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Listening in and out

“Perhaps one of the most precious and powerful gifts we can give another person is to really listen to them, to listen with quiet, fascinated attention, with our whole being, fully present. This sounds simple, but if we are honest with ourselves, we do not often listen to each other so completely.” Excerpted from The Sacred Art of Listening by Kay Lindahl

Our world is changing, moving into heart-centered consciousness. I’d like to believe every human’s heart has been activated by this current health concern. Their safety or the safety of a loved one is in question. We are listening with our hearts in deep concern for others.

Eckhart Tolle has taught us about our pain body. He writes, “A pain body is in every human, made up of emotions. Any emotionally painful experience triggers the pain body.” Excerpted from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

When you think about it, life is full of emotional experiences since we were born, and many of these emotional experiences are held in our pain body. They can lay dormant for years or become activated by a trigger.

I remember before the age of ten I was using the bathroom in my childhood home. We had company that Sunday with a couple of elder aunts visiting us. My father, who most of you heard by now was a tyrant, was forced to accompany our elderly relative to the bathroom. He saw the door shut, banged on it and forced it open surprising me, embarrassing me and demanding I vacate it. I was mortified as you can imagine. This incident traumatized me.

Over the years as I recovered, I realized this event was etched into my pain body. Through therapy and understanding how to take care of myself in these situations, I lessened the reaction and learned to manage my trigger.

So how do we take care of ourselves when we are listening with our hearts to others we care about? Awareness is a big first step.

Using our breath, grounded in the NOW is key. As we practice silence in the NOW we strengthen our experience of our inner awareness.

Eckhart talks about breathing the pain body down to calm the trigger. Once a trigger is recognized, taking a breath and slowly blowing out similar to blowing into a straw, gently and calmly. This breathing technique gives space to the experience.

So, when listening with your heart, be aware of your breath, use your breath to bring in calmness to fill your being. Treat yourself with loving and respectful care, and stay present with your heart in the NOW.

Participants’ Reflections: • Listening is powerful. It is empowering to give an affirming ear and say I hear you, not fix them or stop them from crying. A great gift • Listening with heart instead of judging • Remember to breathe when feeling pain body • Want to give gift of listening • Listening to nature sounds, being in the moment • Sitting in silence, we can hear our insides and appreciate surroundings • Listening to nature vs earbuds. Need to be open to what's around you. • Bound to hear painful stories, need to remember to breathe down our own pain body as we listen; Jumping into fixing comes from our own pain

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