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Father and Son Playing

Focused Compassionate Listening

"Great understanding goes with great compassion"

Thich Naht Hanh


As a counselor, I spend hours every week listening, trying to hear under the layers.  I am inspired by various spiritual and psychological teachings that guide me to developing a greater capacity for compassion, love, and healing.  I am persistently on a journey of - learning->applying->unlearning->redoing->relearning->etc.


Finding compassion with/for some people or situations can be as seamless as breathing -- to -- so triggering we just want to either say lots of angry words so the person can feel the pain they are causing us (fight), or cut that person out of your life completely (flight).  We all have differing fight/flight/freeze/play dead responses when anger or fear are triggered.   

I have found that along this evolving journey of becoming a Focused Compassionate Listener, it is critical to turn the lens inward for healing by: 

-Learning to slow down through meditation, breathing, grounding, and spiritual practices, in order to recenter before responding

-Learning to give yourself empathy by asking questions like: What am I needing?  What am I feeling?  Are there competing Parts within me that may want and feel opposing things; and if so, how can I hear all the parts and find a way for all these parts to work together?  

-Learning to use judgments of self or other as launching points for understanding these judgments (they tell you more about your needs and feelings then the person you are judging); empowering you to take action and responsibility to meet these needs instead of staying in a state of disconnection and othering

-Learning how to give deep empathy to others to the same degree you give it to yourself 

In this process of healing, the layers of your authentic and inauthentic self continue to sift out.  All this slowing down and learning to listen within has helps to allow your core authentic self to emerge, leaving behind more and more of the expectations that came from outside of you (from family, culture, peers, religion, etc).

Explore and Expand your Compassion & Authenticity in a Group Atmosphere

I am passionate to continue this process within myself, as well as gathering with others wanting to expand their abilities of listening and communicating compassionately to deepen our ability to show up as our Authentic Selves. 

If you are interested in joining me on this journey, we will meet monthly on Monday's at my office in Hyde Park.  I will utilize NonViolent Communication , meditation, Authentic Relating Games*, and Circling** practices.  I will help facilitate an environment where we can meet each other where we are at, as well as grow deep connections with ourselves and others. 


*Authentic Relating Games are designed so you can explore various ways you show up in connections with others.  These games are designed to help you experience deeper connection and expand empathy.  We come together To Know and Be Known.  Some games are short and fast paced, others are deep and introspective.  They are powerfully transformative and allow you to push your edges at whatever pace you desire. 


**Circling  is often described as a way to just really Love the Hell out of someone!  It is like a relational meditation practice to increase empathy and self-awareness within connection with others.  I find circling to provide significant benefit to both the person being circled and those circling.  To the person being circled, it is RARE that we spend this much time being curious alongside another, helping them to explore their inner world, and gaining insight and clarity that helps them make choices in life and/or increase self-acceptance and understanding.  To those circling, it is a great practice to stay present and curious for an extended period of time on one person's inner world.  There are a variety of circling types we will try out and explore.  

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