These past few weeks, I have been aware of the practice of deep listening. When does it happen spontaneously or as an outcome of simply being present?
At Trader Joe’s, the clerk was packing my groceries and asked “Did you find everything you need, grocery wise.” I said “I noticed you asked ‘grocery wise.’”
He looked up at me and smiled. “You never know what people might say.” “I guess that’s true, I say.”
He stated to talk but unfortunately got a catch in his throat and started coughing. “Do you need some water,” I asked. “No, no, I’m fine” and I could sense how excited he was to tell me something.
He continues with this story. “The second day I was working here, I was putting groceries away in the customer’s bag and said “Did you find everything you need?” I wasn’t really looking at the person and I hear “I don’t think that is a question you should ask me.”
“So I look up – and it’s my ex-wife.”
We talked some more and there was this wonderful little moment of how crazy, silly, strange, and unexpected life can be.
To see my updated distillation of the six stances that support conditions for creating collective wisdom, see Five Essential Practices.