Messages on Growth

Messages on Growth

Messages on Growth

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How to heal ourselves and the planet we live on

You Are Not Alone

ideas to ponder and practice

The Book of Listening:
Realize Your Are Not Alone
A Weekly Conversation with The Voice http://blog.17messages.comhttp://blog.17messages.comhttp://blog.17messages.comshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2

You Are Not Alone. Say it to yourself. You Are Not Alone. Roll it around in your mind. Ponder it – You Are Not Alone. Change the beginning word to “I” am not alone. “They” are not alone. “She” is not alone. “We” are not alone. “No one” is alone. No one is alone because everything is connected. Yes, everything is connected, nothing and no one is left out. Everything and everyone is included and connected. What a relief! It would be quite a mess if things were actually disconnected and that was their actual nature – disconnected and separate.

You Are Not Alone is a message of connection and possibility. Where are you on your journey of experiencing connection, experiencing connection that naturally exists? Disconnection is simply a state of not experiencing the connection that exists. You Are Not Alone is comforting for those that feel alone and separate.

You Are Not Alone is also message saying: “Please, look around you are not alone.” There are people on your planet in pain, in harm, in fear. Breathe, open your eyes, notice these people. This message is for everyone. I have a relationship with everyone on the planet. So do you. You have a relationship with everyone on your planet that is why I am reminding you that You Are Not Alone.

Ask yourself, “how I am doing with my connections, with my family, my friends, with those around me?” There is no limit to your experience of connection. This is a life-long journey. In relationships that are growing and healing, your experience of connection is always expanding.

The practices introduced in this chapter are 1) Listening, 2) Speak from the Heart, 3) Mastery of the Mind, 4) Inviting Stillness.

Everything and everyone is connected. Experiencing this connection is the foundation for exciting new possibilities. The more you are connected the more you grow and flourish as a person. Communities of people also flourish when they are connected to other communities. Each of us is on a journey to experience more connection.

Practices of You Are Not Alone

1. Practice your listening

The first practice of listening to others is to only do one thing at a time. When you are listening, do only that listen. Multi-tasking maybe productive for long parts of your day. It is not helpful if you want to listen.

Start with a relationship which is no longer vibrant or you could just pick a person you encounter each day. Focus on one conversation to listen beyond the words, to hear the feelings, the intentions and the energy of the other person. If you find yourself pretending to listen or your mind wandering take one deep breath. If you find yourself waiting for someone to finish so that you can tell them what to do, realize that this is not listening. Lay aside your advice and just listen.

2. Hold the Questions of Your Are Not Alone

Ponder the questions of your Are Not Alone. Hold them near dear.

  1. How are you connected?

  2. Where do these connections lead you?

Start first with your family and then expand outward.

3. Creating Meetings which Build Connections

Plan time in the beginning of you team or community meeting for people to make a connection with one another. Don’t skip or skimp on time for introductions if people do not know one another. Try the practice of check-in where every one takes a minute to share what is present for them at the start of the meeting. Only one person talks at a time and the others listen. A variation on this is to ask a focusing question – what are your hopes for this meeting or concerns? This simple practice allows everyone’s voice to be heard and set a tone for listening.

Deliberately plan as part of your meetings time for people to connect, see this as a goal equally important to accomplishing specific tasks. Plan time for socializing before or after a meeting. Use small groups for discussions on key topics and then bring the conversation to the entire group. If you wish to create even deeper connections

Make sure you have ground-rules which support connections in you meetings. For example:

  1. 1.We respect and encourage differences of opinion.

  2. 2.We allow people to finish before jumping in with new ideas.

  3. 3.We don’t move ahead on key decisions until everyone declares that they are “in”

  4. 4.We end our meetings with a “checkout” stating what we think worked well about the meeting and what could be improved.

  5. 5.We suspend judgment and jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.

  1. 4.Build Connections Across Communities

  2. Create learning opportunities for people from different communities to come together in a neutral space to learn meet one another and learn together.

  3. Create Common Interest Forums (CIF) to explore and create improvements in areas which effect or of concern to both communities.

5. Leadership

  1. Make sure part of your week is spent with customers or community members, directly with customers – learning and listening to them.

  2. Hold regular town meetings to listen to the community. Make sure town meetings are driven by the interests and needs of people in the community, not to give information.

  3. Survey larger communities about interests, concerns and to gather feedback. Hold focus groups afterwards to ask people to interpret the numbers and to give examples to illustrate the results. Surveys without dialogue are only counting. Counting is not listening. When listening takes place between a leader and a community it is an active process.

  4. President Obama spends time each day reading 10-12 letters from people around the United States which his staff has selected as representative, implement a similar practice in your town or community.

  5. Listen. Listen to people when you meet with them. Stay in the moment. Practice your breathing. Do not prepare for your next meeting, mentally when you are with other people.

  6. Invest in approaches which breakdown barriers betweens communities or organizations

6. Become a Global Citizen

  1. Increase your capacity for connection by becoming a global citizen. Start by listening to Witnesses. Seek out people who speak for children and women around the world, listen to them, allow yourself to influenced by their experiences.

  2. Watch specials on TV, create discussion in your home or attended live programs in your community who sponsor witnesses  who are prepared help you learn about and pay attention to: War and Armed conflicts, Slavery, Sexual Slavery of Women and Children, Global Health, and Sustainability of Planet.