How to ListenJun 28, 2021
Are you a good listener? There aren’t many of us who are very good at it, and we can all use some practice. How many times have you been trying to have a conversation with your partner, your kids, your parents, or even your BFF, and somewhere along the way, you realize they are not even listening to you? It happens a LOT, right? And, to be fair, how many times have you realized you’re not listening to the person trying to talk with you?
Do you treat yourself the same way? Let’s say you’re sitting in stillness (or, at least trying to), and you KNOW how to quiet your mind and just BE, but somewhere along the way, you realize you aren’t even listening to your own inner wisdom. These moments of not listening come from our busy-ness in life, and our training to DO and not BE.
I just spent a few brief moments in stillness, which I intend to do on a daily basis. Sometimes, that’s all of five minutes. Other days, it can be much longer. I follow my instincts on the amount of time to spend there. BUT, I ALWAYS have something to write with nearby, and as soon as I move out of stillness, I write down whatever comes out. If I haven’t been listening to me, there may not be much to write, but no matter what, it’s good practice.
I’m sure some of you think I’m broken record, and that’s okay. I’m preaching to myself, too, here, but the very first step to take when you are trying to listen is to become fully present and still. Most of us spend the whole time someone else is talking trying to figure out what the problem is or how to respond when they finish. Instead, we can simply bear witness to whatever it is that our co-converser wants to share. Think of yourself as a mirror, reflecting back what they are saying. Sometimes that means paraphrasing what they said back to them, but more often than not, it simply means HEARING them. That is how we become the mirror they need, and it can even help them find their own answers. Remember, they likely are not asking you to fix something. They already have everything they need to answer their own questions. They just want to be heard.
So, the next time someone is talking to you, stop and notice whether or not you are actually listening. If you’re not, start. Yes, it takes practice, but you will become a more engaged listener, if you notice the level of awareness you’re giving them.
And, don’t forget, the way you listen to others is a reflection of the way you listen to your own inner wisdom, instincts, or intuition — whatever term you prefer.
All my life, no matter what change I’ve experienced, I’ve been able to use journaling to remember who I am, begin to understand what I can learn from this change, and how my experience can help other people going through something similar. Get my free prompts, “Journaling for Answers,” and start finding your own answers within.
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