I have often heard of the importance of being a good listener. Usually when I think of someone being a good speaker it is in the context of public speaking of some kind. The focus of my teaching for many years has been on living mindfully and being present in the moment. I am often aware of my breath, my thoughts, my feelings. It is my intention to develop the art of listening from my heart.
What about speaking? I know that speaking is one way to express myself…but do I consciously express mySelf?
It is a valid question and one that I plan to sit with and take into my meditations the next few days. I experience the highest level of conscious speaking when I am working with a person one-on-one or when I am leading a group or teaching a class. In those situations I am deeply connected and one with True Self. I am trusting the Divine to love others through me. What I speak flows through me rather than being thought up by me. So, I know what conscious speech feels like in that context.
My awareness is being heightened when I begin to feel frustrated on the phone. Just this week I was asking someone for help with an online issue and I was being directed elsewhere….”Oh, that’s not our program. You have to call that company.” Something I wanted to be simple was becoming more complicated every time I sought help. The frustration began to flow through my voice and I knew full well the person directing me was not responsible for the issue or for my frustration. As I heard my own voice, I knew I was wrong to speak to her that way. I stopped myself (hurray!) and took a breath. When I spoke again, I thanked her for her help and said I would do as she suggested. After all, she had helped me. It wasn’t her fault that this wasn’t how I wanted to spend my time in that moment. Upon ending the call, I sent her blessings and envisioned her having an easy day from that moment on.
I am learning to own what I am experiencing and still get the help I need. For example, when I heard that frustration building in my voice as a cable tech tried to help me over the phone, I interrupted myself and said, “I know you can hear the frustration in my voice. Please know that I am not frustrated with you. I get frustrated with myself for not understanding and with technology for not doing what I want it to do. Please hang in there with me because I know you are helping me.” He was very kind to me and even slowed down so that I could stay with him, ask questions, etc. This helped me to calm down very quickly and focus. The problem was then resolved in about 15 minutes and I was grateful for his knowledge and ability.
It seems I must clearly hear my own voice in order to modulate how it sounds and what it is communicating. Listening while I speak will also keep me from getting ahead of myself or getting off the subject. My desire is to be clear as well as loving and compassionate.
May my voice and my words, as well as the tone and volume, express the love and compassion of my True Self, my Soul. This is the blessing I give myself today.