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Who needs to hear your heart again? Thursday April 10, 2014

"Deep listening from the heart is one half of true communication. Speaking from the heart is the other half." Sara Paddison, Hidden Power of the Heart.

Ever wonder why we shout when we are angry?

This story is one of the best explanations I've come across. Enjoy!

A Hindu saint who was visiting the river Ganges to take a bath, found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other.

He turned to his disciples, smiled and asked, "Why do people shout in anger at each other?"

His disciples thought for a while and one of them said, "Because when we lose our calm we shout."

"But why should you shout when the other person is just next to you?" asked the saint. "Can't you just as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner?"

When some of the answers did not satisfy the others, the saint finally explained, "When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance."

"What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small."

The saint continued, "When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other."

He looked at his disciples and said, "So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant. Do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return."

Who did you last raise your voice to?

Who needs to 'hear' your heart again, not your voice?

As our hearts separate - our voices rise according to the exact distance we move apart!

"An open ear is the only believable sign of an open heart." David Augsburger.

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Julia Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 7:18am

A nice meaningful story Les.(I don't think it's going to stop me shouting at my husband though!)

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 7:39am

It's a great story Les, and it may even work in the desert, Julia ;0)
I think my response would be, "what can bring my heart closer to the other person?"
I have a fascination with (though little experience with) Improv - that wonderful art of improvisation in the theatre. Apparently it works best when those acting go with whatever the others in the troupe suggest. There is no 'no' and no 'but' - just 'yes' and 'and' so that the flow continues.
I guess if I am angry and this is mirrored in the other person, I must have stopped listening from the heart??? If I can flow with them, empathetically, perhaps I can listen from the heart and even hear from the position of their heart.
I like the idea of how I could listen from their heart (and the not the words that sometimes hide the heart).

Mary Blackhurst Hill Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 7:48am

Nice one Les. But no - I shout at my children (my youngest in particular) because SHE DOESN'T LISTEN!!!!!! Except - that - at the last parents' evening we discovered that actually, she may have a logic processing block and be actually unable to follow a series of instructions. How guilty do I feel now? If our hearts had been closer, she could maybe have explained why she had forgotten to do her pocket-money tasks even after the fifth time of asking. As Lex says, what can I do to bring my heart closer? Or as Stephen Covey says in his Seven Habits "Seek first to understand". Thank you again, Les; very thought provoking.

Julia Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 8:30am

The idea of improvising in the theatre sounds just what I need. I hadn't heard of that before..I mean the flowing of words and actions..whatever is suggested. It's just that in the real world, we always have to adjust, control and react to life events and people. One should make the effort to find a singing group, choir, theatre group, somewhere where we can express ourselves freely or do you think there will always be someone in control making us feel inadequate? I must investigate Lex. And a thought proviking blog Les now I think about it more.xx

Anonymous Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 8:58am

Love the philosophy & wisdom behind not yelling xxx Thankyou ! I live with 2 little boys and my husband, I love them with all my heart but they leave me no choice but to yell ;) it's like having 3 teenagers ! Have a great day all ;)))

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 9:20am

I'm absolutely in agreement with everything you've said, Julia.

I'm a fan of "pacing and leading" - where you always meet the other party where they are... and once rapport is established, and only then, you may seek to lead them to something else. This is the Improv flow. It says, "I understand you" then "and..."

It's the opposite of the empathy blockers of "no!" "don't!" "but" or the terrifying "you're wrong!" or the poisonous, "with deepest respect..."

As for others controlling us or seeking to make us feel inadequate - the problem is an eternal one for humans - as we are all 'damaged' in some way. I'm beginning to look for the 8/10... if I can connect with 8/10 of people with my good intentions, I think I'll settle for that being enough. If 2/10 want to make me feel less than I am, I walk away... 80% is good - probably a B+!!!

