Mindful Listening and Speaking

Brilliant Blue ClematisIn my work at the PACT: Helping Children with Special Needs program, I’ve been guiding twenty staff through a SHINE program, customized especially for them. Our goal is to integrate mindful awareness practices into the work of this group of diverse and dedicated clinicians – physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, social workers and service coordinators. These gifted staff work with families of young children with a wide range of disabilities, in both center-based and home-visiting programs.  Read More…

As part of this work, I have created Monthly Mindful Moment newsletters, which go out to all staff, not just those in the training program. Each month, they receive inspiration, practice suggestions and resources to help them learn more about the benefits and practice of mindfulness.

As a way of learning and practicing mindful listening and speaking, we share and use these Native American Council Guidelines in each of our SHINE sessions:

  1. Listen from the heart (good communication involves deep listening, first to ourselves, then to others).
  2. Speak from the heart (pause, slow down, breathe and tune in to yourself).
  3. Speak your truth (be spontaneous and authentic, don’t rehearse).
  4. Be lean on speech (say what needs to be said, no more).

 

How might these guidelines help YOU communicate with greater clarity?

As inspiration, here’s a wonderful poem that we shared in a recent edition:

Walk Slowly by Danna Faulds

It only takes a reminder to breathe, a moment to be still, and just like that, something in me settles, softens, makes space for imperfection.

The harsh voice of judgment drops to a whisper and I remember again that life isn’t a relay race; that we will all cross the finish line; that waking up to life is what we are born for.

As many times as I forget, catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I am going, that many times I can make the choice to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk slowly into the mystery.

Pausing for a moment to be still, what might open for you?

To what one breath can do,

Amy Bloom Connolly

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