willing to let your plan go, and follow His plan.

You must be open to the Holy Spirit working through your conversations. You must be willing to express compassionate, loving kindness to your conversational partners. You must be committed to becoming a more virtuous you, and helping others on their journey to become a more virtuous them.

Lesson #3: Don’t jump ahead without making sure you have all the pieces first.

When people first hear about sacred conversations and learn why they're so important to living a fulfilled, happy, virtuous life, they want to jump right in. That's great! That's the Holy Spirit working on their heart.

Before jumping on the sacred conversations highway, I advise students to first learn the "rules of the road." Learn about the roles of Seekers and Helpers. Learn about the Sacred Conversations Model and the five phases of the sacred conversations process (Invitation, Intention, Inquiry, Illumination, and Integration). Later this year, I'll be keeping readers up-to-date on when and where they can get a copy of my new book. If you're interested in learning about these concepts and tools, subscribe to this blog or drop me a line. 

Lesson #4: Don’t skip steps, you’ll regret it later.

People don't always follow directions well. They like to skip steps and take shortcuts. The science behind sacred conversations is very clear. The Sacred Conversations Model is sequential, intuitive, and intentional. Just like a musician has to learn her scales before she can improvise, following the Sacred Conversations Model "note-for-note" is necessary to learn before you try to improvise with it. Don't skip steps, you'll regret it later.

Lesson #5: (Most of the time) you shouldn’t have pieces that are unused.

Have you ever put a piece of Ikea furniture together or assembled a child's toy and had pieces left over? The end product is untrustworthy. Flimsy. Unreliable. Perhaps even unsafe.

How about a cooking metaphor? Let's say you want to bake a chocolate cake for a friend's birthday. You search for a "five-star" recipe and buy all the ingredients. But as you're mixing up the ingredients, you decide to leave out the cocoa powder. It shouldn't be a surprise that you're not going to get a chocolate cake. You're going to get something qualitatively different. Sacred conversations are like this. Most of the time, you should make use of all the ingredients (especially compassionate love) to get the desired results from them.

Lesson #6: Be humble and patient with yourself and with others.

We are all broken sinners. We're all a mess. Life is messy. None of us are perfect. Our sacred conversations won't be perfect either. But they're a start; they're a way forward. They're a means of deepening our faith, our relationships with each other, and with the Lord. They're a way to acknowledge our brokenness. They humble us.

When we have to seek help or when we give generously of ourselves and lay down our own "mess" to help a brother or sister out with their "mess," we are expressing loving kindness for our neighbor and growing in holiness. Learning about sacred conversations and practicing them is a glorious addition to your spiritual journey. Be humble. Be patient. Be open.

Lesson #7: Ask for help.

We can't exist on our own. We need each other. We are social beings. God wants to help us and for us to help each other. Our secular culture is driving us into isolated digital caves. We scroll. We swipe. We chat. We Zoom. And we are losing our ability to connect.

Sacred conversations bring us back to meaningful conversation. They are a loving, holy, sacred mode of dialogue. All we have to do is extend an invitation to another. All we have to do is ask for help. "Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7). 

If you want to learn more about the book, workshops, coaching or Teaching Sacred Conversations, contact me here. 

About the author 

Christopher Reed, Ph.D.

Author of "Sacred Conversations: How God Wants us to Communicate."

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