Deep Listening: A Mind Experiment

Deep ListeningMaybe I’m an optimist, but I’m excited that it seems the US is poised to tackle racism and injustice at a deeper level.  I know it’s causing big emotions, but I’d rather that the large scale challenges are out in the open.  Because it’s not that racism and injustice didn’t exist before, but there is a momentum right now that I’ve never experienced to shine a light on it and do something about it.

I’m hopeful that much of the conversation is encouraging listening and learning from others, self-reflection, and deepening understanding to prepare yourself to be a good advocate for justice.  I think beginning by listening is so important because it provides the opportunity for a change of heart.  Large or small changes happen faster and more effectively from a change of heart.  Once you truly see something, you can’t unsee it and your actions will change.

Such a large scale challenge can feel overwhelming, so today I’m going to share something you can start working on right now—your listening.  I’ve been exploring this lately and it’s been really helpful for me.  I’m ready to level up my own self-reflection, understanding, learning, and advocacy for anti-racism, justice, equity, and inclusion.  And I’m starting with improving my listening.

Did you know there are several ways to listen?  And that there is a time a place for different kinds of listening?  They fall into 2 main categories:

  • Advocacy Listening is listening to challenge ideas.  This kind of listening can be good at work, especially if you’re a lawyer, but is not so good at home where you want to foster connection.
  • Synergistic Listening, or what I call Deep Listening, is listening for collaboration or to be impacted.  With this, you’re listening beyond the words and fostering connection, creativity, and problem solving.  At first glance it may seem that there are limits about where and when to use this kind of listening.  It can sound kind of “woo woo” or just plain vulnerable to open yourself up to having your point of view changed, but it’s surprisingly effective in all kinds of situations.

Mind Experiment: Explore deep listening over the next 2 weeks and notice how you feel and what results come from the conversations.  First start by taking a few days to notice how others and you are listening.  Then pick what feels like a safe conversation to start to practice deep listening and opening up to being impacted.

How do different kinds of listening look and feel?

> Advocacy listening looks and feels like:  Listening for confirmation, to make a point, waiting for your turn, or to process what you think they are saying.  This kind of listening can feel arrogant, inflexible, and defensive.

> Deep listening looks and feels like:  Listening for fresh thinking, connection, understanding, to take them in, to what they are trying to express, or for a feeling.  This kind of listening builds rapport, respect, warmth, and creativity.  The best way to foster deep listening is to put aside judgements, get curious, and ask open ended questions that you don’t know the answer to.

When you look at these two options, advocacy listening sounds kind of boring.  Why bother having a conversation if we’re mainly listening for what we already know?  Deep listening offers the opportunity for the unknown, which sounds a whole lot more interesting.

And deep listening is really effective in many situations.  I think it seems pretty obvious that you want to foster more connection, warmth and respect with loved ones.  But it’s equally important to foster those feelings with teams, neighbors, and coworkers.  In one of my previous careers I led teams of scientists who were preparing documents, presentations, and questions for the FDA.  Those prep meetings were full of really smart, opinionated, intellectual people.  So how did I lead them?  With deep listening, curiosity, and open ended questions that brought about respect, creativity, and effective problem solving.  I didn’t need to have all the answers, thank goodness, because my really smart team members with differing views could come together and come up with the best solutions.

So go ahead and give deep listening a try:

  1. Start by taking a few days to notice what kind of listening is going on around you.  It can be easy to look outside of yourself and see what others are doing. 
  2. Then start to notice what kind of listening you are doing at different times. 
  3. And then try on deep listening.  Asking open ended questions that we don’t know the answer to is unusual in our culture.  As you do it more you will you will get better at it.  It’s like strength training for your listening muscles.  

I’d love to know how it goes.  I’m sure the world needs more of this kind of listening and it starts with each one of us.

If this resonates with you and you’re curious about exploring this more, check out our Growing More Peaceful Membership Community below where we’re looking at this topic and more.

Thrive Is Open To All Patients
We are treating all patients in our clinic and feel comfortable with the safety and sanitization protocols we’ve implemented.  Patients have been loving getting acupuncture and I’ve been loving helping patients with it!  Patients keep telling me that having acupuncture back in their life has really made a big difference in their health!  Everyone is reporting they feel more like themselves and their different imbalances are feeling a lot better–pain, stress and anxiety, hot flashes, sleep, digestion – you name it.   Plus they’re excited to be supporting their immune systems!


Here’s what you need to know about scheduling appointments for acupuncture.
We ask that all patients who come into the clinic:

  1. Not have a fever or felt feverish for 2 weeks.
  2. Not have any possible COVID-19 symptoms for 2 weeks.
  3. Not have had close contact with anyone who has been sick or with possible COVID-19 for 2 weeks. 

