I was thinking about one of my favorite feminist academics and writers, bell hooks, over the weekend and pulled All About Love: New Visions (highly recommend if you haven’t ready it) off my shelf earlier today. I have read this book many times over the last decade, it’s all marked up and has lots of flags in it. I read some of the sections that I flagged today and came across this incredible quote:
Listening does not simply mean we hear other voices when they speak, but that we also learn to listen to the voice of our own hearts as well as inner voices.
One of the ways I work with my clients is by sharing practices that enable us to listen to ourselves. The two main ways I do this is through meditation and yoga. These practices have helped me become still enough to listen and listen enough to learn about myself. These practices have a direct effect on our health. In order to achieve the optimal health so many of us desire we must begin the practice of listening.
The more I show up and practice meditation and yoga the better listener I become. I have learned how to listen. It has taken time and to be honest in the beginning I did not enjoy it because guess what, it wasn’t all about me. Funny thing now is that the more I listen, the more I hear myself in everyone. The difference is I am not coming from an ego-centered place I am coming from a place that genuinely wants to be of service. By learning how to listen to others I have, in turn, learned how to listen to myself.
Walking along side others as they begin their inner journey or recommit to themselves is such an honor. There is not a day that goes by that I am not in awe and in love with the work I get to do and the incredible people I get to encourage and support. I know for a fact it would not be possible for me to be in the place I am today had I not done the hard work of learning how to get still and listen.
Photo: Marielle Chua