Do you find that conversations with others often feel like a competitive sport? Interrupting and non-stop monologues have become a cultural norm to assert power and control. The Basic Toss is a communication tool that generates creative connection in ways that generate rich experiences of deep relating. This playful structure opens up space for listening and expressing from presence and sets us all up for success in communicating with others and bridging and appreciating differences.
Watch the video to learn how to use this powerful tool. You’ll find steps for this practice below so that you can try it with friends and family. This is a kid-friendly practice, so feel free to share with all ages. Enjoy and let us know what you discover by joining our community on our Big Leap Home Network.
THE ART OF THE TOSS
Part One: CALLING OFF THE GAME
Creativity stops in most relationships because somebody “drops the ball” in connection and conversation. For example, you might drop the ball by getting distracted while listening to someone or deliberately “calling off the game” by walking away. When relating with others, you have a choice: Would you rather be right or enjoy the nourishment of connection? In the first part of The Toss you play with your favorite ways to “call off the game” so those old strategies become no big deal, and you get available for new ways to connect.
- Choose a partner to play with.
- Choose a ball or balloon to use for your practice. Decide who will go first.
- Set a timer for 2 minutes and play with your favorite ways to avoid connection (watch the video for ideas)
- Then reset your intention for the toss to how many different ways can you can toss, and how you can keep the game going. Set the timer for 2 minutes and play with tossing the balloon and noticing what these different intentions create.
Part Two: TOSSING
NOTE: During the practice, let your attention flow between noticing something about your partner, to noticing something about yourself such as your breath or a body sensation as ways to presence yourself and remain connected to your partner. We call this the Loop of Awareness, and you can learn more about this HERE.
- Choose a listener and an explorer.
- Use a ball or balloon for your practice.
- Decide who will explore first
- Set a timer for 2 minutes, and explorer begins to share an issue/potential
- Express whatever you want to express in 1-3 out breaths, remembering to pause to toss the ball/balloon to your listener after expressing so that you keep the game going.
- You can express about a challenge, a potential, or something you are appreciating in your life.
- See if you can keep the flow going, by keeping your expression to 1-3 out breaths before tossing to your partner.
- Remember that the listener is there to listen and ask three basic questions/statements.
You will say ONLY these three statements/questions:
Tell me more
And then what happens(ed)?
What interests you most about that?
- You can state the questions/statements in whatever order you’d like.
- Notice from your partner’s sharing which statement/question seems to call for your attention.
- Do not deviate from these three questions. You will feel likely feel tempted. Do not change the questions or interject comments.
- Your only job is to listen and say these three statements/questions when the ball/balloon is tossed back to you.
- Switch roles.
NOTE: Only the person holding the ball/balloon speaks. The idea is to keep the game going through tossing the ball so that both parties can have learn, resolve, and have fun!