We communicate with each other every day. We talk through texts, emails, tweets, zoom, social media… but is anyone really listening?
We are overloaded with technology and endless streams of information. It can short circuit our ability to focus, making it near impossible to hear our own inner voice.
My ability to communicate is connected to my capacity to receive and perceive. Each of us has our own unique way of being in the world and expressing ourselves. We need to step away from our traditional concept of listening as something we simply do with our ears. Open up to the possibility of thinking more expansively of sound. When we approach listening as a multisensory experience, it becomes more holistic and inclusive bringing awareness, empathy, insight, and energy to ourselves, our relationships as well as the collective.
What Stops Us Listening?
- Preoccupied with what you’re thinking
- Rehearsing what you’ll say and how you’ll respond
- Closed to new information, lack of interest
- Jumping to conclusions
Be in the Moment
One of the fundamental principles for consciously listening is self awareness. We are unable to recognize, welcome, interact, connect authentically unless our relationship with ourself is authentic. If we are unable to be genuine with ourselves it’s exhausting to be genuine with others… difficult, almost impossible, to give what you don’t have.
The truth is the more we pay attention to ourselves the better we communicate with others. Sounds simple. The better our relationship to ourselves and the more clarity we have we can then go out and build stronger and healthier relationships with others.
Open your awareness to the other person and be present to your own inner movement as you listen. Be grounded. Conscious deep listening is to listen with your whole body. Where you are present for others… to give them space and to witness without judgment, interruption, asking questions, changing the focus and definitely not offering up help before help is asked for. Let the other person feel fully heard.
Take a relaxed approach and hold the thought that I want to feel what’s happening inside me. Feel your body. Feel your emotions. Look at your thoughts. Focus your awareness… notice the outside of your body and shift your intention to focus on the inside. Remember energy always follows intention. Embodied listening is to open from a deep receptive and caring place to a deeper and often subtler level of meaning and intention in the other person.
- Consider how you listen to the intelligence of your physical body… notice your breath, any tension in your shoulders, gut feelings…
- Let your natural curiosity guide you to unleash and cultivate your body’s intelligence… yoga, dance, singing, martial arts, meditation, nature, hiking…
- Ask how does this feel in my body? And honour whatever shows up or doesn’t show up. Just allow and welcome what comes…
- Detect factors that interfere with listening to and honouring your body? Are these inherited? Cultural? Anything else?
Presence and Space
To restore our deep listening intelligence connects us to the deeper nature of life. The potency of offering our presence and space to another is a precious and powerful gift we can share with each other and the collective. This level of receptive listening and presence feels restorative and you may feel lighter, touched, maybe even joy. It is a turning towards instead of turning away and creates new possibilities….
If you want to cultivate deep, embodied listening you must first slow down. Generally, our fast pace life doesn’t encourage us to do this. To allow presence in your body and to bring deeper listening into your life brings consciousness which creates the space for change and new future possibilities.
Sustainable change grows new roots from compassion. I invite you to get quiet and listen closely to your body. Be curious with what you body is communicating. There are so many distractions around us. It can be very easy to get disconnected. Paying attention to what your body is transmitting is key to understanding the wisdom that is held within your own special, inner voice.
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