Listen: The BIG, spiritual challenge is to allow the outside in

Well-intentioned people often ask “What can I do?" about...

that voice in my head that says I'm not able to do it on my own?
my relationship with my sibling or coworker?
the gross boundary-crossing?
getting my message out?

We're culturally conditioned to act; to think needs are met by running to save the day.

Here is how I KNOW I can do better: When I don't agree, or want to run, listen anyway. 

Listening means: Longer pauses, for sure. Receiving more, full stop. Letting additional perspectives in far enough to where they can resonate. Staying curious about the crowded interior of our minds, and the resistance to other views.

"What is the work I'm here to do?", or "How can I help?" The answer is more complete when it comes after listening.

Admit diversity into your view, and soften. Your joy is not unlike their joy. Their pain is relatable. 

And yet no two people in a room will have the same experience. Disagreement is not itself a conflict. Listening is a practice in receptivity. 

In self-dev speak, holding wider and more inclusive perspectives is often referred to as “both/and”. It's also kindling for feeling more connection. And smart marketing. And wise negotiation.