Are you listening?

I saw a t-shirt recently that read, "I hear you, but I'm not listening."

There is an important balance between being self-aware AND present to others.  This is another polarity.  Both aspects can be complimentary when we manage our self-care and are in sacred, loving service to others.

With our many devices, we can be absorbed in our own world.  Taking time for renewal and finding things that inspire us are essential.  Our devices can be instruments for that.  One of the e-books I am currently reading is "What on Earth Have I Done?" by Robert Fulghum.  It makes me laugh.  It makes me think and I think I am a better person for reading it.  Blessings like these enrich our lives and help us live in sense of wholeness.  My invitation to you is to find those things that enrich your life and partake of them often.

Let's look at the other side of the polarity, sacred, loving service to others.  With a sense of enrichment from our self-care, we have strength, perspective and a sense of renewal so that we have energy to work with others.  I submit to you that the most import work you can do is to listen to others, without comparison or judgment, without needing to tell our own story, without needing to give advice.  This takes constant discipline. 

Practice the gift of attentive listening.  (Yes, you may only be able to do this for short periods of time at the beginning.) Challenge yourself as you listen to another to only give the verbal response of "Tell me more" or "What else" or "How does that make you feel?"  Use your eyes to let the person know you are listening.  Position your body so that you are facing them.  Nod your head to indicate you are present to what they are saying.  Notice their energy.  Notice your own.

After a time of focused listening, you can make a request for a break, to be excused or ask them to fully listen to you.  This is other, self-care, side of the polarity.

As you give the gift of fully listening, congratulate yourself for your spirit of generosity, for being love in action.  As you practice self-care, congratulate yourself for your wisdom.  Love and wisdom bring a fullness to every part of life.  Listen to yourself for what you need.  Listen to others so that they may find what they need.  when are needs are clear, we can move toward fulfilling a life of value and joy.

Bountiful blessings!