We’ve had quite a response to our post from last week, Just Breathe.
We’re impressed that many of you experimented with mindful breathing and found it incredibly helpful.
We also heard that listening – to yourself, your family, your friends, and your colleagues – is feeling extremely difficult right now. With the level of uncertainty and trauma we’re all experiencing, your tendency is to want to fix it, take action, and make it better.
You’re not alone.
When things feel uncertain and out of control, our brains look for a way to regain certainty because it feels safer.
The paradox is, that by listening deeply to yourself and to others, you can create an opportunity to notice what’s possible so that you can create a sense of greater calm and safety.
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing,
a creative force.
When we are listened to,
it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.”
–Karl A. Menniger
So, what do we mean by listening? Over the next two weeks, we’re going to explain what we mean. Today, we’re focusing on listening to yourself, and next week, we’ll talk about listening to others.
Listening to yourself is an opportunity
to distinguish your truth
from the things you’ve been taught to believe.
When you listen to yourself, you may “hear” in a variety of ways.
- Some people find that when they listen, they hear guiding words. While others hear through a gut or emotional feeling, an image, a bodily sensation, a light bulb moment, or even a dream.
- Pay attention when you find you’re getting the same “message” in different ways and at different times.
When you start to listen to yourself, you may be frustrated that there is no immediate answer.
- For most people, it takes time and practice to listen. Give yourself the space and attention to notice your responsive thoughts over hours or days after you intentionally listened.
- We’re not suggesting you sit in your chair until you “hear” but that as you go through your days, you pay attention to those responses we listed above and consider, they may have information for you.
- Listening to yourself is an ongoing process, not like a phone call or an internet search.
When you listen to yourself, consider the response you get in the context of what you know to be true.
- Let’s say what comes up is that you feel it may be time to quit your job. While that may be true, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should quit your job this afternoon. Instead, get curious about it.
- If there are things about your current job that aren’t a good fit, maybe it’s possible you can make them better where you are. Again, it may be time to leave but it’s important to get curious first.
- What you hear or feel when you’re listening to yourself may be a message that’s more simplified than the current complexity of our lives.
Our truth tries to guide us, but our hearts and minds need to consider how that truth can guide us in a way that is good for us and good for the world.
This week, spend some time exploring what it looks like for you to listen to yourself and to get curious. Let us know what you find.