When it comes to connecting with ourself or others, whether for work or play, as a celebrant, family member or in the wider community there are five qualities that can help us to listen empathically and with kindness.
1. Curiosity. Fostering a childlike sense of ‘being in the moment with what is – in all its shapes and flavours’.
2. Mindful presence – awareness of the present moment, as it is, without judgement.
3. Intention to connect – putting aside all ideas of right and wrong and rather, opening to connect, to really hear ourselves and/or the other person
4. Understanding and connecting with universal needs – however we express ourselves it reveals our needs (sometimes joyfully so, others time in a more tragic way)
5. Confirmation – being able to reflect what has been seen or heard is alive for yourself or the other person speaking/acting.
Catherine Cadden and Jesse Chu Wiens, authors of Ongo, Everyday Nonviolence