Listen and Love 


If you do nothing else in this world but Listen and Love, you will do plenty. Seems simple perhaps and yet these two capacities are required by everything we encounter in life as humans. Listening and loving may be the two most challenging activities developed during all stages of life.

Listening and loving are whole body activities and they are not separate. But, let's explore both separately, then weave them together as a powerful practice.

Listening through the soma

Listening from the whole body means tapping in to the soma, the totality of body presence. As we know from our journey in Somatic FinanceTM, soma is distinctly experienced in the head, heart and belly. Cognitive faculties enable the hearing of spoken words and the seeing of body language, movement, stillness and space. Information enters the senses and neurons fire, activating not only the brain but also the belly-core and heart center.

Somatically aware, we feel the body listening. When the ears engage perhaps the belly tightens, wobbles, burps, shivers, and/or opens. Simultaneously, similar (or different) sensations may be perceptible in the heart. The sensations are energy movements, part of communication, heard by the soma. I want to clarify here that through these sense portals you are accessing the unspeakable essence of the soma - beyond thoughts, feelings and sensations. This is the non-linear part of the brain accessing that which is beyond cognitive processing. In the work of David Rome it is called felt sense. In the work of Otto Scharmer and Theory U it is the "bottom of the U". In the work of Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks it is the space in the body after "looping in".

Increasing with the ability to hear the body is authentic, barrier-free listening. The capacity to Love expands. Responses arise from the whole wisdom of the Soma, not only from left brain knowledge. Stunning!

Loving as a response of the whole body

"Loving" covers a lot of territory. Here I refer to Agape, unconditional love, generously appearing regardless of the situation. For unconditional love to emerge, we must be completely open, and to continue to open.

(If you wonder why unconditional love is important, consider a time when you have been in pain and struggling. How did you want to be heard, received, and considered? If you are in pain right now, how do you want others to be with you? This question may seem obvious, but considering how we treat one another on a daily basis, it is totally relevant.)

When a sensation arises in the open space of the body, it is felt as a movement, as an energetic pulse waving through. The body is a container for listening, and movement happens. From this container space, love is natural, easy, and authentic; generous. Our minds receive openly. Our bellies ground in integrity and stability. Our hearts sense deeply.

"Loving," in this way, means the response of the whole body. By the head only, we fix, judge, interpret, conclude. A whole body response surprises, and creates space.

The practice of Listening and Loving is a movement loop of receiving and offering between two or more people. Because the movement is very very subtle, with proficiency, the activities arise simultaneously.

Now to money

Listening and Loving is the superior practice, period, and with money, it is an essential practice to master. Quite frankly, conversations about money are rarely skillful. To include the body supports authentic resonance, not to mention it is revolutionary. Money is one of the most powerful forces for contraction, causing filtered listening and conditional loving.

The first obstacle is that our own money stuff gets triggered when we try to listen. Because of this, the second issue arises. The body shuts off from relating. The left brain takes over, commonly in a fear response, and there is no space to receive. Words and ideas are deflected, pigeon-holed, judged. When these responses are activated, the last blockade manifests: speaking from conditioned habits and old stories ... riddled with fear.

Bring to mind any situation or conversation that included the topic of money. Can you visualize the scene? Pause for a moment in your reading to do this activity.

Shut your eyes and reactivate a money situation.
Intensify your visualization.
Allow it to saturate your awareness.

Returning, stay connected to the totality of your body. What do you notice in your thoughts, feelings and sensations? Give yourself unwavering Listening and Loving. If distasteful remnants from the experience remain, replay the scene with the kind of attention you desire. Notice and receive your body wisdom.

Conversations about money activate a fear response - it is survival, it is unconscious and it is built into our DNA from generations.

Listening about money: a conversation

Recently I conversed with a client who presented an experience that is familiar in my work. She was filled with shame and fear about her debt and a pattern of seeking payoff from outside sources. I practiced Listening and Loving. Information came into my senses. My belly grounded in integrity. My heart opened to receive. The client relaxed. She shared her stories. One story described me as a kept woman who did not need to work to enjoy life.

This story and others moved through the space like a breeze. Our co-created space allowed what was hidden underneath: the patterns, beliefs, and habits - to arise. The opening provided easy access to insight and wisdom. Possibilities emerged for new practices, geared uniquely for this person to build new "money muscles." What is happening in each moment of this conversation? How is it possible to relate in this way?

As I listen, my attention is tuned in to my soma, my direct environment, the body and being of the other, the space between us, and the energetic ripples through our senses. What I write about is very difficult to put into words, which is why this practice with direct experience is the only way to be understood and to be of true benefit. Hearing about being a kept woman, I felt energy in the form of warmth, pulsations, humor, clarity; there was no grab to the story. Listening with the body allows for expansion, so that any pain that arises can be held.

The opposite of Listening and Loving

Other times in my life when the topic of money came up, I reacted from fear. Fear arose in my body in three distinct places. My body "lit up" jaw tightened, my upper back became a twisted knot, and my belly felt queasy. Each of these contracted areas spoke from habits, shoulds, stories and beliefs. One particular situation can illuminate the experience. With a friend in New York City in the mid-1980's (recall big hair and shoulder pads), I was in my mid-twenties. While enjoying the current night-life and somewhere in the scene - she lost my money - over $100 in cash (a lot of money to me at the time). In the distress of the moment, I blamed and judged her. I felt anger in my jaw and back. I felt fear in my belly and shame which melted into tears. In this condition the only focus in the moment was how do I feel better? How do I survive? How do I prove that I am right, OK, worthy? In essence, how do I solidify that which has made me feel safe?

If I knew then what I know now, the response would not have been reactive but rather Listening and Loving. The beauty of this timeless way, is that now I can go back in retrospect and retell the story from a wider perspective that includes listening and loving right now. Any trace left in my body - any "un-felts" that remain - are released in the open space of today.

Somatic FinanceTM is the territory of a new way of being with money. This offering to the world is a journey to liberation - abundance for a different approach to being human. Please join me on the journey!

Listening and loving,
Be Moved...