Deep Listening: How it can help us be Well
How many of you know that my blog is called the body talks??? I thought so 😀.
Seriously though, I thought I would give you a break from protocols and provide a very useful tool that can be a gift in these times. The key is to be grounded in your listening and curious about what you are hearing.
A lovely young woman who has been hoping for a family is now 23 weeks pregnant. I am so happy for her and her partner as they have been trying for a while. Last week she had intense pain for a few hours which thankfully settled down. She was scared and reached out for help.
My answer: Slow down your breathing for a minute and close your eyes. Now listen to what your body is saying to you. I then began to ask her questions so we could arrive at the cause and the solution. The Body talks, Are you Listening?
It is so hard for us to do this type of work when we are bombarded with information and hammer and nail solutions. It also VERY very hard to do when you are feeling Fearful, Scared, Sad, Depressed or Anxious.
During the past months, we’ve all experienced the impact of listening, as we are influenced by a lot of experts and news media talk to us about — the sobering events surrounding the global fight against a virus and reforms for social justice etc etc..
USE YOU OWN POWER
Now is an excellent time to reflect on how your own power, a quiet unassuming gift can help you be well
It is your capacity to listen.
In fact, listening is a priceless resource in your wellness toolkit. By genuinely listening—paying attention, actively perceiving and receiving information, hearing what’s said and, better yet, what’s unsaid—you can tap into the untold wellbeing within you. It will also be a useful tool with your family, friends and team members at work.
With all that has been going, all the noise we often forget to simply listen. We are also subject to our unexamined beliefs and inclinations to hear things in a habitual and selective way. An amazing assortment of cognitive biases shape how we listen.
THE FOUR KEYS TO LISTENING
There are at least four key levels from which we listen
Candidly reflect on yourself, which level typifies you? Don’t judge yourself too harshly by your answer.
Surface Listening: (How is what someone is saying going to affect me?) The goal with this level is usually to speak or offer up an opinion or a quick solution rather than listen.
Most of us are level 1 listeners.
Focused Listening, or listening to the other person. (What do they seem to be feeling? What seems to be motivating them?) At this level, you are listening to tune into the other person’s needs, aspirations or concerns. You are also tuning into your own feelings and your need’s and feelings.
Global Listening, or listening to the larger context. I like to call this Curious Listening. It’s about asking the bigger question. (What else is going on here? What does my intuition say about this?) You listen not only with your ears but also your eyes, body, feelings, intuitions and receptive mind—with the goal to fully understand. This is the type of listening that we talked about earlier when we discussed the new mama. This is the type of listening that we can tap into during Meditation, Mindfulness techniques and Yoga.
Generative Listening, or listening as a creative act. (What is being born in this conversation?) At this level, your goal is to allow something new to emerge, perhaps a fresh idea or unearthed wisdom. You sit patiently in the “not knowing,” unthreatened by differences of opinion, to allow the act of listening to birth something original and worthwhile. This is the kind of listening I hope we are all doing right now. It can be a struggle, especially if you are a doer, type A personality. My hand is up! Now you know why I do Yoga everyday.
Now that you’ve identified your level of listening, Ask your self the question?
“What impact could I have if I listened from a deeper level?”
A SIMPLE START
I talked about this yesterday with a patient. As part of her wellness plan, she was going to sit on her patio and close her eyes for 15/20minutes and listen. Listen to her breathing, the noises outside, the sound of the air, the birds, the traffic.. When you do this type of listening it calms the mind and relieves the anxiety.
There is a lot going on right now and it changing daily. Be ready to listen.
My best and I hope you have a healthy week.
P.S. The best defense is being prepared. Here for your immune resilience tool kit