OPEN YOUR HEART AND LISTEN (PART I)

 

My yoga instructor used to end each class by saying, “Open your heart” and then “Namaste”. This would conjure up an image in my mind of my heart opening like a door to the world with rays of light pouring out. The meaning of Namaste is “the light in me acknowledges the light in you”. These are words to live by.

 

When we listen with an open heart, we let go of our judgements.

 

How often do you give someone your full attention to really listen with the intention of understanding her?

 

Most of the time we’re only half listening while watching TV, glancing at our mobile phones or thinking about past or future events at the same time. This is called multitasking and it’s a global addiction, one that leaves us all handicapped.

 

When we choose to give someone our full attention we see and hear them, and they have the chance to be seen and heard. This is how we connect on a deeper level with someone. This is how we build relationships and create truly meaningful exchanges with others. This is how we touch people’s hearts and are touched by others.

 

How often do you say or hear words like, “I understand you.” Aren’t those words beautiful to hear? Aren’t they wonderful to express to someone else?

 

We all crave to be seen and heard for who we are and what we stand for. So why don’t we allow ourselves more opportunities for this to happen? Why don’t we give our loved ones this chance?

 

Yes, we have busy lives with lots of responsibilities, problems to resolve,… and the days get filled up and the weeks and months go by so quickly…Is that it?

 

Well, if that’s our excuse, what are we actually doing if we don’t have time to connect with others on a deeper level? What’s more important than connecting on a meaningful level with the people we love?

 

START BY LISTENING TO YOUR OWN VOICE

 

Do you listen to yourself? I don’t mean that critical voice that rants all day long inside your head. I mean your inner voice, the one that stands for who you really are and knows your strengths, your truth. Do you hear that voice sometimes?

 

If you don’t, try listening for it. Open your heart and listen. Take a few minutes each day to breath in silence and listen for your inner voice. What is it saying?

 

It might take some time before you hear your inner voice. This kind of listening takes a bit of practice, so don’t dismay, don’t give up. Try, try again and be patient. If nothing comes, try again tomorrow.

 

You might ask your inner voice a question like, “What do I need?” Or “What do I want?” and then wait for an answer.

 

The answer may not come right away. The answer may come later the same day or perhaps the following day, but if you keep listening, eventually you’ll have the answer.

 

Then, when your inner voice speaks to you, voice it! Express the words of your inner voice out loud with your physical voice. You might even want to write it down and pin it up somewhere where you can see it and be reminded of the truth that came from you.

 

When we learn to listen to our inner voice with an open heart, we come to know ourselves better and accept ourselves more. This gives us reassurance, grounding and self-confidence. Knowing what we want and need – or even what we don’t want and don’t need – in our lives helps us to speak with intention and to make choices that are better aligned with our values.

 

If you don’t listen to yourself, you won’t know your needs and wants and you won’t be able to respond to them. This leads to feelings of frustration, anger and jealousy.

 

When you are aware of your own needs and wants, you can begin to respond to them. This is about taking care of yourself. It’s not selfish or egoistic. It’s essential! And, by listening to yourself with an open heart, you will be more ready to listen to others in the same way.

 

Will you try it out? You can let me know how this works for you by writing to me at Allison@voiceforlifecoaching.com. I’d love to hear from you!