Mindful Listening With An Open Heart
Updated: Apr 13
When was the last time you felt truly heard? When was the last time you were listening to someone only to realize you were distracted and completely lost the person's message? Have you ever poured your heart out to someone only to have them check a message on their watch?
For many of us, it is rare to find someone who listens without trying to plan a response, fix the issue or quickly move on to their own set of problems. We all want and need to be heard, acknowledged and supported--without assumptions or judgement. Listening is something seemingly so simple, yet so powerfully healing. There is an old saying that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listening with open ears, mind and heart is an incredible gift we can give another person and, hopefully, receive that gift in return.
Mindful listening is listening beyond the words being spoken and allowing our souls to understand, connect, and accept one another. It is a heart-to-heart connection. Mindful listening engages our mind, body and spirit. Here are a few suggestions to help you practice mindful listening.
Set your intention to listen with love and understanding. Do not jump in to fix or make comments unless asked. You are not there to fix anything, only to show understanding and compassion.
Stay in the present moment and out of your own thoughts. Don't plan your response, just speak from the heart when appropriate.
Give your full attention and focus on listening for understanding. Turn off all devices and eliminate distractions.
Give the gift of your time. If someone needs to talk and you only have a few minutes before a meeting, be honest, set another time to visit and follow through.
To be sure you understand what the person is saying, ask clarifying questions. These could start with phrases such as; It sounds like... or it seems you are saying... or so you feel....
Listen without judgement or blame. Cultivate empathy and compassion--even if you may not agree with what is being shared.
The next time you ask someone, how are you doing?, actually stop and listen to the response.
If you have a person in your life who gives you the gift of an open heart, be sure to reciprocate with the same gift. Simply holding space for someone to be heard can be powerful and nurturing.
Blessings, and Be Well,