FIONA REILLY: “Four Tips for Effective Listening”

The gift of being heard is something really precious. Having someone listen attentively to our expression or story is very healing and can enable us find our own understanding, acceptance, balance and joy again. Listening sounds like a very simple thing and indeed it is, yet many of us struggle to listen effectively. Being a good listener requires being present and fully attentive to the other. It is not about offering advice or fixing anything or making the other feel better, it’s simply being there and paying attention.

 

“Whatever life we have experienced, if we can tell our story to someone who listens, we find it easier to deal with our circumstances.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

Four Tips for Effective Listening

So how might we listen more effectively… there are many things that can help! Below I outline four suggestions that I have found to be fundamental to good listening.

Be Present

Initially, it is vital to be present and with the speaker, to give them our full attention. If possible find a quiet place for a listening exchange where you are unlikely to be disturbed. Turn off phones and any background noise. Honour your boundaries, if you feel you only have 20 minutes to listen, say so at the beginning so the boundaries are clear or explain that now is a not a good time and arrange to connect when the time is right. To the best of your ability come from a place of acceptance and compassion and avoid judgement of them or their story. Be fully attentive to them and the energy between you.

 

“Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

Simply Listen

Many of us want to try to fix and make things better for the other person, yet the most beneficial way is for them to work through whatever is arising and to find their own solutions. The way to help someone feel better is to encourage them to be with their pain or confusion or whatever their experience is, to explore it and then they may feel empowered to move through it. Telling someone they need to be strong or things will get better or something similar isn’t effective longterm and can be disempowering. So try not to fix the situation or offer solutions unless they are invited. When listening our purpose isn’t to make a person feel better, simply by having their experiences heard in a non-judgemental and accepting way can allow things to shift and heal.

 

“The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed — to be seen, heard and companioned exactly as it is.”

~Paul Parker

 

Focus On the Speaker’s Perspective

While it’s useful to be able to identify with their experience, telling someone of your similar experience is not usually helpful, so try not to habitually compare their situation to one that you have experienced. It is of course fine if you are having a two way conversation, however if you want to encourage a person to explore their experience, your story isn’t what they need to hear, at least not until they have worked through their own stuff. It can take from what the speaker is saying and turns the attention away from them. Occasionally it may be appropriate to share your own experience, use your intuition on when that feels right. You could check with the speaker if they’d like you to share what happened to you, though mostly I find it best to stay with what the speaker is sharing.

In order to acknowledge their experience and what they have shared, you can reflect back to them what you heard them say, for example “You felt very angry when that happened”. Such a reflection does a number of things, it shows that you are listening, that their feelings or expressions are valid and enables them to go into more depth around the issues. In focussing on the other person you may notice the subtleties of body language, tone of voice… etc., which can sometimes indicate more than their words and again if appropriate you can reflect back what you notice.

Don’t engage in a drama or exaggerate the situation, sometimes what is being shared may arise feelings in you, acknowledge these internally though put them aside you can always return to explore them yourself at a more appropriate time.

Become Comfortable With Silences

For many silences or gaps in conversation cause discomfort and they rush to fill the quietness with something. However allowing a silence lets the speaker know that you are there for them and ready to listen when they are ready to speak. Speaking in order to break a silence usually ends up in directing the speaker in a different direction, than what may have otherwise arose next. If you do feel to ask questions, do so for clarity and understanding. The facts or details usually don’t matter. If you do feel to ask questions try to keep them open ended, you could you phrases like “How was that for you?” to encourage more disclosure or as I mentioned earlier reflect back what you have just heard.

Acknowledge Pain

This is an excellent video relating to how to support a grieving friend and the principles offered could be used with other challenging situations, not only grief. The way to help someone feel better is to encourage them to be with their pain, to explore and accept it and then they may feel empowered to move through it.

 

“One of the easiest human acts is also the most healing. Listening to someone. Simply listening. Not advising or coaching, but silently and fully listening.”

~Margaret J. Wheatley

 

With loving gratitude for all those who have shown me how to listen well and for my continued learning. I wish you well with your listening explorations,

Fiona

 

~via WakeUp-World.com

SADHGURU: “How Your Energy System And Imagination Are Connected”

“If you have conclusions about everything, there is no possibility, no receptivity. If you have conclusions, you do not have to be attentive — you can go through life like you are dead. The more conclusions you have, the more rigor mortis there is in your mind and in your body as well.”

