Listening Is The Key To Life

Bytes of Insight

"Doing Life Perfectly Imperfect"

"Our lives intermingle in the most unexpected and delightful ways. Feel the joy of synchronicity"

Dear Reader,

You never know when you're having an impact on someone.

I write about this a lot, and that's because I see it so often.

My friend and mentor Dr Jack Pransky is hosting a Listening retreat with a wonderful lady called Lori Carpenos (author of It's an Inside Out World) on the beautiful island of Hönö in Sweedon.

Jack is one of those people who impacted me in the early days and he may not even know it! In 2013, his book Somebody Should Have Told Us deeply affected me and my relationships.

For the first time, I realised that people weren't doing things to me; they were doing what made sense to them. A trivial example is that my partner wasn't leaving water in the washing-up bowl to annoy me; he left it there because it made sense to him (weirdly!).

The book taught me that we all live in our own separate realities, and until we see something differently, we continue to do what makes sense. When I listen beyond my thoughts of hurt or anger I get a glimpse of the other person.

This insight was a huge part of my transformation and informed the work I went on to do in prisons. Many of the guys told us that they'd never felt so listened to.

There were points along that journey that my path crossed with Jack's, including having him come to stay when he did a European Tour (a story for another time!).

I still barely knew him, and then this:

It was 2014, and I was invited to submit a business case to HMP Onley to deliver Innate Health programs to the residents. It was the first time this understanding was going into prisons in the UK. I Skyped with Jack to tell him I had exciting news.

"Jacqueline, do you want to put yourself on the map?" Jack said in his American droll. I stared at the little digital image of Jack on my computer screen. The September sun streamed into my attic office. Dust particles danced in the air. The traffic outside slowed as the lights changed to red. I realised I'd been holding my breath. My hands were sticky from the summer heat and an unknown future. "Yes, I think so," I said.

"Make it a research project," Jack said.

Now, those five words may not seem like much, but they changed the course of my future and many others.

There was very little academic research at the time into the efficacy of the Innate Health paradigm. Research is not easy, and research in prisons is even less so!

Those few words, and the work we did that followed, sparked many other research projects; an organisation created to concentrate on researching the impact of programs; and so much more.

(by the way our latest research has been published in the Criminal Justice and Behaviour journal if you'd like to read it)

Anyway, back to Jack and his impact on your ability to listen.

If you've read Wing of an Angel you'll know about Sally, a lady who recovered a lifetime of addictive behaviour and went on to speak at conferences and lead a wonderful life.

Well, during the time I worked with Sally, I took her along to a Listening Weekend where Jack was the teacher. I witnessed a profound change in Sally as she realised she'd never listened to anyone properly the whole of her life!

So why not try this out. I can assure you you won't regret it.

As ever, I'd love to hear from you, hit reply and let me know how you are doing.

Until then here's some stuff:

With love, JB (aka MamaJ)

Wild Inspired Life, Eastlands Court Business Centre St Peters Road , Rugby, CV21 3QP
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