I'm learning new ways of listening in this counseling program that I'm in. Learning about Non-Violent Communication and ways of being a better empathetic listener. It seems to me that it's not only helpful in counseling, but it will be helpful in healing our systems, our communities and our country.
I've always been more inclined to action than to inaction. I'm also learning that some people describe that as "Type A personality." Hmmmmm. Labels can be funny. Sometimes they're helpful, like when they help us see something we couldn't see before. When they presents paths forward that were obscured because of habit or bias. And sometimes labels are NOT helpful, like when they make us feel limited, judged or separate from one another. Ultimately, if a label is helpful or not is entirely subjective, based on the perspective and attitude of the person or people using it. And even if it's helpful for one person, it may be simultaneously harmful to another.
I digress. But maybe it just gets back to the point I was trying to make about listening. Maybe there's a point when we've said what we need to say, and then we need to come around to the listening part. The empathetic listening part.
Our topic this month is service. And we all relate to this topic in different ways. But we can all engage it through listening, with an open mind and an open heart. Listening for the pain points, and just witnessing, not fixing. Maybe there are people in our lives we can listen to in a new way, or maybe it is a new chapter of listening to ourselves.
Can we be just a little more oriented to the service of listening in a non-habitual way, but in a fresh way? Can we be of service by witnessing each being we encounter? A friend, a co-worker, a delivery person, a pet?
I hope so. I hope I can continue to be a better listener. I know I've made some progress in the last couple weeks, so I know it's possible.
If we were all just 5% better at listening instead of convincing, where could that lead our next chapters?
I hope you'll join us for listening practice this month, as we go through the transitions that we do, going with the flow. As we listen, with empathy to our bodies, hearts and minds, we can see that we're all connected in this human condition. As a species, we've gone through a lot so far, and we'll get through this, too.
You're in our hearts this week and month,
EB & The Unfold Family