Isn't it amazing when someone gives you the room to speak from your heart, telling a meaningful story, or simply venting? You share an exchange of energy with them in a trusting way. They are present for you. Now flip the roles. You are the listener. Do you sincerely hear what people are relaying to you? I've been working on this skill, examining myself as I engage in conversations. It's tempting to fill "awkward" pauses in the conversation with fluff, facial expressions, etc. I've been more aware of being a listener instead of a speaker. Teaching yoga classes has helped me recognize when to just shut up and give people space to hear themselves. I witness these special moments when silence becomes a safe space to tune into and listen, maybe for the first time all day. When I stop giving instructions and pause, it literally feels as though I'm holding a safe space for students to encounter whatever comes up, to learn about themselves. In a sense, we all become active learners in the sacred pause. Personal insights jump out during the moments of silence. The power is in the pause, not the words!
The Dalai Lama gives us all a beautiful lesson to remember. He said, "When you are talking, you are not listening. When you are not listening, you are not learning. You are not understanding. Listen more and talk less." Namaste.