I am always interested in people who are doing innovative things. Cora Poage is a health and wellness coach. In a recent conversation, she shared with me that she has had a life-long dream and has just implemented it. She put up a sign in New York City that said “Free Listening.” She and her friend, Theresa Venezia, sit for 1 ½ hours and just listen to people. No strings, no gimmicks, no marketing ploy. They simply listen.
To Cora’s surprise, the first day, several men showed up to share. Once the men were clear that it was not a scam, they shared openly. One had lost a friend to cancer and a number of other friends had passed in the last few years. Another man in his 60’s just wanted to talk about the sanctity of life and living in the moment.
I was deeply touched by her sharing, and it triggered in me the remembrance that we all want to be heard. We often project that need onto others, but I believe that we simply want to be assured that we are seen, heard and supported by the vastness of the universe. Cora and her friend provided a space for people to get a tangible taste of that assurance. I feel confident that every word, thought and deed that we express is captured in the universal field of oneness.
The importance of being present
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all practiced “Free Listening”? What if we listened to our intuition and acted in accordance with our values and beliefs? What if we took time to be totally present with every person we interact with in life? What if we made it our intention to listen from and with the heart in each moment?
Many years ago, I had the honor of meeting Barbara Mandrell after she had been in a life-threatening accident. It was clear to me that something powerful had occurred for her. She was completely present with each person. She had direct eye contact and listened intently. When I was introduced to her, I felt that I was the only person in the room with her. It made me realize that I wanted to be that kind of person. I began to meditate and contemplate the reality of being a person who deeply listened. Today, being present with people is a constant practice for me.
I invite you to join me in this powerful practice. If Cora Poage can do this for complete strangers, I believe we can do this for the people in our lives. We all deserve to be seen and heard.
Please affirm with me: Today I commit to listening to myself and others with an open heart and an open mind.
Deepak Chopra on Listening and Stillness
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