This morning I was in a deep dilemma over two things that were derailing me. There are those dilemmas you can sit through, and wait it out, and see what the universe reveals. And then there are those that get under your skin, aka “splinter” that every time you roll over that part of your (emotional or otherwise) “skin” you feel it. I call those a “splinter” dilemma.
One was a potential professional opportunity, and the other was a moral-ethical dilemma as to whether to “out” a very well-established luminary in their field of new thought and medicine that was basically spreading propaganda and damaging people with misinformation. Did I want to go down that rabbit hole on yet again another grey rainy day?
I asked my sweetie, Marty for support. He just sat, was present and simply listened. He didn’t offer feedback, advice, suggestions, or even ask for clarification. Within minutes of sharing, I heard myself think out loud and honor what I knew was right for me. One could say I merely honored what I knew to be true but I needed to say out loud to another trusted soul to confirm. That’s often the way it goes. We know. We don’t always trust what we know, but we know.
What fascinated me the most was the power of listening and offering the gift of rapt attention.
I immediately knew the right course of action, and even though at the end of listening I did ask and he did offer his very sound and smart advice and feedback; hands down the most valuable part of our exchange are just being listened to, and being given the gift of rapt attention. How valuable and precious it is! And unfortunately so rare! I came away not only grateful but being reminded how quickly we mistakenly undervalue the power of someone listening to us, and for us to just listen.
So much of coaching is really deep listening and asking questions for people to answer for themselves. Yes, the advice, feedback, and expertise all come in very handy, but I truly believe it’s the act of deep listening that ultimately brings the greatest gifts to all.
So as Frazier Krane on the inimitable Frazier sitcom says: “I’m listening.”
What is one way today you can offer someone else the gift of Rapt Attention, as well as receiving that gift yourself from someone else?
I’d love to hear!
Thanks for tuning in…and not tuning out.