MariJo Vazquez brings out the L in SALT

"Instead of just trying to convince someone, I start listening first...I found a way how to be more myself and to relate more with others in this way." - MariJo puts her trust in humanity into action.

Me and MariJo joined together virtually to talk about Jean Louis' book "What Makes us Human?" and share some ideas about SALT. 

Thanks, MariJo, you are a limitless source of light and inspiration!

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Health and Happiness, 


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Comment by Susan Koshy on February 7, 2017 at 11:12am

MariJo hit the nail on the head when she said "I started listening first". Listening first is the solution to almost all the issues at hand. The world would be a more understanding and patient planet if we all listened better. Even if we seem to listen, our minds are usually already preparing our response or impression so that the listening does not really happen. 

Talking of activism, I am reminded of my friend who used to claim, "I am not an activist; I am an actionist. I do not just raise awareness or protest. I do what I can about it too." And this is what SALT does - facilitate a group/community/person act for oneself instead of waiting for someone else to do it for them/him.

Thank you, MariJo, for a thought-provoking conversation.

Comment by Jan Somers on February 6, 2017 at 2:46pm

Great to see and hear MarieJo express her views on SALT. I like her saying "doing things together", sharing things and sharing humanity; her referring to relating different to others by creating space (of listening and trust) ... I love her promoting the auto-evaluation on the S A L T acronym.

I only missed - a little bit - accentuating the empowering result of opening the space and connecting in a fellow human role instead of expert.

Always great to see and hear MarieJo. Hugs !


Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on February 6, 2017 at 2:44pm

I could not help speaking with MariJo about how she sees SALT in her life and work

In life...

She said SALT is a simple way of relating to other people, make more space instead of trying to convince but start listening which is an important part of SALT. “ When you listen you will find something different.” She smiles. “I  find SALT helps to relate more with others and find myself. Am I listening enough? I applied this in my family, innmeditation. SALT goes hand in hand with every aspect of life.” 

In workspace...

“I was translator, a feminist, working in the HIV sector. HIV was a magnifying lens for me. I could see some of the problems in the world  like gender and inequality. After some time I found I could go no further. I felt that there was something different about activism and advocacy- it was not about acting and carrying the voice of women to UN or government. I realised I could not do  this for other people. I felt isolated. Then I came across SALT. It confirmed what I had been thinking of and advocacy was not a fight against others. What attracted me to SALT was local response. People on the ground had to act for themselves.”

“I was collecting narratives  of twenty women on HIV. I found I really could dive deep by  listening and merely by giving the space. Women responded that they could talk about themselves from deep within; without my doing anything and by giving them time to share.I didn't have to follow the script at times ; it is difficult to listen/ sustain silence and we tend to interrupt what happened; just look at the person and allow the person to speak. We must realise the power of listening, you don't guide, you just keep the connection with the person. They can't talk alone, a listener is there for them. 

There is usually impact on the person who is listening. For me it was magic of that person giving her energy and emotions to me; it was experiencing the value of listening not the urgency to act upon something. We seemed to be in a world of our own.”


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