Are You Truly Listening?
Learning to TRULY listen to ourselves can take a bit of practice. With our busy lives and all the information and stimuli that is constantly coming in, there is often SO much noise – in the form of ‘shoulds’, of unwanted thoughts that don’t serve us, of other people’s voices & expectations etc. – that it might take a bit of attention and focus to tune in, Listen and hear what our own voice is saying and wanting.
A great way to strengthen your own Listening muscle is getting clear about when you aren’t listening. Whether you are aware of them or not, there are some excellent signs to let you know when you aren’t paying attention to your own message, your own voice. Perhaps you feel anxious, fearful, stressed, irritated, exhausted, overwhelmed. Or maybe for you it’s a frustrated feeling or maybe you feel lost. One of the best ways to develop your Listening abilities is to get familiar with YOUR signs of not listening. What signs do you notice when have blocked out that beautiful voice of yours?
Once you know the signs of not listening, you can practice with different ways to re-open up the channel to you. One of my favorite ways to Listen is to use other sources than that trusty old mind that is often so active – offering messages or old tapes that block your ability to hear your true voice. As I mentioned in the recent post, 3 Questions to Lead You Back to Powerful You, we have 2 additional neural networks (or brains) working within us at all times – the cardiac nervous system in our hearts & the the enteric nervous system in our guts.
So, when the ‘noise’ is getting too loud to know what you want or even who you are, an excellent way to come back to You is to simply breathe into your heart. Just take a breath in, focusing on the inhale in your heart. Tune in. What happens when you tune in here? Do you feel, sense or hear something different than the tape that was running before? Take a moment or two and explore this. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but it might take a little practice for that busy Mind of yours to quiet down and let the Heart speak up. Read the full The Listen Story from the Mood Lady Storybook here for an example of what it might look like to use your other informational networks.
And another excellent way to strengthen your Listening is to do my favorite thing. Can you guess?…Ask some really good questions. When all that ‘noise’ is too much for you, take a step back and ask, “How am I feeling right now?” “What do I most need right now?” “What do I want right now?” “What ‘tape’ am I listening to and is it serving me?” If the answer is no, then you can ask, “What can I do right now to change the channel?”
I know, that’s a lot of questions. But don’t worry, one is enough to ask. Take a moment, ask the question that calls you and be quiet. Listen to the answer. Really listen to the answer. Whether you can honor that request right now or not, acknowledge it and hear it. Experiment with this and see what happens. Notice what it feels like when you give yourself the gift of truly listening.