I finished an awesome Bikram class (my first in a long time - maybe a year?!) and was talking with the instructor.
He was kind in complimenting my calm demeanor and focus, and I told him that is what I loved most about the Bikram practice.
It would have been easy for me to jump in and share that I have completed yoga teacher training, that it had been a long time since my last class, that I was normally all over the place (my true vata monkey-mind), etc.
But I didn't.
I am trained at being a good listener and holding space for people (all part of being a health coach) and I am always amazed at the power it has. People respond so well to attention with no strings attached.
Another example of the ego's power is the need to share ourselves in ways that make us feel superior or special or attractive. This happens all day long when we fixate on what and how we want to share with others (social media has made this phenomenon exponentially more prominent). I did this on Sunday. I thought all about how great my week was, of all of the accomplishments and positive experiences I had (which is a great activity, by the way, when expressed with gratitude and not hubris). I was excited to share these with someone specific, from the selfish place of wanting to look and feel desirable.
I later realized how silly this felt, and how our ego is so quick to scream "look at me! look at me!".
Start to notice how often you are listening versus preparing your reply. Become aware of your tendency to steal the spotlight or one-up others in conversation. Hold your tongue and take a deep breath. Allow yourself to just be present for the other person.
Maybe you always cut your mom off when she mentions the neighbors. Or you tune out your roommate when she complains about her job. Or you change the subject whenever your friend gushes about her boyfriend.
When you can become more aware of your habits and automatic responses, you have the power to shift them. This is a great practice in becoming more mindful and more present.
And I promise it is much more fulfilling than all of the ego-speak.
Where can you listen more?
How can you be supportive without using your own experience?
What feelings do you experience when someone is a great listener?
I want to know.
#marchon #letitbeeasy #giveyourselfpermission