Les Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 10:34am

The best exercise I have ever used about truly listening with the heart is this.
One person, especially if there is a tension about different views, sits facing the other person and taking all the time they want, fully explains their point of view.
The other person then has to, in their own words, repeat that concept back to the first speaker until the first speaker says - 'yes you've got it - you now fully understand me'.
Mostly the first few 'tries' are loaded with the listeners bias, and their desire to want to 'win' the argument or prove their point.
Then about the 3rd or 4th attempt, frustrated, and when they have had to go in and shift to their heart - they say it with a different 'intent'.
Then more often than not, the listener now says - 'yes that's it - you've got it'.
Then the strangest thing happens - the person who had listened and wanted to prove their point - often - now that they have truly 'felt' with their heart what the other person was saying - simply says - 'I agree with you - I thought you were meaning something else'.
It is usually our need to be 'right' that makes us hear with our head and not with our heart.
As to improvisation - jazz - where their is a common desire to build on what others have done and to keep the 'spirit' - is heart connection in action......a common 'feeling' that interdependence is far greater than independence. Reading the musical score is IQ - feeling the music is EQ.

Les Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 10:37am

Tsk tsk ;-)

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 10:55am

I reckon that exercise could change lives, Les.
I like mind mapping for listening and conflict resolution too.
Mapping out the two positions gives each party a distance from the emotive triggers and also makes sure they are 'heard' on the page.
The conclusion can be the same - "now I see what you're saying and I agree"...
Consciousness and communication are fragile gifts that sometimes need exquistie wrapping...

DawnCRitchie Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 11:49am

I don't believe two adults should shout at each other at all, especially when in a relationship, or am I from another planet?

Les Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 12:04pm

Can I come on your planet.....?
I'm also not sure ......that most adults 'manage' that :-()

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 12:06pm

Get in line, Les... Planet Dawn is an amazing place. You should taste the snowflakes... (and yes, Dawn, you are from another planet - but we're really glad you decided to visit with us here...)

Julia Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 12:44pm

Shouting isn't nice to hear and I rarely shout actually but I do think you must be from another planet Dawn, albeit a rather unusual and perhaps interesting one! x

Julia Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 4:34pm

Yes great exercise but why do I think only the other person will learn from it, not me. It's because the person who immediately comes to mind for me to do this with, doesn't listen well (to what I say) whereas I see myself as a good listener. However this "person" is a person of few words so I am sure once s/he opened up (if that actually happened) I would learn a great deal from that person. The problem is to persuade him to participate. (Am being interrupted so this might not make sense) But really good blog Les. I mean really good.

Richard Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 5:51pm

Dear Les, Lex & Julia ( now there's a groovy band name for a start! )
Reading all of your valid comments beggars the question: Why can't people be as lucid and respectful on T.V. debates? The answer, of course, is Les's/ Hinduism's "heart distance" concept.
Thanks again for intelligent, reasoned communication. Peace and Love, Rich x

Julia Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 6:29pm

Love is all you need.

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 7:33pm

Can I play Bass in the band, please?

DawnCRitchie Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 9:14pm

I don't think I've had a 'proper' relationship. In my 11 year marriage, we argued 3 times, although I did get angry at times, I usually took it out on the kitchen or slammed the doors. Since then, I have dated men who liked to control me. The second marriage of 4 months- I call it a fiasco - was one of severe control, emotional and spiritual abuse and shouting, any shouting on my part was always in defence.
My dad and step mother argued a lot and I really don't like it.
People often comment that my house is a nice and calm and cosy one and my friends like my creative host ideas like my crumble and custard evenings and my mince pie and mulled wine in July evenings.
Thanks for your nice comments :D xx

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 10th 2014 @ 10:56pm

It only takes one amazing person to change a world Dawn. Perhaps that's why you're here. To show a better way.

I know that I have shouted in the past but only because I was afraid or I wasn't getting through. Les' heart-to-heart solution offers something more effective and I look forward to practising this more authentic communicaiton.

Julia Fri, Apr 11th 2014 @ 9:05am

Dear Dawn. Your crumble and custard and mince pie and mulled wine evenings sound so lovely. You seem to have created a wonderful environment for yourself after such a long turbulent period in your life.I hope you feel you are in a good place now surrounded by peaceful and kind people.

DawnCRitchie Fri, Apr 11th 2014 @ 9:31am

Thank you Lex, you're a gr8 encourager and yes Julia, I am surrounded by lovely friends and family and am and will continue to be in a good place.
Les, I'll be posting a few blogs (just sent one last night), so yes you can join me on my planet :D
I your description is brilliant and although tiring, the exercise actually works and dissolves the bad feelings, because two people begin to understand each other.
Have a truly blessed day Les, Lex & Julia

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