Ironwood Maine Web Update

“Listening is an art that requires attention over talent, spirit over ego, others over self.”-

Dean Jackson

     Listening is one of the most important human qualities known to man/woman. A good listener has the power to rule the world, have the most meaningful relationships, and is very wise. With family weekend right around the corner, listening will play a very crucial role. Regardless of where we are, who we are, or what we are, we all have to listen; that is one of our very common connections in the world.

     At the Farmhouse we have been having several groups regarding listening recently. The Farmhouse community has been getting better and better with listening as times goes on. I haven’t had the chance to mentor at Frye yet, but our two most recent send-ups to the Farmhouse from Frye told me that the listening at Frye right now is a work in progress and has potential for improvement. However, this can go for everyone in the world because there is always improvement to be made.

     One group that I feel we have been benefitting a lot from is DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). DBT is run by Nan (a therapist here at Ironwood) and the two things we have been focusing on are validation and listening, which are both useful skills that are valuable anywhere. One activity is when one person talks and can say anything, and at first, the person who they are talking to does not listen to the person talking at all. Then on the second round, the person who isn’t talking practices the listening skills they’ve learned in DBT and then we compare and give feedback to one another. This has impacted me personally by teaching me how to be an active listener, which will help strengthen the relationships I have in my future life.

     One enrichment group that has had a positive effect on me this week is the horticulture group and because I am outdoor lead, it’s my responsibility to make sure the garden and Farmhouse property is taken care of in the right way. In garden group you have to constantly be listening because we’re dealing with a living thing (plants) that we’ll eventually be eating. Just this Monday, we were spreading compost in our community garden and we had to be careful where we were spreading it as to not waste or destroy the living plants. I found it interesting how much gardening involved active listening as a skill.

     There is always a lot happening her at Ironwood, but no matter what we are doing, listening is an essential part of our day-to-day life. Family weekend is a week away and I hope that we can all practice active listening to make our family relationships better than ever before. Active listening makes everyone’s life better if you can make the effort to do it. The only time in our lives that we are truly present in the moment is when we are listening.

*Thank you to our newest Level 4 resident for sharing points on listening, which is receiving extra attention on campus these days.  He is right in pointing out the value of this human skill and I sure hopeful that I can get better at this in my own life, as well.  Ironwood is busy preparing to host many of our Ironwood families next week and we are so looking forward to seeing these reconnections.  Have a great weekend and be safe.

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