Part 3: The Lessons I Learned In The Last 18 Months (My Last Lesson)
Part 3 of a three-part series by Sephra Khan (August 31st 2021)
In the last installment to my series of lessons learned in the last 18months, I delve into one of the 5 senses we sometimes take for granted…listening.
Lesson 3: Listening
I was so tempted to write compassion as my last lesson, but as I reflected, in order to get to a place of compassion, it always required one to listen. Listening is honing in to what is being said, reading between the lines, offering space for voices to be heard and respected, no matter how painful or upsetting the words may be. It provides space for respect, compassion, comfort leading to positive change.
Witnessing protests, seeing mental exhaustion and tension during the last 18 months, I found myself navigating and holding space for the emotions of others while trying to maintain the ground beneath me as I extended myself. I needed something that was simple, effective, and could be used fluidly. So I enrolled in a certification course called emotional CPR.
eCPR is a “public health education program, designed for people to assist others through an emotional crisis by three simple steps: C=Connecting, P=emPowering, and R= revitalizing”, (www.emotional-cpr.org). In the program, the one strategy that strings all of this together is … LISTENING. Listening NOT with the head, but with the heart.
I found that as I listened more to the world around me, I could really connect authentically to others and provide a calm space for both of us despite the chaos, fear, and uncertainty that was swirling around us. In listening, I realized that the speaker would settle into a place where they would discover their own solutions to their stresses. Listening also sharpened my intuition without being reactive and I found myself not feeling drained. I listened to my body and that of others (even online), I read texts and emails through mindful listening and found that I could easily sit with others who were very different from me during hard conversations. I would go for walks and let the trees whisper calm and bird songs elevate my mood. Listening drowned out the noise so that I could authentically live from a place of love and I could think patiently in a time of information overload and division. In fact, I would say, listening helped my previous two lessons integrate fully into me.
I know that these last 18 months have been an emotional roller coaster for many of us and the future seems very uncertain, but I do believe that as humans, we have the ability to uplift one another, create joy in darkness and be members of a global community, despite distance, access, technology, and status. I hope that we can all continue to lead through our positive actions, one step at a time, starting with 3 simple lessons that propel us forward with courage, bravery, and love. Choose your words wisely, listen with your heart and always give yourself a hug of appreciation and gratitude. Our future will be brighter with your light in it!
Sephra Khan is a lifelong educator who is open, curious and deliciously happy! Always seeking to cultivate more awareness, flow and creativity in people. Practices and educates on an integrated, balanced approach to life (one that is holistic, diverse and inclusive). She is currently a guest writer for LIVE YOUR POTENTIAL.