You are an amazing human being.
You bring your heart forward to people you love, but perhaps you don’t always feel like you’re able to help them as much as you’d like.
Luminous Listening is a powerful technique here to help as we explore the letter L in my A to Z Alchemy series.
Imagine that someone you care about is talking to you. They’re stressed and you want to help. I’ll bet your attention is focused intently on them as you listen with all your might to what they’re saying. You’re probably caught up in the surface content of what they’re sharing, thinking if you listen hard enough you can help them problem solve.
I’ll also bet in these moments that your heart rate and blood pressure increase, your jaws and stomach get tight and your breathing gets shallow. In your deep desire to connect and be of service, you have very likely allowed them to become the emotional leader and followed them into their stress.
Stop. Catch yourself. You have a totally positive intention to help them, and I promise there is a better way to achieve the result you want more quickly and easily.
Here are the four simple secrets to luminous listening.
1. Center yourself. Relax your belly. It’s a little known fact that you can’t be anxious if your belly is relaxed.
2. Soften your gaze. Move out of tunnel vision and allow yourself to be receptive to more information that you can use to help them.
3. Silently ask what it is they really need. Not what they THINK they need, mind you, but the fundamental human need they are crying out for. It is, so often, not what either of you might think when you’re caught up in the drama. There is a beautiful article on how to calm anxiety by discovering the underlying need in How I Stopped Hyperventilating and Started Breathing with Grace.
Our needs are so simple and universal – we want to feel loved, safe, comfortable, peaceful, a sense of belonging.
4. Gently offer them what they need, from your heart to theirs, right in this moment. You don’t even need to put this into words – you can literally focus on 3 simple words, like “You are safe,” and let your heart gift this to your loved one even while you’re talking about details on the surface.
When you follow these steps, you can become a positive energetic leader Remember, they don’t need YOU to be upset to prove you care – they just need you to be present and hear their underlying heart’s desire.
Bring your natural capacity for luminous listening into your next conversation and let me know how it goes. You know I’m an alchemist at heart, so I’d love to hear the possibilities this opens up in your life.