The KindaListening project is endorsed and supported by the Missing Kind as a way of rippling out kindness 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 now a foundation phase of the Emerging Kind Peer Group Facilitator Training… ‘because feeling heard helps your kinda self to emerge!’
‘My mission has always been around empowerment, from teen confidence and wellbeing to supporting people through crisis.”
As well as the KindaListening Project and developing and delivering training for the Emerging Kind Peer Group Facilitator Training Programme, Linda’s recent work has included: supporting individuals (and their carers/family) through crisis and beyond, consulting with and delivering training and coaching masterclasses and clinics within organisations to empower emotional resilience and sustainable wellbeing; supporting emotional wellness for young people in schools and as a therapist at the Breathing Space Norfolk. She is a Trustee of Norfolk and Suffolk Relate.
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 experiences.. Connecting with and exploring research from SCN, Peer Supported Open Dialogue, Katie Mottram’s (Emerging Proud Campaign), the NSFT Recovery College and my work with clients of the Mindspan Programme, and The Benjamin Foundation, Time For You Service expanded my experience and learning and highlighted the vital importance of feeling heard and validated as a powerful route to self acceptance and healing.
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