(Excerpt from “Spirit-Centered Relationships” – By Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks)

“Spirit-centered listening” occurs when you listen to other people while being aware of your spiritual essence and theirs. Another way to say it is that you listen from your spiritual center rather than your ego center. When you practice this technique, you create a space that draws the other person closer to his or her own spiritual center. And when you can practice it with your lover, your communication will become a spiritual practice in itself, continually deepening your connection with yourselves and each other.

Spirit-centered listening varies quite a bit from ego-centered listening and produces very different results; however, it’s important to note that neither are right or wrong. It’s normal and natural for all of us to slip into ego-centered listening – the problem is when we get stuck in it and don’t know how to get out. One of our goals in our book “Spirit-Centered Relationships” is to show you a liberating alternative when you find yourself locking into ego-centered listening.

A great gift of deeper spiritual awareness in yourself is the ability to find your way back to that awareness when you’ve lost track of it. As you feel more centered in the sweet sensation of clear spirit inside you, you’ll naturally become more adept at finding your way back to that sensation when it gets overshadowed by the sock and awe of daily living.

The word spirit is derived from words that mean “breath” in ancient languages. Like your breathing, your spiritual essence is always there nurturing you, even when you’re sound asleep. Being in the grip of ego-centered listening, on the other hand, is a little bit like dozing off. When your ego is busily defending you, you’re out of touch with the feelings and spiritual essence of the other person...as well as your own. Like nighttime slumber, this “ego sleep” is natural and normal and probably here to stay. It’s best to make friends with it and forgive yourself in advance for drifting into it, since you’ll be more likely to forgive others who drift into it while they’re listening to you.

As you grow more secure in feeling your own spiritual essence, you’ll probably doze off less into the grip of ego-centered listening. Give yourself plenty of loving acceptance for it, though, because we can tell you from much experience that criticizing yourself for these catnaps is no help at all in making you doze less. In fact, beating yourself up for slipping into ego-centered listening has about the same positive effect as a dog chasing its own tail.

As your ability grows in spirit-centered listening, you’ll learn to love and accept yourself more and more. That’s because the spirit holds everything in its embrace, including feelings, needs, old patterns, slip-ups, and recoveries. As your awareness of your spiritual essence grows, you’ll be less tempted to grab onto an unpleasant emotion or an old pattern of defensiveness. It just won’t feel as good to do it anymore – it will feel much better to rest in the sweet sot of spirit, and from that place of spacious embrace to hold lightly all the comings and goings of your ego.

Ego Versus Spiritual

The word ego comes from Latin and simply means “I.” When you think of yourself as “I” or “me,” you’re setting yourself apart from other people and the world around you. It’s essential that you learn how to do this early on in life – if you can’t distinguish yourself from walls and trees and cars, for example, your journey on earth is likely to be harsh, calamitous, and brief. On the other hand, it’s also essential that you learn to soften and melt the boundaries of your separate “I” so that you can enjoy the miracle of merging with loved ones and the world around you. If your ego rules the roost, you won’t get free of it to enjoy the blessings of union; as a result, you’ll miss out on much of the richness of life and love.

When your ego and spirit are in harmony with each other, the deeper magic of human existence comes to life. To feel a sold sense of “I-ness” while enjoying a deep, connected “us-ness” with your beloved is the essence of a spirit-centered relationship. And spirit-centered listening is a key practice in making this kind of relationship possible.

(Excerpt from “Spirit-Centered Relationships” – By Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks)

Author's Bio: 

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