Walk through the door

12th November 2015

What changes will you make to make sure you are listening with purpose?

One person’s words can have a huge impact. One of my peers on my Mindfulness Course said this week, “I listen with purpose”

We live in an age where a big part of our communication is done through pressing a screen. For the most part through, phones, tablets and computers but also through ATM’s, CDM’s, CRM’s, ‘take a ticket and wait in line’ machines, swipe cards to get it, thumb prints to get out, ID cards to buy coffee and I am sure many many more.

One example I think we can all relate to, people go for dinner, sit down, open the menu and get distracted by their technology. 

Photos are taken, messages are sent, games are played, conversations are had and somewhere in all this, a decision is made as to what to eat. 

The waiter/waitress comes over, the order is taken and any eye contact that is made is usually swift, vague and seen as an interruption to knowing what is going on in the world through a screen.

The food arrives, which is only eaten after a flurry of photos and has more than likely gone cold as the photos taken need to be edited and uploaded to social media so everyone knows what is happening at the end of a different screen.

The bill comes, the bill is paid and people leave the restaurant shuffling along, shoulders bent and eyes cast down as they check how the world appreciated their contribution to their portfolio of their lives.

Makes me wonder, what will they take away from this experience? It made me think about all the times I have done this and sometimes to an extent still do. Every experience is unique to the person having it.

Some ideas I had were…
     …my neck is stiff, I should get a massage.
     …woohoo, I have 34 likes!
     …I forgot what I ordered, luckily I took a photo so I can show people 🙂
     …I can’t believe my friends didn’t notice my new top.

Now don’t get me wrong, I too have been a victim of this behaviour, focused on the screen and not the reality and I still find myself reaching for my phone.

But as of yesterday, when I read my peer’s comment ‘I listen with purpose’ something clicked and a light went on, a moment of clarity.

I saw the times when someone had spoken to me and I didn’t look at them, just carried on with what I was doing.
I saw the times when someone had spoken to me and I didn’t answer the question properly.
I saw the times when someone had spoken to me and I interrupted before they could finish.
I saw the times when someone had started speaking to me but they had given up.

That’s not cool at all!

Yesterday was the right time for me to read ‘I listen with purpose’
Yesterday the right time for me to understand what it means
Yesterday was the time for me to start listening with purpose.

As the title says ‘Old ways won’t open new doors.’ and therefore this shift in consciousness and awareness isn’t simple answering questions posed to me but taking the time to be 100% present in the conversations I am having whether I chose to be in that conversation or not.

It is a change of attitude, behaviour and lifestyle. I am grateful of everything that has happened to lead me to this place in my yoga journey and I look forward to the next stage of my journey.

So from now on these are the actions I am choosing to take to make sure I listen with purpose.

  • I will look at the person speaking.
  • I will make meaningful eye contact with the person.
  • I will look at their body language and emotions. 
  • I will be hands free. Put down what I am doing so it doesn’t distract me.
  • I will bite my tongue. Let them finish before I jump in with my penny’s worth.
  • I will thinking time is ok. I allow this in the classroom, so why not  with myself. Taking the time to think before speaking means the answer will be meaningful.

What about you?

What changes will you make to make sure you are listening with purpose?

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