What do you wish others would take with them after meeting with you?
I think my greatest wish is that following time spent with me, people would leave feeling like I listened to what they had to say and share with me.
That they had 100% of me while they were with me and that I made them feel I was listening to what they said and also all the small things that they couldn’t quite get out and verbalise.
I find I do my best listening and understanding when there is no noise or distractions.
No clutter to shield what is really going on inside someone.
I want to observe and feel intuitively what is churning inside of them. I have always used my intuitive emotional tools far better than I ever did my basic senses.
I am not the friend you go to with your every day problems with your husband, as I will tell you up front that is not my area of expertise, and will likely just listen and let you go off to do whatever it is you have already decided to do anyway; long before you ever came to ask me for my opinion about it.
I have had some unbelievable experiences and have spent time with some eclectic characters during my life. To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, I have walked with Kings but never lost my common touch.
Frequently I go walking in a park nearby. There is a reservoir where folks take out their sailboats, a playground for the kids and a great walking trail. There are also times that I go just to sit and watch the water. Not once have I ever sat there by myself without someone joining me on the bench and engaging me in conversation of some sort.
I think I am just “that lady” to the world. Safe-looking, unassuming, usually in yoga pants and a baggy old sweatshirt or flannel shirt belonging to one of my sons or an ex, my hair up in a messy ponytail.
Strangers tell me the most personal stories you can imagine and so much so, that my family laughs about how I am always accosted in malls or discount stores, parking lots, line ups in the pharmacy and yes- just sitting in the park. My older son that looks so much like me has this same phenomenon, so we joke with each other that it must be something about our faces.
What is a bit jarring is that much of what they spontaneously share with me is something I have personally experienced. I am able to give them a name or a number or a referral to an agency that I know can help them.
Sometimes I just listen and watch what their eyes say or how their hands move or twist at each other in the telling.
I was brought up to look someone in the eyes when they are interacting with me and it is one of the rules that has stuck. I don’t sigh or move around impatiently and keep glancing over their shoulders or downward when someone is speaking to me. Anyone talking to me knows I am listening and there.
Humans need to be heard and listened to.
Not to be fixed.
Hearing is a physical ability, but listening is an emotional skill.
I hope that when people have spent time with me, they knew they had all of me.
100% of everything I had, for whatever moments in time we spent together.
That would be enough.