For the last few years I have been honoured to participate in the Fight Free February (FFF) program .. because it is a wonderful initiative started by Jane Libbis of Bayside Collaborative in 2011, and because I have been through a separation and understand how difficult it can be to communicate (and listen) and process the complex 'stuff' going on.
"Our motivation was a desire to see all people, whether separating or not, to become better equipped to deal with (and negotiate) difficult events".Sign up here on Facebook or the website for a month of invaluable tips to finding different ways to resolve what could turn into a fight – with partners, kids, colleagues, or… anyone.
This year, I shared the art of mindful listening:
Mindfulness is both a meditation practice and a quality of life where we cultivate our ability to pay attention to life on purpose and being fully present, with a sense of curiosity and compassion.
Mindfulness of Listening is a wonderful practice that can significantly impact our daily conversations and engagement with others. Rather than truly listening to someone we often divert our attention to our internal analysis, judgement and formulation of a response; racing ahead to compose an argument against what we believe the speaker’s idea or position might be. Then waiting for a pause so we can jump in with our view.
'me next, me next, me next' says our ego mind
Learning to verbally and mentally shut up and hold a comfortable space for silence, allows us to truly engage with another person’s train of thought and witness the subtleties of language, subconscious gestures and facial expressions, shifts in energy, glimpses of emotion and meaningful looks.
From a position of silence, we hear things that we might never have heard before, or in ways we have never heard them before.
Let our intention be not simply to listen ... but to hear.