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Understanding & Expressing

Understanding & Expressing

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.”    -Thich Nhat Hanh

Do you feel relaxed and open when someone is simply listening to you? You can offer others your presence and understanding too. Here are a few steps that might support you:

  • Presence: Begin by taking three breaths. You will find them refreshing and grounding.
  • Intention: Decide in the moment to listen.
  • Tune in: As if you are a radio, tune into the broadcast.
  • Listening takes both of you. When it seems appropriate, let the person know what you have heard so far.

If there doesn’t seem to be a place for you to reflect what you have heard, then interrupt with the intention of connecting. It might sound like this: “Let me make sure I am understanding you so far…” Generally, people are happy to know that you really are listening.

Listening is a skill and takes practice. If the person says, “No, that isn’t what I said.” You can reply, “I’m glad I asked, I really want to know what you are saying.  Are you willing to tell me again?” Most people are happy that you are interested in what they have to say.

On the other side of communication there is expressing your self. It can be a difficult discussion if you want the person to change something they are doing. Just as challenging might be to ask for something that you want. Especially in these situations it can be extremely beneficial to determine specifically what is important to you. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Who do you plan to talk to?
  • What specifically do you want this person to do? (If this seems too hard, start where you are.  What don’t you want?)
  • If the person is willing to meet your request, how will this enhance your life? (What internal need will it meet for you, or why is it important to you) Keep it personal to you.
  • Consider how you want to phrase your request. (Remember it is a request not a demand.)

It is much easier to say what you don’t like or want.  True, it is more complex and it will take more time to be specific about what you want. And, it is worth your time and energy because you will increase your chances of meeting your needs and enhancing everyone’s life that is involved.

Until Next Time,
Blessings, Love and Peace Matters

Lori Woodley

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