The Gift of Listening

This is not about you.

Take a deep breath. Exhale.

Create a clear space for the person speaking. Let go of thoughts, expectations, judgements, and past experiences about the person and the topic of conversation. Treat this moment as if no moment before this or after this exists.

Breathe.

Look them in the eyes. See them and allow yourself to be seen. Give them your undivided attention. This is not laser-like focus, but a calm, easy, peaceful attentiveness. Let yourself relax.

Breathe.

Listen with your entire body. Are your feet planted firmly on the ground? Do you know where your hands are in space? Connect with your physical experience.

Breathe.

Bring that connection to them. Can you hear beyond their words? Can you see what they are feeling? Can you be a witness to their experience?

Breathe.

Notice if you find yourself looking for their next word. Notice if you want to nod, affirm, disagree, or interject. Notice if you judge their words. Notice if you judge their way of being.

Breathe.

Forgive them.

Forgive yourself. 

Breathe.

Forgive and let go as many times as you need to. Begin again and create a clear space. When you are listening clearly, you will know when it’s time to speak.

Breathe.

If you feel the need to interrupt, soften and allow your words to dissolve. You won’t need to remember them later. If they are appropriate for the next moment, they will come swiftly on their own. I promise.

Breathe.

No moment before this or after this exists.

Breathe.

This is not about you. 

This is for you.

Aubrey Klein