For the last 5 weeks I’ve been teaching a class I call MIndfulness Matters through our adult learning center here in town. I’ve been teaching these class series for the last 4 years or so. I focus on a different element of mindfulness each week and this week’s topic is mindful speech and deep listening. In order to help prepare I thought I would write out some of my thoughts and subject matter here.
The greatest gift we can offer someone is our true and full presence and two of the most important tools that we can cultivate in order to do this are mindful speech and deep listening. Mindful speech is the use of words that help inspire self-confidence, joy, inclusiveness, and connection. Deep listening is the ability to listen in such a way where we are free of judgement and a need to react.
If we don’t know how to practice mindful speech and deep listening towards ourselves we will only be so effective when we direct these skill sets towards others. Many of us have a very negative internal dialogue that is directed at ourselves. This internal voice is often operating on an unconscious level and can be very active throughout the day. A few common examples of negative self-talk include statements like, “I can’t believe I just did that, I’m so stupid!” or “I look awful today, I’m so fat.” or “Gosh, what is wrong with me today, I can’t do anything right.”