The Power of Deep Listening

A cartoon to start us off...

There's a couple sitting together watching TV, and she turns to him and says 'you know you only hear the things you want to hear'. He responds, 'a beer sounds lovely, thank you'.

The first of a two part series from Tara Brach.

What will help us humans evolve beyond our separate realities, that end up creating so much distrust, and fear and violence? What will bridge the divides?

Listening deeply is the gateway to realizing connection. It’s what allows us to move through life with a wise, loving and healing presence.

These two talks explore our blocks to true listening, and offer teachings and practices that can directly cultivate this invaluable capacity.

The Emotional Bank Account

All I seem to hear these days, is people talking about money, how prices have gone up, property values, and how difficult it is for young ones to start.

And that's all true, however, I rarely hear anyone talking about Relationships and how they are investing in them.

Have you ever thought about your relationship from an investment perspective?

If you're an accountant, or you have an investment mindset, you may have. The first time I heard about the concept it was when learning from The Gottman Institute.

From The Gottmans... "Did you know that the number one thing couples fight about is nothing?

After observing thousands of couples in our Love Lab for more than four decades, we discovered that most couples were not arguing about specific topics like finances, sex, parenting, or dealing with difficult in-laws.

Instead, they were fighting about a failure to emotionally connect, and likely didn’t even know it.

We realized how, instead of having productive conflict discussions about tangible issues, couples were really arguing about how one partner may not pay much attention to the other’s needs, or may not express much interest in things that their partner cares about.

While the science behind what drives couples to lose their emotional connection can be quite complex, we use a simple concept that can help couples reconnect: The Emotional Bank Account."

Who doesn't like a compliment?

When we read about how to improve our relationships, often our minds go to the partner we live with.

However, whether it is a partner, family member or friend many of the concepts are the same.

Let's look at compliments. Do you compliment more than you criticise? If so, your relationship could be heading towards trouble if it's not already.

So today, a take action challenge is to think about giving your partner or friend or family member a genuine compliment. Then take action.

Journal exercises: notice what happens when you compliment someone. Were they able to receive the compliment? Sometimes people laugh it off, or deflect, occasionally they say 'thank you'. Keep complimenting, small things make big differences in our relationsips.

Take note of when you are criticising, and when you are being criticised. Write about when it occured, the people involved, how did it feel? Do the same exercise for compliments.

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Embracing Ageing

I've put this image of the front yard of an old house we once rented in a sea side town in NSW, as I'm particularly fond of old beac...