I still remember the first time I felt deeply listened to. In retrospect, for me this was a profound experience, opening my awareness of another way of relating to another that was more intimate, and soul satisfying than I had ever experienced before. For me it was also the beginning of a life-long interest in what has become a formal and informal practice of listening.
I love to listen to people’s stories – I find these narratives rich and meaningful. To me, stories are the colors in the tapestries of our lives. However I also have learned to listen for what’s under and in the story – to the emotion, meaning, and the physical experiences expressed and embedded in story. These are like the actual threads of our tapestry.
There is an art to listening well. I have been inspired by many teachers over the years. Here is one of my teachers, Frank Ostaseski, speaking on the power of deep listening: