Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hearing and Being Heard

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a student forum on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” at FIU. The exchanges were quite useful, but after listening for nearly an hour I became frustrated and spoke my piece with a bit more heat than I intended. Many agreed with what I said, but a few were turned off, probably not by what I said, but by the way I said it.

I was agitated for the rest of the day, but when I meditated before dinner, I was grateful for both the experience of speaking out and the agitation and this morning doing my tai-chi, I think I finally got the message the agitation was pushing me towards - the importance of compassionately acknowledging others’ POVs, before speaking my own, then inviting listeners to consider another way of thinking about things. Hopefully, I’ll do this from now on. If not, I’ll forgive myself and do better next time. At least I’m clear and have a way to practice combining head and heart, ego and spirit.

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