August 18, 2017
In producing the podcast, I have been able to better refine the skill of active listening by asking questions and holding space for my guests with presence. The opportunity to lean into my own quiet to provide room for another has taught me so much about the rhythm and dance of meaningful conversation. Simultaneously, being a present, interactive parent constantly offers extensive practice for this type of listening. This week, while balancing work, a family trip, the steady stream of intense news and the last days of summer break with my daughter, I have been observing and deeply reflecting on the power of the pause, of waiting for another to finish a thought and to offer response only when it is requested. I have paid close attention to when I desire to have my opinion heard at all costs and how it feels when someone does this to me (often it is nothing short of hurtful), noting the times that I interrupt or am interrupted. There is often a knee jerk response to fill space, to talk over, to insert our two cents and to defend. Silence and an engaged ear are powerful tools for creating connection and for enacting change, especially when our nerves are strained and/or we feel helpless. The act of consciously stopping ourselves from cutting off another before hearing them out and asking for the same respect in return goes a long way towards fostering dialogue, progress and peace within, at home and around us.