All posts by Lisa Kohn

Stop talking so you (I) can listen

I think many, if not all, of us have a propensity to need to explain ourselves. I know I do.

I have a quest to be heard. To be understood. To be gotten. And this can cause me to talk and talk and talk. To make sure you grasp my situation and my feelings. That you see my point of view.

I’m learning to stop talking so much, so that I can listen. I want to listen to you, to hear your story, to know your truth. I want to listen to others, to be open to their paths and their knowledge.

I’m learning to sit and hear my surroundings. To witness the birdsongs and the breeze blowing. To pay attention. To be more aware.

I’m walking up the street in quiet and allowing myself to be part of my surroundings. I’m not on my phone. I don’t have ear buds in my ears. I hear my footsteps, the laughter of children in the preschool playground, neighbors saying “hello” as I pass by.

I’m quieting the ceaseless chatter in my mind. Well, I’m trying to quiet the ceaseless chatter in my mind. I’m sitting in quiet meditation more often, listening to the world around me and the world within me.

I want to recognize that your truth is at least as true as my truth, and at least as important for me to know. I want to hear your truth. I want to hear my truth of silence and peace. Of calm and overwhelming love.

I believe these truths are there for my hearing, if I will only stop and listen. I believe I have my answers, if I will only be quiet long enough to let myself hear them. I believe the wrongs of the world can be righted if we only stop and listen to each other.

I need to stop talking so that I can listen. I need to stop speaking so that I can hear. I need to stop trying to figure it all out so that I can just be. I need to stop fighting to stay safe so that I can realize I am safe.

The endless chatter in my mind – and in relationships – isn’t necessary, and it isn’t helping me anymore. I may have thought this unending blathering made everything make more sense, but I was wrong.

I’m stopping talking so that I can listen. At least I’m trying to.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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I am feeling vulnerable. That is okay.

I reread Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection. Once again, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

What jumped out at me this time? Brené offers this self-soothing for the times when we are afraid. “I am feeling vulnerable. That is okay. I am thankful for….”

I’ve been using that, over and over, in my times of fear. (Often irrational fear.) I know that I can be overcome with fear. I know that many of my fears are completely irrational. And I know that it makes complete sense that I have some – if not all – of my fears.

But I don’t have to live my life ruled – or restrained – by my fears. I told a client the other day that I’ve learned to admit to others, and to ask for help, when I’m overcome with irrational fears. When my kids are twenty minutes late, I know it’s irrational to be afraid that something awful has happened, and I know it’s where I’ll go left to my own devices. So I nearly always turn to my husband and say, “I’m afraid, and I know it’s irrational, but I’m afraid.” That always eases my fear.

As does Brené’s self-soothing. I place my hand on my heart and say (sometimes out loud), “I am afraid. I feel vulnerable. That’s okay. I’m thankful for…” and I’m overwhelmed with the number of people and things I have to be thankful for.

I think somewhere along the way we somehow learned that we’re never supposed to be afraid, while we also learned how many rational and irrational reasons there are to be afraid. When we can let our vulnerability and fear be okay, it lessens, and it lessens its ability to rule or ruin us. When I pause and breathe and self-soothe and bring to mind even one of the many blessings in my life, my fear decreases and sometimes subsides.

It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to not feel strong or equipped. We’re usually a lot less vulnerable than we feel or think we are, and a lot stronger than we feel or think we are. But it’s okay to have fears and challenges and difficult times. And it’s okay to not have your life be defined by them.

I feel a bit vulnerable for putting this out there. I feel a bit vulnerable when I open my heart and soul in this blog. I feel a bit vulnerable when I let people in and love people deeply. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay.

I am thankful for so much.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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I am ready to be ready

I (often) believe – or know – that everything is always working out for me. I (often) remember that, and remembering that always brings me ease.

I (often) believe – or know – that I don’t have to push hard to make everything happen. I don’t have to try harder, or more, or better. I (often) remember that, and remembering that always brings me release.

I (often) believe – or know – that my job right now is to do what’s right in front of me and to also enjoy what’s right in front of me. To breathe. To bask. To notice. To enjoy. I (often) remember that, and remembering that always brings me peace.

There are many things I want to have happen. I can’t force them. I don’t have to. I’ve learned that I’ve most likely done (and am doing) all I can and need to do, and now it’s just a matter of making myself ready for it to happen…by being – fully being, happily being – in my now.

I can listen to the kids playing in the neighbor’s pool. I can watch the flowers moving in the breeze. I can pay attention to the sunshine on the trees and the birds singing in the distance.

I can make myself ready to be ready – when I’m too caught up in fear or concern. I can breathe, slow down, observe what’s around me, and find a reason to smile. I can place a hand on my heart, to soothe myself, and remind myself that all is well.

I can let go. Give in. Release and relinquish. And each time I do life is grander and sweeter. I can love those I love with all my heart, and I can allow myself to feel loved in return.

I am ready to be ready for all that is to come. And I am loving this moment with all I have.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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