The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” — Ralph Nichols
Listening is one of the toughest skills to master and requires uncovering deeper barriers within ourselves. Listening demands being fully present and ready to respond to what is happening now.
When I am anticipating what might happen or what might be said next, I find my listening and intuition shut-down. When I come back to the silence and just be, it is then I find my inner knowing and wisdom again.
If we are unable to be still or have trouble slowing down, it is often a sign we are not listening to ourselves or others. When we do not wish to hear or see the changes that need to be made in our life, we may find that distraction and busyness is easier to create and we can then block out our inner voice.
When we are living fully present in every moment, we become aware how much we have missed and realise we have not been listening. It’s like for the first time we can understand what others have been going through or hear what our children have been trying to tell us.
“All things and all people call on us with small or loud voices. They want us to listen. They want us to understand their intrinsic claims, their justice of being, but we can only give it to them through the love that listens.” – Paul Tillich
When you allow yourself to be still and listen, you can start to understand what your needs are, and what it is you need to do. We then become open to allow these answers to come to us and this helps us achieve our goals.
The past is in the past, and the future has not arrived, so learn to focus on the present and what is going on for you right now.
Stop rushing through life. Distractions and busyness is often just avoidance. Everything we do should be done mindfully. This goes along with being present; you cannot do something mindfully, if you are not present.
Practice Stillness and Meditation
This is scary for busy people because slowing down shows us just how tired and exhausted we are. Sitting still for a few minutes each day with no distractions, helps us focus. Start to see what comes up in your mind when you are still, it might be fear, anger, frustration or apathy, try to quiet your mind, and then see what comes up again. Learn to let go of what you no longer need.
With regular practice you will notice how you begin to listen and hear more accurately and understand what is happening around you. You will start to become more present to what is important, rather than rushing past your destiny and dreams.
“Wisdom is the reward we get for a lifetime of listening, when we would have preferred to talk.” – Doug Larson