Most of the time, the words we say come from the intellect. We say what we should say according to the rules we have accumulated from societal conditioning and parental programming. When it comes to how we truly feel, those words rarely see the light of day. But those real words are what human beings are all about. When we filter the real, we miss out on so much richness in our relationships. Once we know that most of us do this, we can begin to observe the non-verbal language a person expresses when they speak. If you allow yourself to not be in your intellect but be in your feelings inside your own body while you listen, you will see that even if the person in front of you says that they are fine, you will feel that they are hurting. When a person says that they have it all under control you will feel that they need help but don’t know how to ask.
Listening to someone like this is powerful. First, you don’t get defensive or triggered because you are not in your intellect, the ego part of you that needs to be right and validated. You are in the heart, the Heart you and the other person share. Second, you will listen with such compassion and with the kind of attention that feels safe and expansive for the other person, so much so that they will soften and might open up to what is truly underneath the surface. Third, it will free you from perhaps entering into a familiar and unhealthy pattern with that person, a pattern you don’t want to repeat.
As coaches, guides, healers, facilitators, that is what we do when we use an embodied approach. We know that the words are simply an image if the real issue. Breathing deeply as you listen you feel what is underneath the words and feel the vulnerability that is concealed. You can see and feel more easily for someone else, not because you are better or wiser, but because you are outside of them, not wrapped up in the rules and the beliefs that trap their true-self from emerging, and because you have done enough work on yourself that you are able to stay with the impersonal energy that you share and not be triggered by the personal.
Give it a try. Listen with an opened heart. There is very little to say or do. Lots of pregnant pauses and silences. But it changes relationships dramatically.