“Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as the field of conscious Presence.” – Eckhart Tolle
We can all tell when we’re really being listened to, probably because it doesn’t actually happen all that often. I know that I interrupt – a LOT. I’m incredibly energized by stimulating conversation and get SO excited when the topic is something I relate to! I want to interject, ‘Oh! Yes! I read about/experienced/heard about/have thoughts about that too!’ Or I want to understand better so I’ll ask, ‘Okay, so wait, who/when/why/where was that…’ Regardless of my good intention or desire to understand better, interrupting or looking away or just not being fully present doesn’t make the speaker feel good. So, for me, it’s a work in progress.
To really turn off the mental chatter, look into another’s eyes, and hear what is being said – without any interjecting, mind wandering or phone checking – can be such a beautiful exchange of energy and, the wonderful thing is, words do not have to be spoken in order to convey that you understand. That you relate. That you care.
Whether we realize it or not, being the field of conscious presence Eckhart Tolle is talking about gives whomever is speaking permission to be honest. It is such a gift, this simple act of being present. Not only in our personal relationships, but at the store. At work. Every day.
“Far more important than what you are listening to is the act of listening itself, the space of conscious presence that arises as you listen. That space is a unifying field of awareness in which you meet the other person without the separative barriers created by conceptual thinking. And now the other person is no longer “other.” In that space, you are joined together as one awareness, one consciousness.” – Eckhart Tolle