What does it mean to listen well and how can we connect with people on a deeper level through the act of listening?
Most of the time we are all so innocently caught up in paying attention to the thoughts racing through our minds that even when we are trying to listen to other people, we end up listening mostly to ourselves. It is even habit for us to pay less attention to the person speaking than to our own mental chatter about who we are, who they are and what we think they are saying.
What we miss when we listen this way is the feeling behind the words being spoken to us.
Every time we have a conversation it is worth noticing where our attention is focused. Is it truly focused on the person speaking or on our own analysis of what they are saying? Are we too busy forming our response to what they are saying or feeling so urgent to reply to them that we actually miss it completely?
So much can be gleaned from the feeling we speak from. The feeling behind the words we share with one another clues us in to what is really being communicated. The feeling behind the words lets us know what space a person is speaking from. This gives us insight into the their state of mind and what they are experiencing in the moment.
When we let our thoughts flow and get less interested in them and more interested in what we can hear from another person, we listen from a quieter mind and are more able to connect with the feeling behind the words being spoken to us.
We connect with the person on a level before and beyond the intellect and we engage with other people on a less personal, more loving level.
Tuning into the feeling behind the words allows us to respond better. We can better hear what is really being shared. When we leave our thoughts alone, we more easily access and live from a more peaceful state. When we listen from peace, we are able to respond to others more neutrally, which means more lovingly and our responses are more helpful.
Listening from a quieter mind allows for insight and connection and understanding.
The same is true for our relationship with ourselves. If we can notice the experience we are creating with our thoughts whilst remaining neutral and loving, we will help ourselves by returning to the space within where peace and wisdom and wellbeing reside.
How are we listening? is an important question. Are we truly connecting with ourselves and others or getting distracted by our loud and busy thoughts? Listening from a place before and beyond the busy mind helps us connect more deeply with ourselves and others. This creates the space for meaningful and clear communication and better relationships all round.