I'm beginning the new year with another of Katie's listening exercises. All these exercises help me to be more present to my internal and external worlds. They are not that easy to practice because (for me anyway ) they make me aware of my own arrogance, my beliefs that I know what is right for you etc.
Exercise Three :
An Experiment in True Listening
Spend a day listening to people. Just let their words in without superimposing your own thoughts. You can try out the idea that when people talk they, they're finding their way toward what they really mean, and the best way to help them is to just listen. Allow yourself to take in what they say without wondering what their point is. Trust that when they stop talking you'll understand. When you want to finish a sentence for them - out loud or in your own mind- stop yourself.
Your understanding of another person is limited by what you think you already know. So when you just listen, the person you meet won't match your preconception. The exciting thing is that you usually meet someone much wiser and kinder than you expected.
When you listen literally , you may feel disoriented at first. The identity you usually work so hard at upholding falls away.
In literal listening , someone you didn't know you were meets someone you didn't know you knew.