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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

Listening with our hearts

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

When I was in 6th grade, I received detention and was told to sit in the classroom and write: "I will not speak without raising my hand first." 100 times. I've always talked a lot. And quite fast. My Dad has too, who often interrupted me with negative threats and critique. If I came home with a price for becoming 2nd place in a horse competition, he would say that anyone can learn how to ride. And the list goes on. Sometimes, as a young adult, I've felt that sharing a lot, also can become like a barrier of energy for my protection, or simply because I've felt overwhelmed by my life's turbulence. Thus, my ambition in my 30's became, to become a better listener. I've always listened with full intent, and never liked assuming any roles (unless as the leader), so there has also been times and people, I've been very quiet with. Perhaps the imminent death of my mother, also played a part. I needed to withdraw to grieve.

As a professionell life-coach, I became trained to develop my skills as an interviewer more; to probe more into the types of questions we can pose, and how this can become a foundation for personal growth for the person we are talking to. I've felt my capacity to listen for the unspoken cues increase. Ever since I was a little girl, I've been able to sense the atmosphere in a room very clearly, like noticing who is in conflict, where there has been a quarrel or when two people are attracted to each other. I thank my drama and dance classes for my spatial intelligence and awareness, as well as my interest in interior design and somewhat photographic memory. I remember things in pictures.

I believe that the emotions we feel when we talk, is the actual communication. It's how we can sense when someone isn't truthful, neither towards us, nor towards themselves. And it's how we can understand the other more fully, in any language. It's also what we should respond to more, for a more healthy and healing society, I think. I call it listening with our hearts. To allow ourselves to be moved, whether by a beautiful voice singing, or hearing devastating news. Behind each, is a person, a human, trying to connect with others. And connection is formed through our hearts, developing compassion through empathy.

Which feelings are the other person showing you, or that you can sense by his/her tone of voice, tempo, vocabulary and body language? How does this affect your understanding?

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