LEARNING TO LISTEN
By M. Tamar
Too often we walk around thinking we know less than we do. We believe that if we only had some answer, or even a clue to the answer, or on really hard days even a better understanding of the question, that we'd be richer, braver, happier, smarter, better looking, more successful, or any other attribute that seems in short supply and great demand.
We all strive to hear our inner voice. But sometimes there's a lot of static. The cues are confused, subliminal, even contradictory. We're unsure which to trust. How can we integrate and unify these messages? Consider the aspects of your self: emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical.
When you listen to your heart, what do you hear? If you're lucky you have experienced the deep longing and excitement that comes with love. Perhaps also the sharpness of desire that pushes you to the edge of temptation. The strength of unconditional love, be it with a partner, a friend, your family, or even your pet. Your heart speaks to you of intimacy, of connection, of caring.
Focus on your mind. How often have you felt doubts and confusion when you feel thwarted or pessimistic? Or the acute clarity that comes with true knowing, with understanding exactly the thread that will help you solve some thorny problem? Your mind speaks to you of insight, of imagination, of creativity.
Your spirit is the aspect of you that yearns to comprehend your purpose in the grand design, in the web of life. Whether you focus on an external deity or your own inner light, the question of spirit is always a deep visceral desire to understand why. Your spirit speaks to you of purpose, of goodness, of your essential nature.
And through all these intermingled pieces of motivation and desire, despite all the fretting and second-guessing, you live your life, with a partner, profession, family, chores, hobbies. You live in the material world of responsibilities and achievements, which you pursue with energy and attain with pride. You live wanting to grow, on all levels, from the emotional to the material.
We all a sense of hope about our future. We want our fears to be groundless and our visions to become manifest. We want to love and be loved. We want to believe in our own self-worth. We want to make something of our lives, and to share them with others.
So how can you be ready to take advantage of life's possibilities, to make progress not only in the outer world but on your inner journey?
The best answer is the simplest, though it requires that you give clear attention and that you be honest about your own core values. It means doing a regular check-in about what's happening in your life and how you feel about it.
You can do this in just a few moments, if you are willing to be quiet enough to hear your inner voice. Though the prism of your world is a shifting mirror, and the picture seems in constant flux, you are its focal point. Your evolving sense of connection to, and confidence in, self-knowledge is the key to success, both in the material world and in the evolution of your spirit.
You can learn everything you need to become your own best teacher, if you can:
Know your heart. Hear your mind, Trust your spirit.
Don't be afraid to amplify your inner voice. Strive to live with greater awareness and intention. Brighten your psychic mirror. Learn to dance with your own spirit.
E-mail M. Tamar
STONES & THE INNER BEING
by John Baumann
Azurite is a crystalline form of copper carbonate that occurs together with malachite in copper deposits. Named after its azure-blue color, it forms in spherical aggregate balls, dense aggregates, or small crystals. Azurite is also called chessylite, after the vicinity of Chessy in France, which served as a leading source of the mineral. It is also mined as spherical aggregates in Australia, Chile, Russia, and USA. Azurite was used by the ancient Romans and Egyptians, and it was crushed by medieval painters to make blue pigments.
Azurite acts on the Inner Being to strengthen the ability to COMMUNICATE. This is the ability to express yourself in a way that is really and truly understandable to the person you are communicating with. It includes getting your point across by being apparent, intelligible, and unambiguous. It also includes the ability to communicate who you are in terms of motivation, ideas and feelings. If you are good at communicating, it is easy for you to let people know what you want them to know because you have a good understanding of the impact your information will have, even before you give it.
Communication has both a doing side and a knowing side. The doing side is expressing yourself effectively. The knowing side is knowing what to say in order to get through to the other person and get your point across so he really understands what you are talking about. These two aspects of communication work together as one duality. This means that as you develop the ability to figure out what to say to someone to get your point across, you also increase the ability to communicate in general.
Part of communication is being a good listener. You must be able to listen to others so you can understand what they express to you. People often think of communication as just expressing yourself by putting out information. But the truth is that if you aren't empathetic and interested in understanding someone, you won't listen to what he has to say, and you can not possibly communicate with him. Sometimes the highest form of communication is listening.
If you have trouble communicating, you find it difficult to express yourself and let people know who you are, and you often feel misunderstood. People think you are hard to get to know, and they are hesitant to get close to you. You also tend to be a poor listener, and others sometimes get frustrated with you because you "tune them out" just when they are telling you something they consider important.
BECOMING A BETTER COMMUNICATOR: To improve your ability to communicate, think of communication as a two way street, and learn to give equal time to listening and expressing yourself in a conversation. For example, if you are communicating with one other person, practice talking no more than half the time, and make sure you listen for at least half the time. If there are more people taking part in the conversation, make sure you give equal time for each person to express himself.
Also, work at building your desire to communicate by becoming a more empathetic and understanding person. Practice this by putting yourself in the other person's shoes, and seeing things from his point of view. This will help you identify with his situation, feelings, and motives, and will make you more interested in understanding him. If you have an interest in understanding someone, you are willing to put energy into finding out what he is all about, and your ability to communicate automatically improves. On the other side of the same coin, work at becoming more interested in letting others know how you feel about them, for example, by often saying to your spouse "I love you".
To become a better communicator, learn to share information only when it is useful and worthwhile, and when it is really needed by someone. Become more pragmatic about giving out knowledge so that you don't waste your energy by communicating useless information or information the other person doesn't want to hear. Before giving out information to someone, make sure it is accurate, and that he is interested in having it. Also make sure he is capable of understanding it intellectually, and that you feel it will be acceptable to him. Give only as much information as someone can accept and deal with, and is willing to absorb. Responding to people by giving them information they really need, not only earns their appreciation, but it also makes you a better communicator.
In addition, work at developing a strong desire for knowledge and truth, a desire to understand what is real in life. Then develop a social connection with someone you can learn it from. This kind of connection is often dynamic and exciting because of the potential growth involved, and it helps develop your ability to communicate because of your desire to know what he knows.
Carrying a piece of azurite with you will not only help you learn to express yourself more effectively, but it will also help you become a better listener.
John Baumann has been exploring the properties of crystals and stones for over ten years. Questions about stones may be sent to P.O. Box 2834, Sedona, AZ 86339. See also home page
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