Listening creates space for compassion, listen deeply
When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I hear (with my eyes still shut, they open later) does really have an impact on the rest of my day. If it’s my alarm radio, a song or melody I like, it can lift my mood, make me feel good; the news usually puts a negative slant on my feelings, makes me worry and feel helpless and sorry for others. Neighbours having an argument or children crying have a similarly dampening effect. Sometimes I can lie there, listening to the thoughts in my head, usually focused on my to-do list for the day… and I don’t even want to get up anymore.
This is a kind of superficial listening we do throughout the day. It goes through the filters in our brain and makes us feel positive or negative by triggering experiences, patterns and reactions.
Another form of listening that does not usually come automatically but can be learned, is listening deeply (active listening). Many people have such a need to be heard, to be listened to, and when you listen to another person deeply, you build a connection, understanding and compassion. It benefits not only the person you are listening to, but also yourself. This kind of listening sends messages of caring and can alleviate loneliness, worry and even desperation.
Deep listening can also be applied to our thoughts, especially that quiet little voice called ‘intuition’. How often does our subconscious speak to us and we ignore this little voice or it gets buried under negative or panicky thoughts?
Some time ago I went into town to buy some silver wire or chain which I needed for a project. On the underground I put the small bag next to me, between an end partition and my leg. I thought it would be safe and that I must not forget it there. Guess what … I remembered it when I was at the top of the escalator on my way home, and by the time I went back, it was gone. It was an expensive lesson to learn that this little voice of intuition muyst not be ignored. Once I had recovered from the shock and stopped beating myself up, I vowed that in future I would pay more attention to quiet, unobtrusive thoughts that popped up in my head.
So tomorrow I will listen more deeply to the people around me and try not to drown out what they are saying with the thoughts in my head, but now I will listen to my body which is telling me it is time to go to bed. x
My articles are not meant to be lectures or advice. My words are simply musings, perhaps helpful thoughts unsupported by science though they may contain some scientific facts. They come from my life experiences and make sense to me, and I hope they may make some sense to you too. Behind me lie years of experimenting, constantly trying to improve myself and my life. Before me lie (hopefully) some more years of learning and ‘getting it right’. So you see, I am no expert. I am merely giving an account of some of the ways that may make this life a little bit happier and comfortable for whoever can be reached in this way. If I can make just the smallest positive difference in one person’s life, I have reached my goal.