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Deepening Intimacy Through the Power of Authentic Listening

November 22, 2010

Authentic listening is a divine art. It is the art of listening with presence that goes beyond what our ears hear and what we say in response. It is listening with our hearts.

The professional literature on couples relationships points out at the lack of communication, specifically the lack of authentic listening as one of the major causes for breakdowns in relationships. Becoming an authentic listener requires self awareness and willingness to expand our comfort zone. It requires a day by day lifelong practice.

THE DEFINING TRAITS OF AUTHENTIC LISTENING

  1. Listening with compassion from the heart and talking from the heart.
  2. Listening without judgment.
  3. Remaining in the moment without trying to steer what we hear
  4. Listening spontaneously without mentally forming response
  5. Listening with honesty-if you are unable to fully listen because of  fatigue or not feeling well, let the expresser know gently.
  6. Listening to what is not being said, what is behind the words behind the story. It enables the heart connectedness that would ultimately lead to a divine closeness.

THE IMPORTANCE OF AUTHENTIC LISTENING IN RELATIONSHIPS

The art of authentic listening is vital to a fulfilling intimate relationship.

Being listened to, is the response from another person that we value and that makes our interaction with that person very special and meaningful.

When being listened to, we feel being recognized, validated and understood which results in a reassuring sense of being and an openness to intimate closeness.

While authentic listening reinforces our intimate connectedness with our mate, it also fortifies our sense of self by enabling us to listen to ourselves in the presence of our receptive listener. We than further clarify and better discover what we truly feel as individuals.

When we are not listened to authentically and what we express to our mate is brushed off and not taken seriously, we close up because it is a relationship we count the most for understanding…

To listen authentically is to genuinely open ourselves to pay attention fully to our partner, take an optimum interest in what he/she say and show caring even if we might disagree. In authentic listening we step out of ourselves to give ultimate space to the expresser. In those moments, we suspend our desire and set aside our needs. When the expressing partner is being fully listened to, the dynamic created opens up the doorway to increasing intimacy. As Dr Michel Nichols in his book; the Lost Art of Listening, puts it; “without being listened to, we are shut up in the solitude of our heart”.

LISTENING AUTHENTICALLY TO THE VOICE OF THE RELATIONSHIP

In every relationship there are individual voices of the partners and the voice of the relationship itself, which is an invisible entity that exists as a third presence. The voice of the relationship can be described as an elder who shades a soothing light from a place of a higher authority, bringing a more authentic and objective perspective to the union. Jack Zimmerman and Jaquelyn McCandless in their book “Flesh And Spirit, The Mystery of Intimate Relationship”, describe the voice as an entity in the relationship that exists as a third consciousness and presents the union beyond the limitations of the individual personalities and self indulgence. It serves as a neutral witness with a pure perspective that opens up spontaneous heartfelt communication between couples. The entity, helps heal and strengthen the relationship by giving voice to what the relationship needs beyond the ego needs. According to Zimmerman and McCandless the voice of the relationship has a life of its own, helping partners to become increasingly aware of their infinite capacity to love, beyond ordinary secular connectedness. By speaking authentically and listening intuitively to the voice of the relationship the relationship deepens and heals.

EGO TO HEART AND AUTHENTIC LISTENING

“Ego to heart” the couple’s workshop of which we conduct globally is literally a heartfelt communication practice introduced to couples during a weekend workshop. It centers on helping couples to transform their relationship through authentic listening as they make a shift from ego centered communication to a heartfelt way of listening and relating. Couples who practice authentic listening learn to step aside of themselves and become consciously present, able to increasingly connect to their higher potential and reach oneness.

The power of authentic listening thus is in the heart of the Ego to Heart practice, capable of turning a relationship that is combatable and stale into a passionate and an increasingly deeper union.

For more information on Dr. Moti and Ronit Peleg, Ego to Heart workshops, their Oprah Show appearance and their upcoming book, “Destined Encounter,” go to www.ego2heart.org.

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