“Is it true; is it kind, or is it necessary?” ~Socrates
It has been more than a year since I attended a silent retreat. I loved the week in silence and I realized how much talk is unnecessary. But, when I returned to the real world that talks incessantly, I fell victim to jumping in to conversations and adding things. I have noticed that when I am aware and focusing on being a good listener, that I say a lot less.
I am fortunate to have an amazing group of seven women friends from elementary school and high school. We all now live in different cities and states, but for the last 16 years we have been getting together once a year in different places. Each year we are so excited to see each other and hear about everything that everyone is doing that conversations become fast and furious. Last weekend when were together, we were having a lively conversation and one friend pointed out that she was unable to finish a story because we kept interrupting her with questions and comments. And she was right. We weren’t being good listeners, we kept taking the conversations off on different tangents and the person talking was not able to share the complete story.
At that point, I remembered the lesson that I learned from the silent retreat about being mindful in conversations. Before I speak, I will remember to ask myself these questions:
In most cases, what I am going to say is true and kind, but is not necessary. I realized that I need to be more present in conversations and truly listen to what the other person is saying and not let my mind wander to what I want to say or jump in with questions. This was another reminder that silence is golden and I need to be present in conversations and listen more than I speak.
Are you conscious during conversations or is your mind wandering to what you want to say or ask?
Try implementing asking your self “Is it true; is it kind, or is it necessary?” when you are involved in conversations. What happens?
Peggy Steffens is an artist and Chopra Certified Meditation Instructor
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