Listening is often said to be the missing part of a communication. For many people the ability to listen is not developed as much as the ability to speak. Many listen with the intent to reply not to understand as Steven Covey said. People are more interested to speak than to listen.
Why do we not listen actively? We listen only to the words that are being said. We don’t learn to listen behind the words that are being said. In Chinese language to listen is written in 3 symbols – ear, eye and heart. If any Chinese speaking reader here, please correct me if I am wrong. An active listening uses ear, eyes and also heart. An active listening is giving an undivided attention to the person who is speaking. You are completely present, physically and also mentally. Only then you can listen to the message that is not being said, what is behind the words.
In a survey words contribute 7%, intonation 38% and body language 55%. More messages are not expressed through words, or they can not be expressed through words. Words are not enough to express the feelings. Feeling can be so deep, while words are limited.
One needs to use the eyes to obseve the body language of the speaker, and the heart to catch the feeling. Ears are not enough. Many use the ears more than the heart and eyes. They are more ready to listen to the words which contributes only 7% to listening. This is why misunderstanding or miscommunication often happen.
To listen through your heart you need silence. It is the mind that needs to be silent, then the heart will follow. Many find it very difficult to make their minds silent. It takes time to practise. The minds have been constantly so busy. Start listening to your own mind, know exactly what you are thinking, just observe what is happening inside your head. be a detached observer, not a judgemental observer. You will notice the mind starts becoming silent. And when your mind is silent, calm and peaceful. Your heart opens for others. You are ready to listen.
What can you expect from a small heart? If your heart is small, you can not expect an abundant love. Your heart is where you can generate true love abundantly. Love that flows from the inside out. It is said if you want love, give it. Love is to be shared not to be taken. Energy attracts energy. So love attracts love. But when your heart is small, it can only love conditionally. You put conditions in giving your love to others. ‘I love you, if you also love me.’ ‘I love you, if you do what I say.’ ‘I love you this much, and you should also love me back this much.’ It becomes like a business deal. It is definitely not a true love. A true love never expects anything in return. You just give it (the energy).
A conditional love is like a tap. You can turn it on and also turn it off. ‘I can love you, but I also can stop loving you.’
Make you heart so big that you can generate so much love. A big heart filled with love is a contented heart, a happy heart. Your heart is not needy for love.
Valentine Day is the day of love. It is the day to love. To love means to let the love flow from your heart. Love is an energy. It is generated in the heart. Energy flows. It flows from the inside out. Let the energy flow. Don’t keep your heart closed. Open your heart. Express the love inside.
Every heart has the capacity to love. To love also means to connect, to give, to share. Not to take and keep it for yourself. Love becomes very limited if you do that. This energy is meant to flow. Don’t stop the flow. So it needs an open heart. A closed heart can not give love nor accept love from other hearts.
So check your heart right now. Does it generate love or stop generating love? Is your heart full of love or not? Love is self-generated. You are not meant to expect someone to give you love. It is said If you want love, give it. Only when you have love in your heart that you can give it to others, then your heart is ready accept love from others too. But when you do not have love at the first place, even if others offer you love, you won’t accept it.
What are you liberated from? Many of us (if not all of us) are liberated. If we are not in jails, we are liberated, we are free. Feeling liberated has to do with the spirit more than the physical body. Many people feel themselves not liberated while having their physical bodies free. They experience themselves like being in a cage. The cage is in fact in his own mind.
Last week I was in a small discussion on this topic. Each one of us had to reflect on ourselves “what are we liberated from” and share our thoughts. I think I have been liberated from two things – being myself and opinion of other people. I think of myself, being a free spirit to become myself. No one has any right over this. I have the full right. This is a very liberating thought. This thought somehow has led me to know myself much much better. Knowing the self is the first step. Accepting the self and loving the self are the next steps. And knowing the self can save you from any opinion or judgement of other people. People may judge you for whatever you are doing and not doing. Many people are weak in from of the judgments. They become victims. They feel themselves so small. Only if you know yourself better than those people know you, then their opinion and their judgment do not give any impact on the way you think of yourself.
What do you miss during this pandemic? Do you miss something after you had to stay in your place for a few months? I realized one thing. I missed being in nature. I like walking in a forest or a mountain very much. I love trees, birds, flowers and blue sky. It is so refreshing.
I was very excited when a friend told me that the botanical garden in our city has been opened for public. I thought, I would not miss visiting the garden soon. Well, you might think that it is not “really” nature. The garden has been created for more than 200 years, someone created. And it has been maintained. The trees have grown so big. I know, but at least it brings “nature” close to my heart. I visited the garden and enjoyed walking under the big trees last week. I enjoyed the shade and the breeze.
Deeply in my heart I felt so grateful to those who have maintained the garden really well.
