Today I am reminded of how powerful a skill listening truly is. And how, as a culture, we kind of suck at it. We have conversations with friends and as they are speaking we are not listening but preparing what we are going to say when it's our turn to talk. If we practiced focused attention in communication and pausing to think before we reply, imagine the intention and power of our communication.
I was reminded of just how poorly we listen to ourselves recently by Martha Beck. She was teaching at a seminar where participants had been seated on the floor for a few hours. When she asked the group "how are you feeling" the most common answers were "fine", "wonderful", and "great". She then asked us to compare our current state to being at home on a couch in comfy pj's. Suddenly the comfort of our current seating arrangement seemed much less "wonderful". In a single sentence we had all become aware of how little atuned to our body we are or how easily we lie about it- even to ourselves. We have had our self-awareness educated out of us!
My teenage daughter is the queen of "fine". How was your day? "Fine" How are you feeling? "Fine" Do you like that cereal. "It's fine" In her effort to be easygoing, she is actually re-setting her barometer to a place where angry, sad, disappointed and scared are all "fine". I gently remind her that if she says "fine" enough times when she is sad or frustrated, eventully her body will think that feeling is what it feels like to be fine.
So this week I am focusing on feeling my emotions fully and acknowledging them. I hope you will join me in this intention - listening to myself and listening to my friends & family.
AFFIRMATION- I AM A GOOD LISTENER TO BOTH MYSELF AND TO OTHERS.
My summer reading list is ridiculously awesome. I am not suggesting you read all these but they have been my beachside, poolside, bedside pals:
10 Mindful Minutes Goldie Hawn
Add More -ING to Your Life Gabrielle Bernstein
Steering by Starlight Martha Beck
The Brain That Changes Itself Norman Doidge
E-Squared Pam Grout
How Your Child Learns Best Judy Willis
The Light Between Oceans M.L. Stedman
And The Mountains Echoed Hosseini Khaled
Do nothing when nothing works ~Martha Beck