Are you listening? Are you being heard?

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -anon

How often have you felt truly listened to?

How often do you take time to speak to someone about what’s going on beneath the surface level stuff?

How often do you truly listen to yourself for that matter?

To give a little context about the reason why I decided to write this post…earlier this year I had a fortuitous meeting with Jodie Sarfas. Jodie was telling me about how she had recently changed directions in life leaving her corporate job to pursue her passion for creating a listening service aimed at helping people overcome challenges they face in daily life. Jodie is a really switched on young lady, with brains to burn and I knew immediately that what she was working on was without a doubt going to be of huge benefit to the greater community.

Initially I was just really excited to get Jodie to appear on my upcoming Podcast (more on this exciting venture soon) but after interviewing her I felt as though I could probably benefit from a little bit of listening therapy myself. Let’s face it, who couldn’t!

The process uses a method of questioning known as ‘Clean Language’ this method was developed by counselling psychologist David Grove.

A few weeks later I invited Jodie over to my home to experience the process for myself through the pilot she is running at the moment. We began the session with Jodie asking me what I would like to speak about. Sound simple? (I would just like to note… that this is not as simple as it sounds, it has taken me a great many years to understand what the real issues are and to be able to express these is a whole other kettle of fish. Be kind and patient with yourself)

She invited me to examine the things I said a little more deeply by picking out certain details. It was interesting to be asked to consider the words and metaphors I had used in order to consider a new aspect of my thoughts. It may feel a little confronting to do this as we are not always ready to face up to some of the things that we are holding on to. And I think that is okay! It’s a process after all and the unearthing of our deeper feelings often requires time and patience in order to make sense of it and to embrace it.

I have often found as I am sure many of you have as well, that I become stuck in a pattern of thinking which often does not resolve itself and which just ends up becoming a circular thought pattern (mind monkeys!) By hearing my words back to me and having space held for me to delve a little deeper I found that some interesting new insights and the recognition of some new possibilities came to light.

“Clean language invite’s people to consider their experience from a broader perspective and I was surprised by my own capacity to generate new, powerful and useful ideas.”

On a personal note I found this extremely useful, working in a mindful way with an issue I have been going through in my own life. It also reminded me that not only do we not take time to really listen to ourselves we very often stop really listening to others which is where things really to start to fall apart.

Jodie can be found on instagram  here if you or anyone you know might benefit from this please do feel free to share this post with them and get in contact with Jodie to learn more. Or contact her @jojo_mindful_listener.

On this topic why not check out this interesting Tedtalk on the power of listening here.

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