To be seen and heard for who you are, for what you offer the world is validating. Being seen and heard is like receiving permission for being who you are, for doing what you are doing and for living the way you live.
To be seen and heard is to have your needs recognised, it is to be understood. There is an old saying that says "children should be seen and not heard". Not being able to have a voice however can carry into adulthood even where it is not intentioned - many of our beliefs that we carry through life come from our early years. The belief that we do not deserve to be heard or can not possibly have anything worth saying can prevent many people from speaking out.
Is this you? If so how can you change this around? Suddenly demanding that you need to be seen and heard is probably not what you are likely to do nor likely to work in your favour. Although there is no harm at all it letting loved ones know what your needs are.
The first step to being seen and heard
The first step is to being seen and heard is to see and hear yourself. To be as an observer to your own thoughts and feelings, to know your own needs and desires. This is not a simple thing, in fact it is a life long learning.
You can learn to know yourself more through mindfulness. Noticing feelings that come up and exploring them, watching how you respond in different situations, being present for yourself, being aware of your needs and wants.
Mindfulness can be practiced seated and observing yourself and your thoughts. One mindfulness practice is to watch your breath, noticing when a thought comes and returning your awareness to your breath. Mindfulness does not need to be practiced sitting down, you can be aware of your senses as you walk through the park, notice your words and responses in relation to others, and develop an awareness of the way you walk or hold yourself.
The second step to being seen and heard
To see and hear others is the second step. Once you begin to see and hear yourself you can practice seeing and hearing others. Really seeing and hearing beyond the words and beyond the visual is to really tune in and to be present for another person. In doing this you also learn more about yourself and know yourself more.
The third step to being seen and heard
The third step is to practice being seen and heard in the way you would like. This may include: sharing your dreams and aspirations with someone you feel comfortable sharing them with; It may be being able to say yes and no as you really would like to, not through obligation or fear; It may be asking to be seen and heard by someone you love (remember to be present for them as well), it can help here to be specific about what your needs are.
To be seen and heard in the world means that we can really step into who we truly are and therefore be in a position to give back to the world our gifts and talents.
What step will you take today to see and hear yourself and others?