Are you looking for the perfect gift? You carry it with you already! You have the ability to surprise and delight another’s heart NOW!
The Four Needs of the Heart
There are four primary needs of the heart. They are as follows: attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance.
Attention is deep listening. Deep listening is supported when we stop what we are doing, place the cell phone on airplane mode, shut off the computer and look at the other person. Another tool to support deep listening can be employed when we notice we are not paying attention is to state mentally and silently to yourself, “[name of person] is talking. I am listening.”
Yet another tool to aid listening is to get curious. The more we practice curiosity, the better we listen AND the more joyful life is!
Nelle Morton, a feminist writer of the 1970’s, spoke eloquently about the purpose we have to “hear each other into being”. While Rachel Naomi Remen, physician and author, echoes Nelle in stating “Our listening creates a sanctuary for the homeless parts within another person.”
According to neuroscientists, when deep listening is practiced, the person who is being heard experiences a slowing of the activity in the amygdala, which is the “primitive” part of our brain that produces the “fight-or-flight” response. Simply by listening attentively to someone, you are actually calming their mind and reducing their stress!
Affection is the expression of caring. Affection is conveyed through our words, kind touch, as well as other loving actions. Loving touch is vital to health and happiness. Kind touch causes the release of natural pain-relieving and mood-elevating chemicals in the body, as well as calms the mind, promotes feelings of safety, comfort, and ease.
Appreciation is expressing gratitude in a mindful manner. It is saying “I am grateful you are in my life”. When you notice the qualities you love about a person, immediately share your appreciation for who they are, their unique qualities, and the ways in which their presence and actions creates more peace, joy, and fun in your life.
Acceptance is one of the deepest human needs. It is the flow of unconditional love. It is the feeling of being completely seen and heard and being ok. It is alright to not love another’s actions, opinions or beliefs, but look deeper and see their humanness and their soul.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful Holiday Season filled with attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance!