I enrolled in Life Coach training to develop my listening skills. At the time, I was going through a divorce, I was worried about my kids and I needed to stay out of my head and out of the drama. My intention was never to do it professionally but instead, to become the mother I wanted to be. A mother that my children could come to without judgement, to be a soft place to fall and a safe place to share. I knew that to do that, I needed to slow down the thoughts that were continually swirling around my head.
I had a regular practice of meditation, where I was able to calm my thoughts and find peace while meditating, but inevitably, when my children came to me upset or my ex-husband called, I'd be right back in my head, engaging in my incessant streams of thoughts.
I recognized that when I was in my head, I was not really listening. I was not being present.
Learning to listen
There is this place that life coaching taught me to go. It's a state of deep listening. It's a place where I can be present with the person I'm with, where I can hear what they are saying, notice inflections in their voice, sense the emotional charges in their words and connect deeply with their truth. I may not always be present with those I cross paths with, but because I know what it is like to deeply listen, when I am not doing it, I am consciously aware of the difference. I notice the disconnect, I notice my thinking, my judgements, and distractions. I notice how I'm thinking of a way to contribute. I notice the difference in how my body feels and I notice my level of intimacy too.
By consciously being aware of the subtle differences, I now am open to choice, and can choose to respond differently in the moment. I can choose to move into a state of deep listening and truly connect.
Stopped looking for the problem
Coaching taught me to stop looking for a problem and to stop trying to fix things. Focussing on a problem, is the mind's way of limiting perception. It attempts to find a solution by regurgitating one from the past and limits you from seeing the infinite possibilities or solutions that always exist with an open mind. I learned to see others as whole and complete just as they are, capable of finding their own perfect solutions, and that I can support them, by deeply exploring their goal, listening, and being present. I learned to trust that they will move forward with their best, next step forward and my job is to help them reveal that.
Being clear about intention
Life Coaching taught me that my intention sets the stage for connection, and listening. If I set my intention to deeply listen, I am intending to deeply connect. If I set my intention to deeply connect, I set my intention to deeply listen. This goes for myself as well. If I intend to connect with my true self, I need to deeply listen to me, my body, and my inner wisdom. I need to listen to what I am feeling, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually in order to connect with who I really am.
I am grateful for the training and experiences I have had with Life Coaching and am passionate about sharing those tools with others who also seek to develop their skills of listening, connection and embracing an open mind.
Lori Brant is an Author, Teacher, ACC Life Coach, and Life Coach Trainer for ICF Life Coach Training approved programs. Learn more by going to www.LoriBrant.com