How are you, dear one? Are you listening to your soul’s whispers? I spent some time listening this weekend, out on the sea shore, and in the forest.
This week’s topic is listening. So it’s more quiet – it’s not with the energy all over the top, it’s mellow, because for us to be truly listening we need to have that space available inside. And be present, be present with it, with what is going on with another person, and be present with what is going on inside of ourselves.
It can be really complex to deal with both of those at the same time. It requires quite a bit of practice and i’m still on my learning path on that. I try. I try to be really present in every conversation that I have. I try to be aware of where my conversation partner is and where I’m at internally.
Sometimes we start thinking about an answer while our conversation partner is still speaking and we’re not fully present anymore.
So maybe this week you can observe that a bit and see how often that happens to you. How often do I start thinking about the answer while my conversation partner is still speaking? Do I make sure that the other person is being is feeling heard, and do I make sure that they really got what I wanted to get across?
There are four levels of listening according to Otto Scharmer, MIT.
- Downloading the past – I think I know what they say and just nod.
- Factual – listening for certain facts to debate, often discounting the rest.
- Empathic – really getting someone’s perspective and feelings.
- Generative – listen for dialogue to discover an emerging future.
I encourage you to observe this week which levels of listening you apply throughout the day. A lot of our conversations seem to happen at levels one and two, whereas deep and meaningful conversation really transpires on levels three and four.
Listening applies not only to our conversations that we have with others. It also applies to the conversations we have inside ourselves. Now, maybe you say you don’t have any conversations with yourself. You don’t talk to yourself. Many if not most of us do sometimes. We’re so used to it that we don’t seem to hear it anymore. Yet, for me, I’ve become very aware of that in our dialogue that is going on sometimes the voice is kind and sometimes it’s not at all.
So I try to listen to that and then go a little deeper so what happens when we become really, really still. What happens if we take the time to sit without any distraction without anything else going on? And just be to see what arises? I am curious to hear your thoughts on it.