~Sadhguru

 

There is a certain geometry to the physical existence and to the energy existence. Everything in the universe, from the atomic to the cosmic, works the way it does because of geometric perfection. One of the most fundamental and the most stable forms in geometry is a triangle. In the human energy system, there are two equilateral triangles — an upward-pointing one below, and a downward-pointing one above. Normally, these two triangles meet just above the anahata. To work with your mind and imagination, it is important to adjust the alignment of the two triangles at least to some extent. The ideal alignment would be that the upward-pointing and the downward-pointing triangles intersect to such an extent that they form a perfect six-pointed star with six equilateral triangles on the outside.

With the necessary alignment, you will be able to exercise your imagination in such a way that you can manifest what you want outside of you. To enhance the power of your imagination, you need to lift the upward-pointing triangle, which in terms of the geometry of the body is the foundation, to such an extent that it includes the vishuddhi, which is the basis of your imagination. There is sadhana to move it up and hold it there, all the time. If you do not have such sadhana, a simple way to achieve this is not to eat for a period of time. Generally, when the stomach is empty, the upward-pointing triangle tends to rise by itself. Once you eat, it descends again.

The Importance of Keeping the Chakras Mobile

There are one hundred and fourteen chakras in the body. The seventy-two thousand nadis, or energy pathways in the system, have one hundred and fourteen significant junction points, where the nadis meet in substantial numbers and redistribute themselves. These points are generally known as chakras, which literally means “wheel” or “circle,” though they are actually triangles. We call them “chakras” because that suggests movement — moving forward. Out of these hundred and fourteen, two are outside of the physical realm. For most human beings, these two are very feeble, unless they put in the necessary sadhana. Out of the remaining one hundred and twelve chakras, a few are generally located in certain parts of the body, on a physiological level. The rest of the chakras could be moving to some extent.

The way the chakras move depends on what you do with yourself. If you want to empower yourself to do different types of activities and to adjust to different type of situations, the pranic physiology or the chakra physiology of the body needs to be able to adjust accordingly. Doing the necessary work to keep the chakras mobile is important because the mobility of the chakras determines how flexible and effective you are in different types of situations, in order to meet different types of requirements. The problem with most human beings is in one situation, they function well. In another situation, they are a total mess. This is because they can only think, feel and act in a particular way.

You should be able to do everything well, with a little practice. But this will not work if your energy system is rigid. So, keeping your system mobile is important, not just because we want to do different kinds of activities in the world. It also gives you a certain flexibility of experience, that you are comfortable in any kind of situation. To be at ease, your energies must be flexible. These hundred and twelve chakras can be used as hundred and twelve doorways to your ultimate nature. That is why Adiyogi gave one hundred and twelve ways to attain to the ultimate.

To be able to move this complex triangular structure of your physiology the way you want it requires a different level of sadhana. But the most fundamental thing is that these two triangles should intersect. Normally, the upward-pointing triangle is below and the downward-pointing triangle is above. If you bring the two equilateral triangles to a point where they intersect in such a way that they form a star with six equilateral triangles, the system is in balance and becomes very receptive. My work is about presence and transmitting something, for which you need receptivity. My words are not going to enlighten you. I only say things to confuse you, because you cannot enlighten anyone by talking. It is the presence that has the power to transform.

From Conclusions to Confusion to Consciousness

Talking is a good tool only to destroy the idiotic conclusions that people have made. When conclusions are destroyed, confusion happens. Being joyfully confused about everything in the universe is a good state to be in. This means you are constantly paying attention to everything. Once you realize that you do not know a thing, you become receptive. If you have conclusions about everything, there is no possibility, no receptivity. If you have conclusions, you do not have to be attentive — you can go through life like you are dead. The more conclusions you have, the more rigor mortis there is in your mind and in your body as well.

 “Being joyfully confused about everything in the universe is a good state to be in. This means you are constantly paying attention to everything. Once you realize that you do not know a thing, you become receptive.”

 

If you are doing hatha yoga every day, you will notice that on a day when your attitude is kind of rigid, your body will not bend. On another day, when you are happy and mentally flexible, your body will bend much better. The nature of your consciousness is manifesting in every cell of your body, every moment of your life. That is why there are many kinds of self-inflicted diseases in the world today. Never before, human beings had as many food choices as we have today. In earlier times, people ate what was locally available. Today, in spite of so much variety, there is so much illness. In fact, the more choices people have, the sicker they get.

The United States is probably one of the countries with the greatest variety of food choices, but they also spend a huge amount of money on healthcare — three trillion dollars per year. That is a crime against humanity. If those who do not get sufficient nourishment are ill, it is understandable. But if those who are eating well are sick, it means something fundamental is going wrong. We have not understood that every cell in your body was created by the nature of your consciousness. If you do not know how to keep the nature of your consciousness well, you will not know how to keep your system well. Then you will function by accident, which need not be so.

