I have decided that my first column should set the stage for an open dialogue. The topic is the exact reason I accepted my position as chief editor, communication strategy and relationship building for the Tide Change Community.

Sounds simple, but it is not. This topic is the mirror by which every community must assess it’s capacity to interact with and understand it’s members. With newcomers, such as myself, arriving daily within the Comox Valley area and beyond, there is an amazing opportunity for opening our minds and reassessing what we believe to be true.

Dr. Joe Dispenza declared that “our natural state is to trust the unknown”. This is a very timely phrase given the wave of polarization that is sweeping both mainstream and social media. So, how do we become comfortable with change?

From my most recent experience of landing in a new place, I say meet the other where they stand and open a conversation. If you begin to understand them by first asking open ended questions, then, like the name of a restaurant in Courtenay, you will find common ground. Only with this approach will you begin to build a bridge for true relationship.

You cannot fear or hate what you understand and, even if you are not in agreement with a particular view of another person, you can at least respect their position based on the information you took the time to ask about. This is key for acting from the power of your words. Choose them wisely and be aware of their impact on others.

In the past, have I persuaded and convinced both audiences and individuals for the purpose of having them act in a certain manner? Absolutely, but I have since realized that doing this without recognizing and honouring the other’s right to their opinion is again polarizing and nonconstructive.

I have now come to the conclusion that I do not want to be right, as much as I want to be in harmony with the other person. Harmony is a most unusual term to use in day to day communication, but it is the opposite of dissonance, when it comes to musical notes being played just for the sake of playing.

As Don Miguel Ruiz states, ” be impeccable with your words and do not take anything personally”. I invite you to revisit your past contributions to Tide Change, whether as articles, videos, columns or comments, and ask yourself the following question, “Am I creating an opportunity for harmony or dissonance with the choice of my words”?

I am doing this as my daily practice with each person I meet. It is very much a work in progress. I believe Tide Change can offer a platform for a unique experiment in developing new communication strategies and relationship building for this community and beyond.

Will you join me in becoming comfortable with change?

Catehrine Hedrich

Chief Editor, Tidechange.ca