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Recently, I enjoyed the most delicious home-cooked Italian fare, with the convivial company we’ve all come to appreciate at our EWP Discussion Evenings.

Plates, hearts and minds loaded, we came to discuss the needs and advantages of engaging in the art of Deep and Meaningful Listening. I say art, because it feels like a rapidly dying creative skill that we humans are losing the ability to practice.

Too many of us, all too often, want to be the one holding the speaking stick; leaving no one engaged in listening.  Regardless of any meaningful information being exchanged, the speaker wants to be heard! Understandably. Doesn’t everyone?

Consequently, with everyone talking, it soon becomes no more than a cacophony of meaningless NOISE!

Our starting point for the evening, was with our agreement that we were tired of engaging in inane conversations, that did nothing for us, beyond filling us with emptiness.

So Why Listen Deeply?

  • We established that through listening with both ears, eyes, and heart, we can relate far more with the other person.

  • We gain a deeper understanding of their point-of-view.

  • We can determine where our connection with them is or is not.

How to Listen Deeply

  • Come with your own intimate understanding of yourself and where you are at in that moment of time.

  • Bring yourself, minus judgements, into the other person’s world view.

  • Encourage discourse through mirroring what you have heard, back to the interlocutor. Thus revealing your understanding and perhaps agreement.

  • Respect the wishes of the person you are listening to, to be heard and thus seen and validated.

But whoa……this was all well and good. However, it then led us into discussing the energy vampires who really only want to 'speak at you' with no regard whatsoever for your presence. And of course, we have all been subjected to those scenarios, where you’re treated not much better than a whipping post. No respect for you there.

And, so evolving from that conversation, we found ourselves discussing the need for our own understanding and appreciation of ourselves.  We need to know ourselves, before we can earnestly attempt to know and understand others. Because self-knowledge and self-respect are the foundations that will not only enrich our lives, they will also support and rescue us, from unwanted intrusions from negative outer forces. Be they people or events. We can then politely disengage from either, if that is our wish.

More than anything, we all agreed that deep listening, is an essential skill to bring about meaningful connectivity with others. It is not like hearing which comes naturally to us. It is a learned skill. An art form that we need to study, learn and practice. Understanding the meaning behind the words spoken and unspoken. Placing ourselves in the other person’s world, their wave-length and frame instead of remaining locked in our own.

It is an art practiced by one of the world’s leading Peace Negotiators (William Ury), who would dearly love to turn our so-called Age of Communication into the Age of Listening. By doing so, he believes, we would be able to prevent so much of the conflict in families, workplaces, communities and unnecessary wars.  

It is an art form that our First Nations People taught their young to respectively engage in with their elders. It is known by different names by different tribes (Dadirri being one of them), but it is essentially a deep, respectful and sacred listening state that enables greater connection with self and others.  A state similar to mindfulness.

I believe we stand to enrich our lives so much more, through listening to those who have travelled before us, and those travelling along side of us. After all, learning is surely one of the most rewarding pursuits we can indulge in, in life. And let’s face it, we don’t have time to experience all there is to learn from lived events, however, we can make it our business to learn from others – past and present.

This is the beauty of shared experiences, taking us out of our own small bubble, and floating – in flow – with the river of awakening -  out into the big wide ocean of life.

And from my view, if we can appreciate that the tide coming in, is the same tide when travelling out, we might be able to celebrate and value one another, a whole lot more.

Bella h

May 2024


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