Admittedly, I'm not the best listener. I want to be, but I'm still too into being heard, on my evolutionary journey. Speaking my truth, speaking from the heart, speaking authentically - these are all concepts I have been working on for years and of which I have a good understanding and can do now without as much effort as I once did. What you hear from me, isn't a lie. But after all this time of speaking in this way, I began to wonder if just simply speaking my truth, being true to myself and expressing myself authentically was enough to truly be of service in the world. The answer. No. I have been missing the essential piece of listening. Oh, I can hear myself, no problem. And perhaps in my quest to let go of self-criticism, I have become deaf. You see, it is not enough to speak my truth, from the heart, authentically. I must listen. To be willing to hear, even the negative self-talk so that I can make a choice. But if I don't first hear, we can not choose. Ganesha comes to mind - the great Revealer and Remover of obstacles. Just as Ganesha reveals to remove, so must I listen to let go and hear. There is so much to this concept of listening. My current desire is not so much to stop listening to myself or listening internally- this will be an on-going lifetime journey, but to spend time listening to others, to Nature, to the world around me, so that I can be of true service in the world.

To help me, I turned to TED (see Current Obsessions for awesome TED Talks on listening). And what I learned from speakers on the subject of listening was this:

  • If you want to help, shut up and listen! Listen to the people you want to serve. Ask questions like:  Have you tried? Would you be willing to explore? What do you think about? What do you need? and most importantly: What do you want?
  • Most people are entirely unconscious of what they listen to, that intention is very important, sound places us in time and space. Listening is the main way in which we experience the flow of time. Listening is something we are losing. Through technology, we can record, we can write, we can blog, and our world has become much louder, filled with sound. We are impatient, we want sound bites. And the art of conversation is being replaced by personal broadcasting. Bingo. Guilty. I crave conversation. I have been missing conversation.
  • There is a vast difference between translation and interpretation. It is simply not enough to experience the surface level. We need to listen, to ourselves first, our motivations, our conditioning, etc., but then take time ... take time to listen. We need time with people in order to interpret them, not just translate them.

I would love to hear your thoughts! Let's start a conversation.