💕Calling in the One: Day 41
Today's lesson was about listening with an open heart, instead of doing all the things we do besides listening. Like, evaluating what's being said, judging the other person or ourselves, crafting our response, zoning out, waiting for our moment to inject something interesting, listening for moments to create humor, and just anything instead of truly witnessing and understanding the other person. I definitely learned from this chapter that I have a very busy mind that thinks it can multitask brilliantly. I have also been guilty of being a judgmental/ egotistical listener, thinking that I can impart the answer this person has been seeking for their entire existence and awaiting the most respectful conversational moment to bestow it upon him/her. I have felt my entire being resisting a conversation, but still felt obligated to stand there out of some ego-driven belief that my interruption or absence will crush the other person -- which is, of course, not listening.
I really understand what Thomas is talking about here, especially for my work with clients. I have honed my skills in creating a safe space for people to share themselves without judgment. This takes a lot of mindfulness and mental energy that I don't always have in everyday life. In session, it just falls right into place, but I also feel that in that situation and socially, most people are looking and/or listening for cues that you are engaged in the conversation. So, it's a balance of avoiding talking over someone and not mentally escaping off into the ethers to give the other an incredible amount of talking room. I have also had tremendously healing conversations with brilliant minds, where listening to them speak and applying it to my own life took me on an emotional journey that left me a different person upon our goodbyes. And I do believe that this was there masterful intention. Katherine Woodward Thomas directs us to notice any "covert agendas" we may have in a conversation, and when we become aware, try letting it go and come back to the present with the other person. So, I suppose this all requires mindfulness and discernment when in conversation with others.
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Warmest Wishes, Rachael