3 Ways the Practice of Listening can Serve You

If you know me, you know I love few things more than chocolate, coffee and nature. And if you really know me you know that Ted Talks follow pretty closely in line. (Also podcasts… but that’s a post for a different day.) What I love is that they’re these little nuggets of information, inspiration, and wisdom. What I gain from a ten minute video never ceases to amaze me.

Where I’m going with this is the video that inspired this post, and my intentions this week: 10 Ways to Have A Better Conversation, Celste Headlee

It’s all about how we converse with each other, and more specifically, how we listen.

Now, as a trained coach, I feel confident in my ability to listen intently while another person is speaking, listen from a place of neutrality, and approach conversation with curiosity. But after sitting with what I took away from this talk, I realized that the practice of listening can serve my life in other ways as well.

Listening to the Universe (read: God, Source Energy, Spirit… etc.): The Universe is always speaking. It comes to us in subtle signs, quiet nudges, blatant messages, and “happy” accidents, but it’s up to us to listen to what it has to say in order to move in the direction it leads us. When our minds are full of to-do lists, memories on repeat, or conversations in rehearsal, we aren’t listening. Letting our ‘monkey mind’ run the show is just like being distracted in a conversation, it impedes our ability to take in information, remain neutral, respond rather than react, and process. Practice listening to the Universe by being mindful, present and aware.

Listening to your Intuition: Our inner wisdom is an incredible source of power and knowing that leads us on the most direct path towards our dreams and destiny. Hearing and trusting its quiet voice takes practice. You may recognize your intuition as a gut instinct, a hunch, your heart vs. your head, or the voice that answers from within when asked a potent question. What holds us back from hearing our intuition is letting our minds take control and speak over it by over analyzing, over thinking, or questioning its messages. Let me ask you, has your gut instinct ever been wrong? Has your intuition ever lead you astray?  Practice listening to your intuition by trusting it. When that instinct, voice, or hunch speaks, honor it. Do what it says.

Listening to your Body: Our bodies tell us what they need; sometimes we listen, sometimes we don’t. Usually when we don’t, it speaks louder, and if we still don’t listen, biology takes action. Your body knows and communicates when it needs rest, movement, or fuel, but continually disregarding these signals builds a disconnection between mind and body. Ignoring your hunger and fullness cues can lead to an inability to sense them. Ignoring fatigue, mental and/or physical, can lead to a host of health issues, and ignoring pain can worsen condition or injury. Practice listening to your body by sensing hunger, fullness, fatigue, pain, and honor those signals rather than pushing through.

Adopt a practice of listening. Commit to being the best listener you can be in not only your conversations with others, but in your communication with the Universe and yourself.

Move through the world listening; listen to understand, listen to learn, listen to grow.

“Go out, talk to people, listen to people, and most importantly, prepare to be amazed.” Celeste Headlee

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