As we make connections and build trust with those we visit, it is imperative that we become mindful of being fully present. The first step is taking time to prepare ourselves for a visit. During your training you learned the importance of creating space in your cup as part of your preparation.
Reflect on the following questions:
- What do I remember about the Empty Cup?
- What tends to fill my cup?
- How has my cup impacted my connections?
- Have I been taking the time to create space in my cup before, during and after a visit?
- How can I continue to create space in my cup in order to be fully present with someone?
So you have prepared yourself for the visit and created space in your cup, so what happens next? It’s time for the visit! Being fully present means listening with our eyes, ears and our hearts. Being fully present means “attending” to the person we are visiting. Remember the 3 S’s of attending?
- Create space in your cup so you can be fully present to another
- Create the physical space for listening to occur
- If using the nucleus ensure you can see and hear each other
- Remember to embrace silence
- It’s ok and necessary for you to engage in conversation with those you visit. If you encounter times of silence, try letting the silence “be” without attempting to fill the silence.
- If you do not know what to say, let silence be your safety net
- Stay in the here and now
- Stay focused on the person speaking
- Avoid interrupting the person speaking in order to share your story or experience
- Paint a picture for yourself of the story being shared with you
- Visualize emptying your cup during your visit so you can attend to the person speaking
- It’s only natural that you may find yourself getting distracted at times. If you find yourself getting back into your own cup or thinking about what’s next on your schedule you may find it helpful to
- Visualize emptying your cup
- Take a calming breath
- Say a short prayer to yourself
The power of presence is a gift for you and for the person you are visiting! Blessings be upon you as you share the gift of presence.
Wirtten by Barb Schwery at BeFriender Ministry
Copyright © BeFriender Ministry—A Listening Presence, Bloomington, MN