To listen is to Love.
In this month surrounding Valentine's Day, I am aware of the commercialization and consumption messages vs. the opportunity to give and receive love. So as not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" let's take any opportunity to remind ourselves of our capacity to give and receive love!
One of the most powerful ways to love is to listen. Very few of us take the opportunity to truly listen to another person. To have no agenda brings about an experience with a person that never could have been thought up or dreamed of. When we have no plan to "fix" that person's problems, they discover their own solutions. When not planning what we are going to say next, we are truly present to that person, and ourselves, in a way that is pure and divine. Perhaps you have experienced someone saying "Thank you so much for your help!" when you have not said a word, but listened.
To listen is to be present with another. To listen is to open ourselves to the unknown, to what we can learn, to what we can hear anew. To listen is to spread peace. To listen is to give, and to receive. To listen is to love.
In yoga, it all begins with our Self. We must first learn to listen to our Self. By "showing up for ourselves" in our yoga practice, in our meditation or prayer, in journaling and reflection, we gain practice in the process of listening. We also gain practice in being comfortable with the silence and the unknown. Through this, we prepare ourselves to be good listeners by becoming centered in our own being. If we are not centered, we are not good listeners. When we are not centered, our ego takes over and we develop an agenda.
Listen. It is a wonderful way to love.