calligraphy with looping red and magenta design

Listening: the essential, yet often overlooked aspect of communication.

Listen to BOTH what’s easy to hear – a favorite song, a loved one’s voice, wind whistling through trees, rain pattering on the roof; AND to what you often tune out or find difficult: a person’s experience of oppression (particularly of someone whom our culture deems ‘marginalized’), messages from your own emotions or body, stories of harm and terror happening right now or in the past on our planet, leaf blowers, electronic humming. Build your listening capacity, increase your stamina to hear what’s difficult so you can act instead of react.

Many moons ago my daughter and I attended a yoga class where we practiced a meditation called “Act, Don’t React.” On the way home, we got a flat tire. I surprised myself with how easily I addressed the situation. I simply pulled into a parking lot, used the payphone to call a tow truck, then called my husband to let him know we’d be late getting home. “You sound unusually calm,” he remarked. I recognized the difference between acting and reacting. Instead of listening to an internal diatribe of fearful “what if?” questions and “how much is this going to cost?,” I simply settled into the moment and took care of what needed to be done, as I trusted the process.

If you’d like to learn this meditation, please comment below and I will attach a link to this post in the near future!

Meanwhile, if you’d like to read more about the communication tool of listening …. check out the second part of this topic here.