We as human beings do everything that other creatures do too — we eat, sleep, reproduce, and die. One thing that distinguishes us is we are making a lot of fuss about all that, just as an aside. The most important difference about human beings is we can do all these things fully consciously. For example, you can eat fully consciously. Let us say you are hungry. If you were some other creature, you would just pick up whatever suits you and devour it. But as a human being, you are able to wait until mealtime, sit at the table, chant the invocation, and rather than stuffing your face with both hands, eat with your right hand. This is being conscious. If you go by the body alone, you will want to eat immediately. But since you have the necessary intelligence and awareness to hold back the compulsions of the body, you can respond to the situation in a conscious manner. If someone behaves very compulsively, they say he is like an animal. So, this is a journey from compulsiveness to consciousness.

Consciousness gives you the possibility to become free from your tendencies. Even if you have been ruled by all kinds of tendencies until this moment, if you respond fully consciously now, there will be a distance between you and the accumulated tendencies that you have. If you make every aspect of life conscious — not only in action, but also in thought, emotion, and energy — you will be on top of the world.

 

~via BodyMindSoulSpirit.com

JOHN HOLLAND: “Synchronicities And You”

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Is your soul trying to get your attention?

Synchronicities and so-called coincidences are clear signs that the Divine Source is knocking on your door.  Sometimes it could be a soft tap or for those times when you’re not paying attention, it could be a loud bang!

When source works through synchronicities, it can manifest itself in some pretty unique ways.  I have my own definition and refer to them as my divine nudges.  For example, it’s when I hear the same phrase or saying from more than one person in a day?  It’s when the same numbers keep showing up in your life?  Has someone mentioned the same person you were just thinking of?  Have you met someone out of the blue who seemed to answer a question that you were just pondering?

How to tell if it is synchronicities?

These are all just signs for you, and I encourage you to pause, be open, and pay attention but most importantly, acknowledge that the source is sending you a message.

I know this man who was having a hard time switching careers and it was clearly causing him a lot of stress with all the unanswered questions.  He was offered a new job and wasn’t sure if he wanted to leave the security of his existing job where he’d worked for years.  One day as he was driving to work and in a state of indecisiveness, he found himself asking himself all the nagging questions that torment us at such times:

  • “Should I take the new job?”
  • “Will I be happy?”
  • “Am I doing the right thing?”

At that precise moment as he was churning the questions over and over, he looked up and saw a bus drive by and for some reason, he read the billboard on the side of the bus. It was a Nike advertisement with the slogan:

“Just Do It!”

These are not just coincidences!  I don’t believe there are accidents in this intelligent universe.  It’s times like these that you should ask yourself: “What am I supposed to be learning or doing right now?”  I feel when these synchronistic events happen, it’s the inner workings of your soul showing up in your outside physical world.

Tips on tapping into, and working with, synchronicities

This week try to notice if synchronistic events are happening around you and your life.  Here are a few tips to assist you to Begin to notice and act on those divine nudges.

The more you notice and pay attention to meaningful synchronistic events and coincidences, the easier it gets for them to multiply in your life.

  • Notice when you run in to people unexpectedly.  Really listen to what’s being said in the conversation and the hidden message that could be there for you.
  • If there’s a certain problem in your life, try to let it go and turn it over to synchronicity.  What you’re saying to the Divine Source is: “OK, show me! Let me be aware and act when the answer or guidance is being presented to me.”
  • Work with your journal and intuition to become even more aware when source is knocking on your door.
  • Believe that it’s possible.  A positive attitude enhances the experience, just as a negative attitude will shut it down.

This article maybe the first from me you have seen, you may have had this forwarded to you from a friend, or someone might have simply had you read this after you just told them of a so called coincidence that has or keeps showing up in your life.  You were meant to receive this newsletter with this message.  This is another example of synchronicity trying to get your attention.

As I’ve said: “There are no accidents!  I truly believe that life tries to show us miracles every day, if we would simply notice — and act upon them.”

Live a Soul-Filled Life!

 

 

About the author: John Holland is an artist, author, public speaker, and psychic medium. To learn more about John Holland, visit http://www.johnholland.com.  ~via BodyMindSoulSpirit.com

 

SARAH PROUT: “5 Warning Signs From Your Higher Self You Should Never Ignore”

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Never ignore these signs from your higher self!

We all have intuitive powers, or higher vibrations, that help guide us throughout our lives. It’s also been referred to as a “little voice,” or “gut feeling.”

Some people feel it more strongly than others, but it’s there in all of us.  I’m sure you’ve heard stories about how people have listened to their higher self warnings and how it saved them from a dangerous situation.

