A few days ago I found myself asking someone in my life to listen to me better. I felt as though I was being interrupted, misunderstood, and all around felt uncomfortable and dissatisfied. Not a nice feeling!
I found a wonderful article on listening, and sent this person the link I highly recommend it! You’ll love it:
I also reflected on how as a musician my experience playing is radically altered if I have an audience that is listening. Some magic happens, and there is this wonderful space in which the one who is speaking or playing can hear themselves through the “ears” of the listener. Attentiveness and attention are present.
What then happens is the conversation (or music) unfolds based on the listening. Awareness and present moment deliciousness are the fabric upon which the words or notes are woven.
Interruption is resistance against the present moment, essentially. Interruption can also mean “zoning out” in a conversation – turning one’s attention elsewhere as a form of resistance against the moment. The person who is allegedly the listener is saying “no, I resist this moment and what it is offering”.
Here’s the clincher though. In all my personal dissatisfaction, irritation and anger that arises when I feel that I am not listened to, I must ask “where is this anger?”. In me of course, so I must take responsibility and look deeper.
I then took stock of several people who I felt were not listening to me well and noticed that I had built resistance against them, and did not listen well to them.
I found that when they spoke to me, t was a feeling I had of “oh they’re just saying the same old thing” or “here they go again” or if it were directed at them as a verbal interruption I’d say “wait – I know the answer and I just don’t have the time to listen to the end of your sentence!”
Feeling these feelings is ok. But having the inner space around these feelings, to see them arise and not necessarily react by zoning out or interrupting, is what makes all the difference. So, in spite of wanting to resist the moment somehow, could I see my feeling, allow the feeling to be, and redirect attention to the speaker?
So has this just been projection on my part? Maybe I have not been listening so well!
I decided to listen to them, for myself and for the relationships. I decided that I’d hold myself to my standard – tuning out and interruptions were and are not allowed. It became my vow to give full attentiveness to them.
Yes, and just as you probably thought I’d say – the dynamic changed completely. They didn’t know what hit ‘em. Peace and presence arrived not just for me, but for us all.
Change yourself and the world changes. It never fails.
Even cooler than that, I found myself walking alone down my street the other day lost in thought and drama. I then wondered, “Can I listen even when there is no one talking? Can I simply engage in the act of listening, all by myself?”
So there alone, I started to listen to the wind, the street, and the silence – and my world transformed on the spot.
Shhh….Listen to the sound around you right now as you finish reading this.
Here you are.