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Monday, April 22, 2013

mindful monday

image courtesy of utmb

happiest of mondays to you. 

with a weekend full of hosting, i find myself moving a bit slowly today. as an introvert, it's always interesting to observe my recovery time. definitely more needed than seems reasonable. i slept many, many hours and am gearing up for a big week at internship and school. it's my final week of internship which means saying goodbye to many beloved clients and colleagues {sigh} and tying a bow around oodles of projects. it's my second to last week of graduate school which means penning a scholarly paper and gearing up for the end of my master's in social work studies. {squeal of glee}

as one door closes, another opens. a month from today i'll be welcoming retreaters for a dreamy five days of yoga, art, and vintage shopping in the city of light. there i'll stay to prepare for my second group in june, write for weeks on end {fun project brewing}, and turn forty before heading back to dc, then portland, then nyc, then costa rica, then tour. i'm ready for the adventures that lie ahead.

this week's mindful monday post is on mindful communication. after penning responses to journal prompts this weekend, participants broke into pairs to practice mindful listening and mindful speaking. the task had simple instructions coupled with a challenge: listen to your fellow participant for five whole minutes without thinking of what you're going to say, interrupting, or adding to her sharing. in addition, the speaker shared for five minutes about what came up for her during the journal writing process--noting themes, observances, and feelings. again, not easy. 

i learned this technique in my 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction training and found it to be profound. since then i've tried--emphasis on tried-- to avoid interrupting speakers or creating my responses while they are still talking. instead, i've worked to listen to their full statement, waiting for the pause, and then shared. a work in progress.

with so many means of communication these days, it can be hard to give anything our full attention--phones ring, IM pops up, text messages come through. oh, and people verbally ask questions. like in the flesh. yet, it is more important than ever to be present. 
as maya angelou states, "i've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” with our many modes of communication, why not make them more mindful? 
watch for a mindful communication mini e-course filled with basic tools forthcoming. let's make people feel special. because they are. and you are. bisous. x

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