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Showing posts from November 27, 2013

pay attention

What does it mean to really pay attention to another, as opposed to simply being in the same space at the same time? Does it merely involve waiting patiently for our turn to talk, ruminating over what to say, while another speaks? Does giving attention to another mean hearing just enough of their words that we understand the content?

There is a quality of loving presence that is far greater than the ability to simply repeat back what has been said to us. It's a form of being truly available to another. Senses are awake, the chattering mind quiets, and we hear far more than words and observe more than the obvious, easy to narrate events. Attending to another means being fully receptive, wherein the subtleties of another's emotional state are read: we are hearing their tone of voice, observing their facial expressions and body language, feeling empathetically—via the miracle of our mirror neurons—their inner experience and perhaps even reflecting it back through our own looks of…