Are You Listening?
When you spend time with another person, do you see them and receive them as they are? Are you fully present as you welcome them with your open heart, or are you wrapped up in your own commentary? Is your mind chattering, judging them with YOUR own viewpoint, considering what YOU think they should do or how they should be?
In conversation with others, our tendency is to drift as our mind gets caught up in an ongoing stream of thoughts. This internal commentary clutters our minds and distracts us from real engagement. It contributes to the disruption of being fully present and truly hearing our friend, co-worker, or family member. At this moment you are unaware and not present. You are, instead, caught up in a web of judgmental thoughts unrelated to what the other person is doing or saying. It’s a lose/lose for everyone. When we are not fully present, both parties are deprived of an authentic connection.
The Open Hearted way, is to tune in as you engage in conversation. Actively listen in a manner that the other person feels seen and heard. Being present during an exchange of thoughts nurtures that relationship. Listening with an open mind, open eyes, and an open heart, is a powerful gift to experience and to offer another person.
Here are a few Open Hearted Tips to Practice:
⦁Notice as your mind starts to rant or meander during a conversation.
⦁Notice as you start to judge what is right, wrong, good, bad, or get distracted by your own agenda.
⦁As you observe this happening, bring YOUR attention back to the conversation.
⦁Listen, with all your AWARENESS.
⦁Each time your mind wanders, take a breath as you bring your attention back to the conversation.
⦁Set your intention to be fully present, letting go of the distraction, the narrative, and your own interpretation influenced by mindless babble.
⦁Listen with intent and look at the other person. Let them feel and know you are truly hearing them.
Questions to Consider:
⦁What makes YOU the expert?
⦁How do YOU know what is BEST for this individual?
⦁Is this what they want or is it YOUR agenda?
⦁ When you step back and ask these questions, you may even discover an invitation to dive deeper into what this is really bringing up for you, personally.
⦁As you bring attention to this habit, quieting your thoughts and becoming more present, you will surely notice a positive shift in the conversation dynamic.