Most of us know and endorse the global Golden Rule, the intent to treat others as we would want to be treated.
Are you treated that way in normal conversation with your partner, friend, parent, sibling, work colleague etc?
Is that because they don’t listen, ignore you, or interrupt when you are trying to explain something?
When someone is explaining themselves or their story, do you have a voice in your head working out what you are going to say as soon as they have a break and you can get a word in?
Do you want to feel safe when you are criticized, or have opinions forced upon you unasked?
How would your life experience change if you could be listen as you would like to be heard? Using your heart, not your ego.
To bring attention to any person or situation, (to be aware or to listen) you must be present to yourself, to the other person, and to the situation at hand. To be present, you cannot have an agenda of your own.
If you have expectations of yourself, of another, or of the situation in general, you cannot be fully attentive in that moment. Your ability to be attentive depends on having an open mind, a mind that is free of judgment and free of expectation.
Equally important is having an open heart, which requires compassion for yourself and others, and forgiveness for the events of the past. Having an open heart means approaching others as equals and looking for common ground, opening to the intimacy and communion that are available there.Paul Ferrini “Love Without Conditions”
KindNest is focused on a specific time of intentional letting go of your own agenda, while attending to the value and needs of one person in a small group. In turn you will also have this attention so you are heard.
This focus is to either listen or to send healing from your heart, both of which are psychologically proven methods of gifting to another.
KindNest is about applying relationship basics of listening and reaching out. For some it is even more basic than that, it is about appreciating (maybe for the first time) the benefits of being heard with empathy.
That is not so hard, is it? I wonder.
In my own experience I still find it difficult not to have an exaggerated sense of the value of my own opinions, despite having learnt these skills years ago. I really don’t like hypocrisy, acting differently to what I say. Yet I still do interrupt, provide unrequested advice, and preempt what others say, even with best intentions to not do that.
However, the more I spend time in LISN circles, respectful councils, or a KindNest, the more aware I become of how much richness I get access to. I value these safe times where I for a few minutes overcome my arrogant and hypocritical thoughts. It gives me hope then to apply that in the wider sphere of my life.
Yes, safe forums. My mentor, who is a noted doctor and therapist, says we will not feel safe except when there is freedom from violation, and violation includes all imposition, including opinion, judgment and belief under threat.