The Joy of Listening


A forgotten art.

Every day we hear many things, bombarding our ears with music and media, and think of what we’re going to say next while others finish talking.

How often do we stop and just Listen? How often are we fully aware of what is swirling around and through our heads?

We all have the desire to be heard and seen, unconditionally and free of judgement. In this age, in these societal structures, it can be difficult to fully voice our true feelings and opinions because it is even scarier to be heard and ridiculed.

Can you recall a time when someone opened a space for you to speak freely, without judging anything you said? Maintaining eye contact and staying silent while you spilled out your heart? Only to accept you fully afterwards? Do you remember the last time you did the same for another?

Listening is a simple, often overlooked, base need. Why do we hire therapists to just sit and hear us talk?

Their listening creates a mirror for us to reflect upon our own thoughts and behaviors. This allows us to see the Truth seeded inside the words, or “between the lines.”

This power may be utilized in two places: the Inner & Outer Worlds.

I have been speaking on its place mainly in the outer world to offer a relatable framework. Now, I would like to speak on the Inner world before moving back into the outer.

Inner World.

Meditation has gained much traction over the past half of a century, and has been practiced for centuries before that.

Meditation holds its power in encouraging the full awareness of, and presence within, our thoughts.

It is a practice of being with ourselves, fully.

This is difficult at times with so many to-dos and incoming noise from the outside world. With music on full blast and tv’s on in the background. This is all what makes it even more vital to create the time and space for us to sit in silence and be with our own selves.

It is in this space we may come to understand our own hearts, and how our thoughts are domineering our decisions.

To live a life of ease and joy requires discipline. Discipline is not inherently bad. It creates a structure for us to better express ourselves and remain on the right paths.
Meditation and carving out daily time to sit in silence is one of such disciplines.

Many of us have not taken the time to decide what kind of path we would like to be on, or even why we choose the paths we do!

We haven’t taken the time to listen to our inner voices and discover what it is that is going to best serve our own evolution and that of humanity.

Starting with 5 minutes a day of sitting in silent meditation can be a phenomenal practice that will inevitably lead to better understanding of our own inner worlds. It may even help to have a journal, so that whatever came up during the meditation can be written down and released on the paper.

Tuning into our inner worlds and just listening helps us to understand the things that are constantly racing around our minds, and that subconsciously mean the most to us. After continuous practice and awareness of the things that subconsciously consume the mind, the chatter will begin to subside leaving a stillness where smaller whispers may finally be heard.

There is a space within meditation, you must experience for yourself, where all of your questions will be answered in a single breath. Where you will suddenly know what to do, and creativity will rain down as a flood.

By continuously returning to this space, we are able to take the lessons it offers us into our lives- extending the practice to every moment.

Removing ourselves from the noise of the external world and “Breaking through” the noise in our own minds helps us to tune into the frequency of our own hearts. Here is where we begin to realize our deepest desires and purpose on in these bodies. With this knowledge, we will always know how to act free of fear and full of clarity.

Ultimately, by listening to the heart and allowing the heart to guide us, we open ourselves up to the path of love. A.K.A., the path of least resistance, joy, the flow state, the Tao, whichever you wish to call it.

Outer World.

After we have come to know our own hearts, we are able to see them reflected in the hearts of others. By understanding ourselves, we may understand others.

Our interactions are no longer on the surface level. They are something much deeper. When we align ourselves with our hearts and the path of love, we are able to always act out of unconditional love in each moment. It is irrevocably freeing to expect nothing from someone and love them anyways; Not only for the person giving unconditional love, but the person receiving as well.

Unconditional love comes in many forms, but this article is in the Spirit of Listening. Listening is one of the most underrated forms of offering love, and arguably one of the most healing.

When we are able to sit with ourselves, our thoughts, and our fears, we develop a greater capacity to do the same for others. We develop strength and the ability to be meditative, accepting, and non-judgmental while others speak. We are able to pick up on subtle energies being carried out on the words and see the core of conversations beyond their face value.

Ultimately, words are like paintings of vivid scenery. Similar, but still cannot touch the original scene.

Grandma may get on our nerves about politics and how everyone should be allowed to have guns, but what about the little girl inside that is full of fear and was never allowed to have a proper childhood?

It may be frustrating to see our friends fall for people who mistreat them, but what about that baby who was neglected by their parents and never properly loved?

By coming to understand and accept our own discomforts, traumas, fears, past experiences, and other stresses, we are able to hold the same space for others to do the same. By learning to feel safe in our own skin, we create a subtle, impactful movement that allows others to feel safe doing the same.

If we come together as a community of supportive, loving people willing to settle into every color of life through the art of listening, then we may all grow stronger together.

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