Oft quoted 'If you know what you are going to say, you have probably already stopped listening' is quite a stark reminder of this. Listening really is not the same as waiting to speak, and there are many reasons that we don't really listen properly. Often we want to help, offer advice, 'reassure' the other person by telling them it's not as bad as they are making out, or sometimes we just want to disagree as they are 'wrong'. I was at a conference yesterday on yoga and mindfulness for teens when I was reminded of one of the principles of non violent communication.......ask yourself, is it more important to be right or to connect?
It strikes me that if we are not listening to others, we are unlikely to be really listening to ourselves - no I don't mean the endless chatter that goes on in the brain, I mean listening to that quiet still voice that can't get a word in edgeways as it's drowned out by noise, media, tv, busyness and negative judgements.....
In a world where we often feel stressed, over busy, isolated and exhausted, being listened to is such a gift. A real moment of connection. To feel really heard is wonderful, to be able to speak what you are feeling and not be corrected or disagreed with. For someone to show that in that moment whatever you are feeling is ok. Try it, and let me know how you get on. I for one shall be trying to use my ears more this week and zip up my mouth!!
Namaste all xx