Listen to the noise in your head. There is a constant noise, or there is no noise at all? Can you silence your mind? Many people said it is very difficult to silence their minds. The mind is constantly busy. Thinking. It creates noise inside your head. But who is speaking? There are two personalities in your head – the false personality and the true personality. The false personality is called the ego and the true personality is called the conscience. They speak different languages to you. It is the ego that speaks more and creates noise. When the ego is speaking too much, you become restless. The ego brings confusion and doubt into your head. You need clarity. Clarity is found in a silent mind.
You might need to learn to make the ego become more quiet, if you want to experience a silent mind. It is only when there is silence in the mind then the voice of the conscience is heard. The conscience is your inner guide. Let your conscience guide you. Listen to your inner guide. It finishes confusion and doubt. It brings clarity into your head.
When I am conducting a workshop on journaling I always suggest everyone to write their thoughts and feelings honestly. You are writing for yourself. You are not writing to publish a book, so be honest. No one will judge you. You are your own judge. But I found that this is the hardest challenge for most people when start journaling. The emotion behind it is always fear – fear if anyone knows their feelings inside. Fear of being judged by others. There is so much insecurity inside. You might have experienced this. This fear is blocking you from expressing the true feelings. It doesn’t free you. It doesn’t liberate your soul.
We might have been living under people’s judgement for a long time. You have to free yourself from this thought. You are here to live your life not to live in other people’s judgement. People will always judge you for whatever you are doing or feeling anyway. You need to develop courage from within. The first courage is to see the true self without any mask. Once this courage is developed, those people’s judgement will not affect you. You are not influenced.
Ego is the enemy of everyone. It resides in each and every of us. We have to conquer this enemy. How to conquer it? We have to know it. Only when we know this enemy well, then we can conquer it.
Ego has two faces – the inferior I and the superior I.
When you hear the voice of “I am excluded” , “I am not valued”, “They don’t respect me“, “I am a victim”. This is the voice of the inferior I. Can you hear this voice? How often do you hear this voice? This is the voice that brings you down again and again. If you keep listening to this voice, you will become weak. You keep listening to this voice and then you start believing in it. What you believe will become your reality (what you feel). You start feeling isolated, small or weak. Can you stop this voice? Do not let this voice keep echoing in your head. You need power to stop it. This is the power of the soul that you need. Develop this power, so you will become victorious in your internal battle. You are in fact battling with yourself (your ego). Your enemy is not out there, but right here, inside you.
At other time you might also hear the voice “I know better”, “I am more experienced”, “They should listen to me”, this is the voice of the superior I.
Both are the ego. Both are false. Both make you fluctuate internally. The real you is not inferior nor superior. Nothing can pull you down. Remain seated on the seat of the real I. This is the seat of self respect. If you remain seated on this seat, you will experience yourself to be a master. A master of the self. You are the king. You are royal.
Why is it important to have faith in life? How to develop faith in life?
Life is what happens. Whatever happens, big or small, it happens to you or someone else, it has happened or it is still going to happen, all is called life. How do you see life of the past and how do you see life of the future? Do you always see it as a good one? Or do you sometimes think that it is unfair or that it should not happen the way it happened? How do you see the future? Does it always look bright? Or does sometimes worry creep into your heart that you are not so sure?
I remember an advice from one of my dear friends who kept saying to me ‘Everything is good’. Whatever happened was good, what is happening is good and what is going to happen will be good. Don’t carry any regret of the past. It passed. No need to think ‘why did it happen that way? It shouldn’t have happened etc etc’. This is how we usually develop regret. It belongs to the past. Leave it in the past. Don’t create fear of the future. Trust that life in the future will be good.
Whatever happens is what is meant to happen. There is no mistake in life. There is nothing to regret nor to be worried about. If you keep saying this to yourself or you keep reminding this to your self everyday, what would happen? You are developing faith in life. You will see everything with your new understanding. You will then accept everything that happen very easily. You will easily forgive and accept.
A colleague was sharing to me how she felt after reading a horoscope based on the Chinese calendar. The horoscope told her about something that made her feel a bit scary. She might not believe the horoscope. She might have read many times the same horoscope, probably every year. But she said to me that she kept thinking about what it said by the horoscope that something bad will happen to her this year. It says that she would lose some money or an accident would happen to her. The more she thinks about it, the more she becomes worried. Every time she thought about it, she convinced herself that it might be true. Then it becomes a false belief. She convinces this false belief to herself through a self talk.
How to cut this false belief? Be aware this self talk. What are you telling yourself most? Take control your self talk if you do not want any opinion from other people to control you. Realize that everything that has happened to us and whatever is going to happen to us is in fact predestined. Nothing happens in this world is a coincidence. Everything will just happen as it has to happen. There will be no mistake in life. Remind your self again and again to this. The more you remind yourself the more you will be able to convince yourself. When you are convinced, it will become your belief. And the false belief will fall away. You will be more ready to face your life ahead.