The KindaListening project is endorsed and supported by the Missing Kind as a way of rippling out kindness and wellbeing in the community. As need is increasing and public services are depleting, we all need to be a resource for ourselves and each other.
Created and developed by Linda Allen, the KindaListening Project has emerged as a way of bringing meaning and purpose from her life experiences and crisis and as a culmination of her skills and passion for understanding suffering, sharing wellbeing and focusing on the joys of life.
KindaListening is proving to be a strong foundation for communication that empowers self awareness and authentic and safe expression, enabling creating a safe space for others to share. It has become a key foundational element for Peer Group Facilitator training for the Emerging Kind project (EmergingProud.com) and Community Sharing Circles Facilitator Training.
‘My mission has always been around empowerment, from teen confidence and wellbeing, to supporting people through crisis.”
As well as the community projects and KindaListening training for organisations, Linda’s recent work has included: Coaching masterclasses and clinics for organisations to support managers through organisational culture change and redundancies; Supporting individuals (and their carers/family) through life and mental health crisis and beyond: Supporting emotional wellness for young people: Coach/Therapist/Spiritual Companion at Breathing Space Norfolk.
Why Listening?.. Why Me?..
When my formal training started with a diploma in Personal Performance Coaching the most profound module was the one on Listening. Even back then I thought it should be taught in schools.
I have continued to develop my innate observation, listening and dialogue skills and have qualified and worked extensively with the following: Psycho- Spiritual Counselling, Spiritual Companion Mentoring, Mindspan Trainer/Coach, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and The Nurtured Heart Approach.
When I experienced my own brush with mental and emotional crisis, after a family secret was revealed, it was finding a a group of people who listened with presence and skill, that kept me sane. When sharing with them, I felt heard, understood, validated, affirmed and healed. I felt connected, I felt ok again.
Compelled to share the power of what I’d experienced, I initiated a weekly peer support group which I facilitated for two years. I wanted to understand why I caused the chaos in my life, so I also researched and studied. Combined with my deep curiosity and intuitively guided research, I now have a broad and deep view of what blocks, constitutes, empowers and sustains mental and emotional health.
Through the www.spiritualcrisisnetwork.uk (SCN), I met many who suffered a more intense dynamic and version of my non ordinary transformational experiences.. Connecting with research from SCN, Peer Supported Open Dialogue, Katie Mottram’s (Emerging Proud Campaign), the NSFT Recovery College, expanded my learning; supporting young people through the Time For You service at the Benjamin Foundation affirmed the need and my work with corporate clients through the Mindspan Programme, also highlighted the vital importance of feeling heard and validated as a powerful route to self acceptance, confidence and empowerment.
As well as the organisations listed above the following recent articles have added credence to the value of listening:
In Zimbabwe, Community Grandmothers (wise older women) were given simple training and listened to 27000 people suffering from mental health challenges on Friendship benches. The outcomes were amazing, with 5 x less anxiety, 3 x less depression reported after just six weeks of being heard.
Communities where individuals feel empowered to listen, share and connect to support themselves and each other, to evolve wellbeing.
Sharing of knowledge and enhancement of innate skills, so that individuals feel supported and empowered to make a difference to themselves and others.
CONNECTION – Connecting with self and others is at the heart of mental. emotional and spiritual health
CURIOSITY – Being curious about behaviour and narrative will set the foundations for learning, growth and connection
COMMUNICATION – Listening and empowering conversation enables connection, empathy, synergy, creativity and wellbeing
SHARING – Sharing knowledge, wisdom, skills and resources
EMPOWERMENT – Empowering ourselves and others is key to living our best life and co-creating sustainable communities
FLEXIBILITY – Responding effectively to new awareness and information to maintain higher intentions
EVOLUTION – There is always something to learn from every experience and every interaction – for raising consciousness