How to Practice Listening.

There is too much division in the world today, not enough connection, too much talking & not enough feeling. Language is important but is not the only way we communicate our feelings. In all our relationships ultimately we want to feel heard, seen & felt. We don’t feel connected unless we do feel these things.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

It may feel too big to focus on the global feeling of increasing disconnect & disenfranchisement these days. Becoming more conscious of our personal relationships & practicing deep listening when others speak can make a difference. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If I feel you have heard me, seen me & felt me, I feel a connection with you. I’m less likely to dismiss you or belittle you or threaten you.⠀So incorperating the Practice of Conscious deep listening can only help strengthen our relationships. It does take practice like anything & soon becomes second nature.

I invite you to practice your own listening skills – listen silently, attentively, tuning in to how you are feeling while this person tells you how they are.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Listen with your whole body not just your ears! ⠀⠀

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  • Practice in all your personal relationships & exchanges with others – practice really listening, not just to the words but the emotions, the feelings behind those words.
  • Practice becoming aware of what’s happening in your own body as you respond to what’s being expressed.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Practice becoming aware of whether you are feeling the persons feelings or are they awakening similar experiences in you, or a bit of both?
  • Practice identifying how it feels to connect at this unspeaking level. Does it feel overwhelming or frightening or confused or do you feel numb?
  • Practice choosing to respond rather than react. Rather than passing any unprocessed feeling on to someone, is it time to seek a safe, confidential place to explore them further?
  • Practice Having a look at how you may have reacted in the past to similar conversations. Remember how this reaction was received, how it made you feel & whether it helped you get closer to someone or further away?
  • Practice discovering what may be getting in the way of you making or sustaining the kind of close, intimate relationships you want in your life. ⠀
  • Practice When your companion has finished speaking, Asking them do they want feedback, maybe they don’t? ⠀⠀
  • Practice  If they do choose to hear your feedback, telling them what you experienced while they were communicating their feelings eg if they are saying they felt hurt, tell them you felt that. Leave it there, no advice, no solution, no fixing. Simply but powerfully – I felt you, it was real what you felt, I am your witness. ⠀⠀

When we deeply hear someone, we feel what they are feeling. It’s often not the words that count but the emotion behind the words that is the true communication. It’s what makes the difference between a good Actor & bad one – the ability to communicate emotion so the audience feels it too. It’s easy to miss that when we are too busy thinking of what we will say next, what advice we can give or how to ‘fix’ the problem. In relationships we can often feel ‘unheard’ when met with unwanted advice, however well intentioned. We just want someone to listen, to witness how we are feeling first. Once that happens then we may or may not seek advice or an opinion.

Becoming conscious that listening is an art & a tool for deep connection –  a basic human need. Listening is about hearing & feeling what is being communicated & then letting that person know that you did that. It does not include advice, criticism, opinions or any other feedback unless asked for. See how your relationships change when you practice Listening & let me know how you get on.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