When you make an appointment Jules will contact you to screen you.  And and every time you arrive for your appointment, we’ll take your temperature and we’ll need you to confirm that there have been no changes to the above 3 points.

We won’t be charging the late cancellation fee for anyone that needs to reschedule at the last minute because they think they might be sick or been exposed to someone who is sickWe actually appreciate you being extra cautious in this way because we want to stay open and available to help as many patients as possible.

Please also:

  • Be On Time.  With all the extra logistics we don’t have any wiggle room between appointments.  If you are more than 5 minutes late we may need to reschedule you. 
  •        If you arrive more than 15 minutes ahead of time, please wait in your car or outside.
  •        If there is someone in the lobby, please wait outside.
  • Wear a mask at all times.  Choose one that is comfortable.
  • Wear loose clothing so you do not need to disrobe and bring only what you need into the clinic.
  • Don’t bring any guests into the clinic.
  • Don’t come in with wet hair.

If you would like to schedule an appointment you can call, email, or use our online scheduler (don’t forget to click CONFIRM in the confirmation email, otherwise we won’t know you tried to make an appointment).  We’ll reach out to screen you.  If you would like to discuss your needs and whether it makes sense for you to come in, let us know and we’ll give you a call.

Join the Quiet Revolution: Growing More Peaceful Membership CommunityBack in March I started hosting a weekly stress reduction zoom session with my mentor Julie Gleeson of The Art of Living, Inc.  We have been delighted, moved and touched by the feedback we have gotten from participants, so we’ve decided to continue to grow the community.

While we started this group because we wanted to support people who were overwhelmed with navigating the unknown of a pandemic, life has continued to unfold with heated upset and divisiveness that people are having big emotions about. The intention of growing more peaceful is not to ignore our anger, frustration, anxiety, or sadness, but to take a moment to put down nagging, all consuming negative feelings that are distracting us from who we are and what is ours to do.  It’s worthwhile to take a breather and look in the direction of growing more peaceful, because that is just the thing that will give you the clarity, creativity, and energy to see what is yours to do and help make the world a better place.  

Here’s some of what people have been telling us they get from the sessions:

  • “I have to tell you that I have felt so much better mentally in general since the Tuesday meeting. Thank you.”
  • “For me, these meetings reinforce that concept of quieting the intellect/monkey mind and waiting to hear the whisper of one’s inner wisdom/common sense. I learn this again and again, and yet it is not the first place I turn, so obviously I need the repetition of the lesson!”
  • “I felt so grounded after listening last Tuesday. My mind was quiet. I was relieved. Body and mind at peace.”
  • “The meetings also give me a sense of community, a feeling of unity of purpose that lingers after the close of the hour. “

We’re so confident in how helpful this understanding is that the first month is FREE, so you can come check it out without any pressure.  Click this link for all the information about the community and the link to register.



TelemedicineFor those that prefer to stay home at this time, you’ll be glad to know that many of the conditions we treat in our clinic have been responding well to herbal medicine, diet, acupressure, and other lifestyle recommendations I’ve been doing via video telemedicine appointments.

Because these appointments get Christina’s undivided attention and require extra follow-up time, the current rate for these secure video appointments is:

  • 20 minutes: A quick check in – best for simple updates or changes to an existing condition and if you only want 1 recommendation: $60
  • 40 minutes: A longer check in – best for new or complicated conditions, if you simply want more time to talk, or you want several recommendations: $100
  • 60 minutes new patient: We will do a holistic health assessment, set goals and priorities, and I’ll give you a report of findings with a chinese medicine diagnosis and a treatment plan with herb, acupressure, supplement, lifestyle, and dietary recommendations: $120

We’ve been told that insurance companies are mandated to cover telemedicine appointments, but you never know with insurance. So if you want us to bill your insurance, we will collect the above fees at the time of service via Square invoicing and then bill your insurance.  We will refund you any amount we are able to collect.

If you would like to schedule a telemedicine appointment please call or email.  Our online scheduler can’t handle all the different appointment types at this time.

Keep Taking CareDon’t forget your common sense when it comes to staying healthy!  Keep washing your hands and limiting your possible exposure by avoiding unnecessary human to human interactions.  It’s still vital that we limit the possible spread of the virus to others by wearing a mask and being mindful of our proximity when going into public places.  And remember to spend some time each day picturing your good health, drink lots of water, eat nutritious foods, prioritize getting good sleep, get some movement, and make time for laughter.  I’ve been sharing more about what I’m doing for my health on Facebook if you want some inspiration.

Sending you, our community, the animals, the plants, and the whole world so much love!
Christina Ness-Hawks, LAc

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