Why does it seem like many can’t stand the quiet? Is there something we are trying to drown out with all the noise and distractions that permeate our days? Why are we more prone to talk rather than listen?
I was searching on the internet and many have said that there are records of earlier civilizations that had the ability to hear animals and nature. I sat and wondered how someone could do this, is the answer complicated and beyond our understanding or is the answer as simple as listening?
One of my big lessons lately has been on the fine art of listening and I have to admit that I’m not very good at it. I know I should listen more but words come pouring out of my mouth before I realize what is happening. When I have reactive responses like this I need to rewire my brain and teach it to slow down and think before it speaks.
One day I was meditating on listening and a post showed up that said this,
Listening is the highest form of respect you can give another person.
This made me stop and really think about what is going on when we listen, what are we really conveying to the other person when we are listening to them? Are we telling them they matter enough to give them time to talk? Are we telling them that their thoughts, even though they may not line up with what we believe, are important enough for us to listen too? How do you feel when people listen to you?
This week I will do 3 small things to help me learn to listen better.
- Slow down. When I clean my house today, I will take it slower and do a good job at what I do accomplish rather than running on overdrive and skimming over everything. When we go fast we are already thinking about what to do next, we are not aware of the present moment.
- Sit and listen. I will take a few minutes to sit and listen to all that is going on around me. This is challenging as we tend to sit and think about what needs to be done next instead of just being in the moment.
- Sit and listen. Yes this is so important that it gets 2 spots. Today I will take five minutes to really listen to my kids/husband/friend. This is challenging as well, we tend to think about what we are going to say rather than giving the person our undivided attention.
Whenever I go to make changes I do not make a huge list as this will overwhelm me making me feel defeated. The point is to make changes, not to bog ourselves down by living by a list. You can make up your own list that tailors to your own unique weak spots and before you know it listening will become a habit and not something you have to work at.
Great post, Jana. Slowing down and letting another finish a thought before we respond is a common ailment to many of us. I know that I have to suppress that urge at times.
I believe we are in a constant struggle with out egos. The goal is to keep it under control with a healthy dose of humility.
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