Listening Deeply

There is a quote somewhere about showing love by listening. I can’t remember who said it or what it was exactly, but basically, it is the idea that you can show a person you love them by listening to them. People also feel loved when listened to. They used to say that every child needs at least one adult to listen to them, and I would add, deeply. To actually listen to them. To their concerns, to their excitement, to their problems, to their wonderings, to their dreams. But not only children need that- we all do.

Feeling loved is important for our wellbeing. Feeling listened to, in part, gives us a sense of self-worth, of feeling like we are important enough to be heard. Listening deeply to another person, validates them, encourages them, soothes them.

So how do we get that when we are alone? How do we find someone to deeply listen to us and how do we deeply listen? Right now, it is such an important time to listen, to focus in and really deeply listen. Today, I invite you to listen deeply to your friends, to your loved ones, to your plants, to the wind, to the air.

Take time today to listen deeply to all you can imagine listening to, your voice, your body, your partner, your friend, your pet, the traffic, the breeze, anything you hear. What does it say? What does it tell you?

Write these things. Write what you listen deeply to. Write what you hear. Write what these things and people and beings say.

Next. After you have written them all down, I invite you to take one more step. It might seem strange, so go with me on this one: Read what you wrote aloud and if you can, record it, either on a video or audio-recorder on the phone.

Then listen to it. Deeply listen to what you wrote, to your voice, to the space between the sound. Deeply listen to yourself. Then write one (or more) positive thing about what you heard. How was it to deeply listen to yourself? How was it to deeply listen to the world around you? To those in your world?

Practice listening this week and looking for ways to also be listened to. This is a nourishing of self and others. Listen.

Thank you for writing with us, for being present, for listening.

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Thank you!

Be well.

-Liza Wolff-Francis

Published by lizawolfffrancis

Liza Wolff-Francis is a poet and writer with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College who is proud to have served two terms as a member of the Albuquerque Poet Laureate Program’s Selection Committee. She was co-director for the 2014 Austin International Poetry Festival and a member of the 2008 Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team. She has an ekphrastic poem posted in Austin’s Blanton Art Museum by El Anatsui’s sculpture “Seepage” and her work has most recently appeared in Steam Ticket, eMerge, Minute Magazine, Weaving the Terrain: 100 Word Southwestern Poems, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems, Poetic Routes, Poetry Pacific, Edge, and on various blogs. She has a chapbook out called Language of Crossing (2015, Swimming with Elephant Publications), which is a collection of poems about the Mexico- U.S. border. She loves breakfast food, popcorn and dark chocolate.

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