Thursday, February 23, 2017

Listen With Curiosity

"Listen with curiosity...The greatest problem with communication is we don't listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don't listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what's behind the words."

-Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Most of us have heard part of this quote...the bit about the greatest problem.  I think the rest of the quote is the most important because, after pointing out the problem with listening, it gives us the ingredient needed to correct it.

Listen with curiosity--  Why does that change everything?  Because if you are curious about something or someone, it shifts how much you are willing to invest to discover the answer.  It's the bit that engages you in a process instead of simply being a witness to something.  It changes you from being passive to active.  It makes you a participator in a process.

There is a vast difference between hearing and listening! When you understand if you are in a hearing state vs. a listening state, you're able to change the communication dynamic when necessary.

So, what's the difference? I find it interesting that when you Google, "images of hearing," you get things that suggest the ear is the most important ingredient. 

But, when you type in, "images of listening," this is what you find...

...countless images of people with various expressions, obvious eye contact, being actively engaged in a process.

You see the connection, feel the interaction.  There is nothing passive about it! You sense that hearing is an autonomic (unconscious or involuntary response,) while listening is a Human, dynamic, spirit involved decision.

The kanji for listening explains it best...

Of equal importance to the functioning ear, is also the involvement of you- your eyes and heart, and your undivided attention.

When all parts of you are involved, you no longer feel the need to reply.  Instead, you are listening to give a great gift to another; you are listening to validate them.  You are listening to give someone the gift of being present.  You are reminding them that they are important, loved, cared about.

Instead of the need to talk, the listener is there to give another Human Being the gift of being Heard.

And, we all know what a relief and validation it is to feel as if we are heard when we desperately need to feel that someone understands or cares how we feel.  You are giving the great gift of one who is willing to really care what we think.

I always say that there's not a Human Being alive who isn't interesting or doesn't have a story that's worth hearing.  But we have thousands of Human Beings who are never asked to share their story with us. And that's a real shame.

Each chance you have to truly listen to someone is an opportunity to invite them to share a chapter of themselves.

While it's often said that curiosity killed the cat, it's also true that meeting each encounter with curiosity means setting the stage for true communication instead of a missed opportunity.  So, today, spend some time being curious about someone.  Use the time to sit still, be open and listen.

It makes all the difference between being simply heard and feeling truly important, even loved. You will give someone the best gift of all.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is A Good Listener

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Only Four Questions of Value

This song continues to be my all-time favorite.  Can any of us really say why a song stands out so importantly?  Probably because of the time and place one first heard it.  Maybe it reminds us of a friend or lover and the poignant remembering of them.

Evan and I were talking one day about dating and how men and women are so different that it's hard to know what to do to make anyone happy.  I said, "If you want to know what women want, go listen, really listen to Bryan Adam's song, Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?

He answered, "I wish I had money for every time a girl has said that to me..." then I countered, "If that many females have said it, then it's really simple to do your homework and listen.  It's a roadmap for what to do."

So why is this song so wonderful? For me, it's the Flamenco guitar played so fluidly by the great late, Paco de Lucia and the dreamy waltz quality of the music. And most certainly it's the intensely personal lyrics.  It's the passionate, intimate way that Adams sings this song.

I suppose I love it because it takes something so complex and boils it down to the essence of how to live when one is in love.

And for my readers who can't get enough of Johnny Depp, feast your eyes on this one while you listen to Chris Daughtry croon his version of this glorious song.

"There are only four questions of value in life...
 What is sacred?
 Of what is the spirit made?
 What is worth living for?
 And, what is worth dying for?
The answer to each is the same; only love."

Go through you day with love as your focus.  And know that women and men aren't that complicated. We simply hope for a love that we can see and feel every day expressed in the little things.  For, the little things are always the big things.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Is Loved and Grateful

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spining Like A Top

When life seems to be running at a hectic pace that leaves us breathless we say, "I'm spinning in place," or "I feel like a spinning top!"  "Like a Whirling Dervish..."  generally indicates that we're going as fast as we can, attempting to keep up, and feeling exhausted for our efforts.

It can be so defeating, this feeling as if your best effort to stay in control is not enough.  Feeling as if Life is so much bigger than you can manage.

It's interesting that Whirling Dervish has become synonymous for everything spinning out of control when in reality since 1273, this Sufi moving mediation has been bringing Human Beings out of their daily grind and into loving connection with The Divine.  This ecstatic movement is performed by The Mevlevis- the Sufi Mystical Sect, to calm the mind, open the heart, and touch The Creator. The most famous Sufi is the poet, Rumi; the Mevlevis formed to mark his passing from this world and into immortality.

Proving, yet again, that what we think we're seeing is not always what we're seeing. In this case, to be a Whirling Dervish isn't about spinning out of control-- it's about moving with focus and intention. Even when spinning with wild abandon, Dervish don't worry about controlling life. They focus, instead, on dancing their way to an active relationship with life.

The Dervish spins with delight.  Swirls with joy.  Circles with intent.  Starting with one arm up and one down to open a channel to the love that comes from above us and sending it down to the earth. Then slowly both arms raise up and up in praise and connection with The Maker of All That Is.

The Dervish spins to remember the Qur'an teaching, "Hearts become tranquil through the remembrance of Allah."  The moving meditation brings peace to the dancer and to those who witness it. The religion of Islam really is one of peace, but in our world it's been corrupted and taken hostage by angry, hateful people of ill intent. Islam, at its heart, is like all other true faiths with its intention to make us aware that we are all threads in the tapestry of God.

The ecstatic movement of the Dervish personifies the quaint notion, "Dance as if no one is watching!"  They dance with the aim of reigniting connection with The Divine.  They circle and swirl until they lose their limited thoughts of being only Human. They dance in a group to give rise to collective energy and once raised, they share it with all the world for our peace, for our betterment, for our Humanity.

Look at her beautifully peaceful face. Her spins have filled her skirt.  It billows out and encircles her, holding her in a clear moment with her creator.  She is in love.  She shares it with us. At first glance, the movement may seem chaotic and wild but when you see her face, you become aware that things are not always as they seem.

When life seems as if it's all too much, don't stop spinning.  Just change what the spinning means. Change your view point.  Become the Whirling Dervish.  Use the world as music to help your spins bring you peace.

My Darlings, remember to dance through your day and life as if no one is watching! But, know that through it all, regardless of challenges or hard times, The Creator is always joyfully waiting to dance with you.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
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