Transness.org

Exploring Gender Identity

Art of Listening Part I

on August 2, 2012

Today I offer my perspective on the importance of listening and being aware.  The message is targeted to young counselors and therapists but really applies to us all in whatever pursuit we find ourselves in.

The first thing to remember is simply, it is all about them, not me.  Listening honors the one speaking; it connects you to them in a divine way.  This is simple respect.  Going beyond this communication is actually beside the point although we often think it is primary.  All Communication is about connection or unity.  We are expressing our Oneness!  With this in mind we hear their words and respond in a mindful way, expressing compassion, caring, and courtesy.

Second is to be present fully in the now.  This means you focus on the person speaking and put other activities or speaking aside.  You do not think about how to respond.  Empty your mind and allow them to fill it.  Then when they are done, you speak your mind.  Take your time, consider your words carefully.  Even if they anger you, remember to take your time.  It is not a race or competition, it is a sharing.

Listening is more important than speaking because without someone to listen we cannot say anything.  The role of the counselor and therapist is to listen above all else, it is not about giving advice or anything like that.  Simply hearing the client, patient, or friend validates their existence and connects you both in unity.  This is what it is all about!

Awareness is another key in the process of listening, so please consider this carefully.  A state of elementary or undifferentiated consciousness defines awareness in the dictionary but what does this really mean? To be conscious means that we are aware of our surroundings, what is happening to us so to speak, but to be more accurate it is what is happening through us! This is something that many people take for granted but I would suggest that it is very important to be aware of as much as possible.  Each person brings a different perspective of awareness to the world and that is what makes us all unique.

We are each valuable for the views, experiences and opinions we bring to this world. Let me explain by offering this example. Three people walk up to an apple bin and pick up an apple and take a bite. What each person notices, feels, and experiences will be different. In fact every time the same person does this same action their individual experience will be different! If you took only one bite out of the apple you might never realize that the apple has seeds. Can you remember the first apple you ever ate? Is it possible to experience eating an apple for the first time every time you eat an apple? The more we experience one particular thing the more we expect the experience to be the same, hence the expression “been there, done that”. Is it really possible to experience the exact same thing over? I don’t think so, but it is possible for us to imagine it so. The number of factors that make up our experience in life boggle the mind. Take the apple scenario for instance, the elements that make up that experience include all the five senses, the details of the physical surroundings, the time of day, the location, the circumstances leading up to the experience, the type of apple, the condition of the apple, our expectations of the experience, our cognitive abilities, and on and on. I am sure you can add to this list, so just realize that for every experience you have the number of things to be aware of is endless. It is possible on the other hand to eat the apple and not remember doing so, we can all relate to this as well. So what if we are unaware of the experience? Well, If we go through life unaware then we are missing the point and some would say we are not even living.   We would be zombies in a divine world!

“Heaven “is merely an awareness of perfect oneness, and the knowledge that there is nothing else; nothing outside this oneness, and nothing else within” (text, p. 359; T-18.VI.1:6). This fact alone is true, and only this truth is Reality.” (Gloria and Kenneth Wapnick discussing A Course in Miracles)

To continue in the next blog…

🙂  Sequoia Elisabeth

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