The Art of Listening~
It’s interesting how life unfolds. Sometimes the timing of events and the things we hear or learn at a given moment, are impeccably timed….another reminder that God is intimately acquainted with each of us, and involved in our lives. Most of the time, we aren’t aware of this fact, as we live most of our lives on auto-pilot. Our worlds are getting noisier with more distractions than ever, and right at our fingertips. We no longer have to wait to get to our computer to access our emails, visit a website or purchase something online. Our mobile phone puts us in touch with anything and everything, anytime we want.
In our MKMMA a couple weeks ago, we learned from the Stanford Report dated August 24, 2009, that media multi-taskers pay a mental price. They take in a lot of information from multiple media sources and are distracted by everything and can’t filter out irrelevant information or organize their memories. As a person who has always been know to have an excellent memory, I can attest to the fact, that my memory seems to be scattered all over the place at times, because I’m a media multi-tasker. Until reading this article, I thought it was an asset but am working on ‘turning it off’ and taking a media-fast. There is no end to the information that we all have access to in our world, and it competes with our definite major purpose in life.
This past week, I got to observe and learn more about myself, as I had a day in court coming up, which brings up anxiety and fearful emotions. I was having a conversation with a friend, who’s an attorney, and he was talking through some of the items. He expressed that he could hear that my emotions were strong, and was trying to help me see this was a simple issue and giving me some great tips. He asked me a question, but I apparently went off on a different tangent and he stopped me and asked me to repeat the question he had asked me. I could not remember and repeated a question he had asked me, ‘two questions’ earlier! Next, he told me I need to immediately practice listening and answer only the question that is being asked. No more, no less. I’m not in 4th grade, but I’m not sure why I didn’t learn this in 4th grade! It seems rather elementary, but I’ve been observing myself and seeing areas where I can definitely improve, and listening is one of them.
A new month has arrived, and so we have a new scroll to read, from Og Mandino’s “The Greatest Salesman” which reads, “Today I will be the master of my emotions. And how will I master these emotions so that each day will be productive? For unless my mood is right, the day will be a failure. Trees and plants depend on the weather to flourish, but I make my own weather, yea I transport it with me. If I bring rain and gloom and darkness and pessimism to my customers, then they will react with rain and gloom and darkness and pessimism, and they will purchase naught. If I bring joy and enthusiasm and brightness and laughter to my customers, they will react with joy and enthusiasm and brightness and laughter, and my weather will produce a harvest of sales and a granary of gold for me. Today, I will be master of my emotions. And how will I master my emotions so that every day is a happy day, and a productive one? I will learn this secret of the ages. Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.”
So, my journey continues and I’m going to be focused on the word listen. Not only will I continue to start my day listening to God, but I will slow down my quick-thinking mind, and listen to what others are saying and not be in a hurry to speak. This week, we learned how to convert the negative emotions we experience, and use it as a tool to continue moving toward our bliss…….the things we desire in our lifetime. So, when fear shows up in my world, I will use it to my benefit since fear releases chemicals in our body that gives us energy to take action. When we use things constructively, there really isn’t much we can’t accomplish!