This is a little overdue, the end of the workshop was on Saturday and tonight was the first two hour class.
I’ll focus on main points from the second part of the workshop and address the main points of the class in the next post.
Listening is something that is under appreciated. The power of listening is a lost art. I have always thought of myself as an intuitive listener, and that was put to the test here. The way to begin to listen is to be curious, ask questions to gain understanding and not try to solve a problem or impose your advice on someone. That is way easier said than done.
We need to be true to ourselves. Our inner spirit and inner heart. In doing that we need to “stop and smell the roses”. Being true to yourself and letting your true self out is the result of letting yourself be present and aware. There is so much power in the act of listening and letting your true understanding come through.
Something that spoke to me again as we discussed intuitive listening (i.e. reading between the lines and noting the indirect gestures of the individual) was the power of inner reflection and mediation. We as a society are so conditioned to go,go,go and we go through our to-do list in our head daily, searching our mind for the next thing. There is power again in stillness.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Through the listening exercises and also being able to practice asking the questions needed for further exploration, I discovered that when you listen and become fully present in the moment, the questions to ask just come without you having to search your brain trying to the think of a good question. As a class on day 2, we crossed a boundary and shared something personal with a peer. The act of being vulnerable is scary, but again as I shared and continue to share I have a peace when I become fully cognizant of my feelings.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Your security in your identity in Christ is what determines your level of openness. I think that when your search your heart and you try to define who you are in terms of earthly descriptions you lose sight of what is most important. We need to be secure in our identity in Christ in order to appreciate ourselves. One key phrase that I jotted down was, “Person receives acceptance from God and loses the fear of being rejected.” This can not be more true. I need daily reminders of this continuous love and acceptance from our heavenly Father.
I have the most clarity when I pray for wisdom and discernment. I need to allow myself to ask for guidance and direction in ALL areas of my life. There are so many struggles daily that I wrestle with, and I think these are a result of me not saying out loud that I need the peace which transcends all understanding. I need to remember my self truth.
I unconditionally love and accept myself.
But do I? Do I unconditionally love and accept myself? I don’t think so. I think that the holy spirit that is in me shows me acceptance and self love. From this acceptance and self love I am able to accept myself (even my flaws) because Jesus loves and accepts me.
We had homework also. We had to listen to an audio recording and practice listening to someone for 30 mins. I chose to actively listen to my husband for 30 mins.
That 30 mins was challenging, he is not one for long, emotional conversations and does not do well sitting still. I went out of wife mode and into “coach mode”. I asked open-ended questions and took my tone of voice down and stayed connected in the conversation with eye-contact and body language. We discussed the residency and his feelings and also where his priorities are and where he thinks they should be. As part of the assignment he was to provide me with feedback about how he felt after. In general his feedback was encouraging. He said the conversation was thought-provoking and made him think. The questions I asked came naturally and were not forced. I was calm and reflective, which really allowed God speak through me to say some things that really hit home with him.
This is exactly the kind of thing that makes my heart happy. Helping others realize and understand God’s plan for them and for them to know that he is with them every step of the way. This becomes especially important in my own life as I go through my own triumphs.
Week 2, (Day 1 of class) was also challenging, I volunteered again for another demo which allowed me to open up and speak my heart on a pressing issue.. More on that on the next post.