In my opinion, there is no greater way to show love and devotion for our friends, family, loved ones, etc., than to truly listen to them. And by listening, I mean listening from the heart. I am sure none of you can relate to this, but I have actually had experiences of people texting DURING conversations with me! I wish I could say that I was fail proof in this arena, but I am not. However, I have made it a daily practice to be very present in conversation with others for several reasons. Besides having the opportunity to hear the rich perspective of someone's life and experience, listening reminds me to tune in deeply to my own inner wisdom and voice. "The listening heart", as this state is called, really leads deeper relationships and a greater sense of self. Now that I am in to.

There is a term I have coined since living in Los Angeles that I call "LA-itis". There is such a tendency here to be rushing constantly and be too busy to ever slow down and actually communicate with another person. Of course this is a gross generalization, but I can't help but notice this phenomenon. I find this experience interesting as it signals to me that people are a bit shut off to themselves and really quite removed from their own best interests and inner voices. And of course, not listening gives the impression of a self-important attitude and a lack of interest in what is going on around us....and inside of us for that matter.

I was so taken with Barak Obama's interview the other day on foreign issues of peace. President Obama was asked by a Dubai based TV station what his plan was regarding foreign peace deals. Obama's response was that the US was going to participate fully by first listening because there had been a tendency in the past for the US to dictate first. The new approach would involve respect over divisiveness, listening over dictating and engagement over militarism. What a profound lesson for our daily lives.

Let's all join in on the pathway to authentic listening to enrich not only the lives of others, but our own.

And remember the advice of Native American seers: Speak only half as much as you listen.

With love,


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