My WORD for 2019 is CHOICE. Every Sunday I choose what quality to develop for that week. Last week I chose PATIENCE (https://www.heatherdiascoaching.com/blog/purposeful-patience)
This week I chose LISTEN. I wanted to see if I gave those I love my best as a listener. Are they impacted by my empowering silence?
LISTEN is a verb, it is ideally active. It is a simple skill that we are born with, but like any skill, to be perfected it takes practice.
It means that when I am engaged with others in a conversation, I strive to quiet my mind from everything else, but what they are saying. I PRACTICE being all IN to the person and all OUT to any distractions. This allows me to really HEAR what is being said and also what is not being said - the non verbals. To be fully in the moment with the other person.
You can’t FAKE listening. We know when someone isn’t fully listening and engaged in what we are sharing.
We are so accustomed to multitasking - that when a phone call comes in, we put the phone on speaker and continue cleaning, doing paperwork, scrolling through emails, instagram, facebook…
Besides the physical distractions, there are the mental distractions, ALL our thoughts - what am I going to cook for dinner, I need to book that airline ticket, call and schedule the vet appointment, etc…
I love the advice that is given in James 1:19 ~that we are to be quick to hear, slow to speak.
There is nothing wrong with speaking. It is actually part of communication. But when my FOCUS is on when I get to tell the other person my thoughts, then I am not fully attending to their words. Again - QUICK TO LISTEN and SLOW TO SPEAK!
When we are listened to, we feel loved, valued, embraced, heard. That is exactly what we show ourselves when we take the time to sit in silent meditation and listen to our soul, to God.
Prayer is a two way act of listening - my listening to God and His listening to me. Mother Teresa wrote In The Heart of the World, “Listen in silence because if your heart is full of other things you cannot hear the voice of God. But when you have listened to the voice of God in the stillness of your heart, then your heart is filled with God.
Listening to God, to the depths of our soul, involves the same discipline as listening to others- turning off all other external and internal distractions and compassionately loving the ONE we are listening to.
It’s amazing to be listened TO, but how does it FEEL when WE LISTEN?
FIVE benefits we gain when we practice impactful listening:
IMPACTFUL LISTENING. “EMPOWERFUL” LISTENING.