As we’ve now explored many facets of mindfulness, like breathing, eating, walking, and feeling, today we will bring mindfulness into our everyday interactions with others.
So much of love is about listening, yet many of us often do not practice this with intention. We may become distracted by things happening around us, or think about what we’re going to say next as the other person speaks.
Practicing compassionate listening can be a powerful gift to others, and a beautiful way to express love in our everyday lives.
In your interactions today, as the other person speaks, focus all of your attention on what they are saying. If you find your mind wandering or thinking about what you’ll say next, without judgement bring it back to the other person’s words.
If they’re telling you about something that has happened to them, you can pretend that you are experiencing the thing yourself as a way to put yourself in their shoes.
Listen for cues in your own body as the other person speaks. If anything the other person says makes you feel anxious or angry, notice these physical reactions and see if you can let go of them, bringing your attention back to their words.
Reflect on what changes for you when you place your attention on listening, and if you experience changes in the person you are listening to.