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Mindful : October 2016
AD Although people won’t know, they will feel the impact. Time after time students return to our classes sharing how they were present for what felt like the first time with a family mem- ber and how the family member remarked on it. As you practice, the g uidelines may feel ini- tially clunky, but over time, as you make them your own, they will come to feel entirely normal; they will start to be second nature and you will have embodied them. It takes a little time getting through the experimenting phase, then practicing regularly, but over time speaking and listening that way will be just “who you are.” I am well aware that the most important thing in my relationship with my daughter is how I am, not what I say or do—although obviously these things are important. If I can stay present, open, and connected, even in the midst of playing Ramona, I can probably do it anywhere. ● Find a willing partner. One person will speak first and the other will listen—start by deciding who. In this exercise, the first speaker will speak for 90 seconds on the topic below. The listener can nod and smile and show that he/ she is interested, but not interrupt. After 90 seconds, ring a bell and take a silent pause to feel the impact of listening or speaking in that way. Then reverse roles and let the other person speak for 90 seconds. Ring a bell, take a pause, and then reconnect for a few minutes (with no rules!) to share what it was like doing the exercise and to follow up on anything you want to ask or say based on what your par tner shared. LISTENER • Give your full attention to the other person. • Become aware of your body (breath, feet, hands, etc.) from time to time to help stay present. • When your attention wan- ders, bring it back to being present with the person. SPEAKER • Speak authentically about what is true for you. • Become aware of your body (breath, feet, hands, etc.) from time to time to help stay present. • Occasionally verbalize what you are aware of as you are talking. Connect in Conversation Use the following topic: “ What brings me joy?” (or come up with your own!) PRACTICE 80 mindful October 2016 insight