KINDNESS CHALLENGE WEEK 4

kindness

                       THANK YOU NIKI AT The Richness of a Simple Life FOR HOSTING THIS CHALLENGE.

There were various prompts this week to help the participants exercise their kindness muscles.  The prompt I chose was to listen closely to other people.

I wrote last week that truly listening to another person was a bit of a problem for me.  I found myself doing all the things that make you a less than compassionate listener:

  • I wanted to solve the problem.
  • I was mentally preparing my response.
  • I just plain zoned out on what the person was telling me.

Then to my horror, I caught myself looking over the shoulder of the person who was speaking to me in order to check out who else was in the room.  YIKES!

Well, the Challenge has helped me identify a problem and I practiced listening this week with as much attention as my poor distracted mind would allow.

I can’t say that I didn’t fall into old behavior but I count this week as a win.  I listened with more care and at least was aware when I started to drift off.  I also found that this listening was not just a blessing and kindness to the speaker but also became a blessing for me.  I found that I retained  more of what was said and in certain circumstances made less mistakes due to memory loss.

Happy listening everyone,

bernadette

Kindness Challenge Week 4

kindness

This is the end of Week 4 of Niki’s Kindness Challenge.  Niki’s challenge and other lovely, well written posts can be found at The Richness of a Simple Life.  

Although Niki listed many suggestions for challenging yourself in Week Four, I decided that I would concentrate on the kindness of completely listening.  I thought that this would help me to continue to be aware of when I was making unkind, snap judgements which I discussed in Week 3.

In today’s world filled with so many distractions I think it is not easy to be a good listener.  And then when you add in the extra responsibility of listening with kindness it does indeed become a CHALLENGE.

listening

So how did I define listening with kindness?  “To listen to something demands that your mind be quiet—not mystical quietness, but just quietness. It is only when you listen without ideas and without thoughts, that you are directly in contact, and in being in contact you will understand whether what the other person is saying is true or false.” — Krisnamurti

Why is it so hard to truly listen? Since it’s so difficult for all of us to keep our minds focused and present, it’s no wonder that I found it hard to pay sustained attention to what another person is saying—to be attentive not only to the words but also to the affect and meaning behind those words.

I found that it was difficult not to want to jump in and fix things.   I noticed that I fell into habitual patterns, such interrupting, trying to fix, giving advice, and rehearsing in my mind what I wanted to say.

This has been another very good week of self revelation.  I went into this challenge with one set of expectations and I think that I am going to end this challenge with a completely different set of realizations.

Wishing you a week filled with kindness,

bernadette