Listening – with my heart!

Before I went for Kiran Gulrajani’s Tao of Facilitation, I thought an effective communicator is one who can speak his/her idea with clarity and that was enough.. to communicate thoughts, feelings and sometimes even emotions. At the time I didn’t even know that communicating had so many layers to it – one of the main ones being listening.

But I thought I did listen. In fact, I thought I was pretty good at it. It is only in the workshop I realized that I didn’t even know what listening really meant. Listening, as it was explained, meant being a space.. for the other to express, to be him/herself, to really speak without fear of being judged. It meant quietening down my inner chatter to really hear what the other was saying. It meant not jumping to conclusions about who the speaker was, whether he/she was right or wrong, or even what I thought about the subject about which he/she spoke. Wow! I mean who would’ve thought?!

As this concept was being spoken of, it intrigued me more and more.. then Kiran said, would anyone volunteer to do a role play – with one speaker and one listener. I jumped up to be the listener.. what better opportunity to really learn.. and I was paired with Mujeeb, who I didn’t know very well.  Mujeeb is a founder of a non-profit called Bhumi, about which I had vaguely heard – and he chose to talk about the kind of challenges he faces at Bhumi.. and I listened… or atleast tried to. At he end of 2-3 minutes.. there came a time to rate my listening. I rated myself at 5/10 and so did Mujeeb. I realised that my inner chatter and need to understand Mujeeb was so great that I hadn’t really understood where he was coming from or what intention he’d said what he said..  I really understood how much he needed to be heard.. and how much of a difference I could make in people’s lives when I really listened.

It is now 6 months since this happened.. Mujeeb is now a friend.. and I’m one of his many fans 🙂 I am seriously involved with Bhumi and their work and plan to always be 🙂

We rode in the car together when we were coming back from the Bhumi office, and something beautiful happened. Mujeeb began sharing from the heart.. about his journey to where he is today, his ups and downs, trials and tribulations. How he became a person who believes in inclusiveness, equality, non-violence and love. How, inspite of many challenges, he still continues to see the goodness in people and is filled with hope when he talks about concepts like nation-building and freedom. His dreams about building India and watching it become the nation that it deserves to be is as alive today as when he first started his work with Bhumi. This time I really listened… because when he spoke, my heart opened.. and I was all teary-eyed. As he took me with him on his journey I could feel what he felt and heard the emotions in his voice.. I heard his passion and his deep belief that we are capable as a nation to be what we have always dreamed of becoming.. what our leaders have always envisioned. I heard his love for all of humanity and his need to reach out to those who couldn’t see a brighter future for themselves. Most of all, I heard the ordinary person  in him who – through extraordinary acts is becoming an extraordinary leader.

His stories left me deeply touched and grateful. I walked back into my apartment feeling grateful that I get to interact with people of extraordinary integrity and authenticity everyday. I am grateful that I have the love and support of so many when I decide to do anything. I ate my dinner in silence, grateful for the food that was lovingly kept aside for me – every morsel nourishing me.

Thank you, Universe, you must really love me!

3 thoughts on “Listening – with my heart!

  1. …People like Mujeed amaze me when I read their story…and this pop up a curiosity in me to asking this…do situation, our contemporary setting, believes and people around us create us to be extraordinary or contributes to making us unique in our society…? Why I ask this, most people with absolute search for love, equality and vision had one time in their lives went through terrible incidences and experiences that changed them to become humanly sensitive and developed deep concepts that can improve a society…Have you ever thought of the reason why such journey in life change people…could it be while they were in that state their inner-anxiety got connected with their soul-being, which empowered them with a listening mind, to feel pain and cry of the people…? Please, expand what am thinking in your our understanding.

  2. Deepti..

    You continue to make me marvel at whats possible..
    whats available..
    whats here,
    now.

    Thanks so much for sharing.
    And the telepathy/ connectedness of the universe..
    … just this morning, I had a thought to ask you about writing about listening in the tao of facilitaion

    and as soon as I open my gmail- there is a mail..
    telling me you have done just that!

    Crazy is becoming normal or what?

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