Just listen

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Somebody I know made a protest sign that says: “Black communities have plans. Let’s listen” and I thought that was one of the more intelligent signs I’ve seen. 
What is more important these days and what is more powerful and healing than listening? Listening is what we do to create a feeling of safety, to show support and respect, to indicate that we don’t always know what the right answer is and that the person that we’re listening to has what it takes to figure things out for themselves without us needing to tell them what they should be doing.
As far as I’m concerned, listening is a sacred practice. Listening is not easy when we have so much to say and when we haven’t been listened to enough, especially when we were young.
I don’t know about you, but I crave being listened to all the time. I can never get enough of it. I know how good it feels when I get good quality listening, the kind of listening where the listener shuts up for the most part, rather than putting their own agenda into the conversation. I personally have devoted a large portion of my adult life to a daily practice of exchanging equal listening time with others and it has changed my life. 
Another way of cultivating the skill of deep listening for me has been listening to myself on a body-mind level. I learned through a practice called Authentic Movement to create time and space for me to listen to my body’s story. I come to this ritual free of expectations and judgment. I invite my body to speak and I promise to listen. I activate my inner witness and it becomes very focused on tracking everything I do and is making sure to follow the lead of my body-mind which determines second to second what’s the next action which can sometime include stillness. It’s there to notice and acknowledge any thoughts that might derail my process of being, noticing and moving from that pure place of connection to a deeper, intuitive sometimes unfamiliar and surprising, part of me that doesn’t show itself as much as I’d like it to in my normal dealings.
I try to include a very short practice of “listening to our body’s story” as part of my new improvisation class. If you want to try it for yourself you’re invited to join Transformational Movement tomorrow and you might be surprised to hear what you’re body is telling you in this moving meditation. 
But for now, I’m curious to know what is your own experience with listening? When was a time in your life that you felt you’ve been listened to really well and what effect did it have on you or your life? Do you also have a place in your life where you get to practice listening to yourself or to others? Would love to hear your thoughts. 

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