Friday, April 29, 2011

"Now the Ears of My Ears are Open"

I mentioned in my last post Lend Me Your Ear that I would talk about my experience practicing mindful listening. My fiance' kindly agreed to give it a try with me. We started by facing each other. I was the listener the first time around. Being mindful while listening without interrupting the other person or saying anything at all for five minutes was a new experience. It was different than I expected and it made me feel more connected with what he was saying. When he was the listener, he also felt like it was a different sort of experience. I have found that practicing it (when I remember to) has yielded interesting results, particularly when dealing with people who are angry and stressed. I have found that mindfully listening to agitated people allows them to get it all out and they eventually lose the energy of the emotion and end the conversation either apologizing or at least being more rational. It is definitely a tool I will continue to use!  Let me know how it has worked for you.

(The title is taken from one of my favorite poets, e.e.cummings.  I highly recommend his collected works for the poet enthusiasts out there!)