Sometimes those messages are subtle and range from just a feeling that something isn’t right to a message that sounds, in your head, as if it’s coming through on a loudspeaker.  Either way, intuition is like a muscle.  The more you work at developing it, the stronger it will become.

Below I’ve listed 5 warning signs from your higher self that you should pay special attention to.

1.  Recurring dreams or recurring synchronicities.

Do you have the same dream over and over again or the same event recurring in your life?  Maybe you keep seeing the same person over and over in your city.  If so, there is a reason behind it.  It’s a message to you, an instruction and sometimes a warning.  Look for clues, follow them, and see if you can make sense of the reason this keeps happening over and over.

 2.  You have feelings or thoughts that don’t make sense.

Have you ever met someone and immediately disliked them for no good reason, then later find out something about them that confirmed your feeling was correct?  While it may be perceived at times as an unfair judgement, if you have a certain thought about someone, there must be a reason for it.

That said, you also can’t allow fear to govern your instincts.  For instance, you can’t constantly be checking your partner’s phone to see if they’re cheating on you because more than likely you will create that experience from your lack of trust.  However, when you have a gut feeling about someone or something just allow it to be and let it play out.

 3.  You feel like something just isn’t right.

When you have a feeling deep down in your gut that something isn’t right, it probably isn’t.  Don’t ignore it.  Go with your gut, and follow those hunches.  Keep alert, look for signs, seek second or even third opinions until you prove your gut feeling was right or not.

If you find that what you felt wasn’t correct or true, it’s time to do some soul searching to see if you have biases that made you feel uneasy and work to rid yourself of them.

4.  You notice signs of alignment.

If you’re living life being true to yourself, signs of alignment from the Universe are frequently presented to you.  These signs can be messages from your higher self that you are on the right path.  Follow them and you’ll increase the odds of fulfilling your potential.

5.  You ignore what your body is trying to tell you.

You have a pesky cough that won’t go away, recurring headaches or a lump that suddenly appears.  Whatever it is, you can’t afford to ignore the health symptoms that your body is presenting to you.  Our bodies work just like everything else in our lives; if you ignore problems, they will get bigger until you do something about them.  Pay attention to the feedback your body is giving you.

 

 

via spiritualunite.com

LISSA RANKIN: “Are You Listening To The Universe?”

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We get all kinds of signs from the universe daily, yet decoding them and applying them to our everyday lives is a bit more of a challenge. 

The tricky thing is, you may not recognize the guidance at first. It may be totally unnoticeable, or even if you do notice it, it’s easy to discredit it as only a coincidence. The Universe doesn’t leave you and your stubbornness out to dry, though. Ignore the first signs, and the universe will persist and get more obvious. It might come in the form of physical symptoms, or occurrences that shove you out of your comfort zone.

Pay attention when you notice any of the following:

     1.   Occurrences that you might even call coincidence, except that the timing is too perfect.

     2.   Dreams that offer you messages or suggestions.

     3.   Books (or blog posts) that speak directly to where you are in your life.

     4.   Physical symptoms that signal something deeper (like back pain when you’re carrying the weight of the world on your back). Refer to Louise Hay (get a free pdf book)

     5.   Roadblocks on your current path. If something seems much harder than it should, it may be a sign that you’re supposed to take a fork in the road. When you’re listening to your calling and in the flow, things can feel effortless.

     6.   Messages that arise during meditation.

     7.   Gut feelings or instincts you can’t ignore.

     8.   Something someone says that cuts right to the core of you.

     9.   A sense of inner knowing that something is true, even though it feels completely crazy, implausible, or unachievable.

    10.   Song lyrics that pop up over and over again.

    11.  Answers to prayer that direct your path.

    12.  People you attract who share your calling and guide the way or share the path with you.

The universe doesn’t always speak clearly

Sometimes messages are garbled, not necessarily because the universe doesn’t know how to deliver clear messages, but more likely, because you only half-listening. You could tell when the universe is trying to communicate – strange coincidences would happen, serendipities abound, books fall open as if by accident, dreams appear. They’re confusing. They don’t answer questions directly.

You still have a choice, no matter what the Universe says or does. You can be smacked in the face with the answers, and you can still decide not to listen. Free Will is a funny thing when it comes to spiritual guidance. But we don’t have to follow the guidance. We may either fail to observe the signs or ignore the signs.

You could ask for guidance:

 

    “If there’s any action I’m supposed to take, please make it known.” 

    “If I’m supposed to do [insert what you’re confused about], please send me a sign.” 

    “Please use my dreams to deliver any messages You wish me to receive.” 

 

Don’t forget that the Universe seems more likely to guide you if you’re actually brave enough to follow the guidance.

 

Don’t Forget To Say THANK YOU!!

 

 

 

 

~via enlightened-consciousness.com