Have you ever listened to the words you speak? This is what Linus Mundy suggests as Idea #20 in the book Slow-down Therapy for rediscovering time and life. It made me think - so many times I have been advised to listen to others when they speak. But there is probably equal benefit to actually listening to the words I say. Audrey McLaughlin says "When you listen, it's amazing what you can learn. When can you act on what you've learned, it's amazing what you can change." And don't we all wish to be the change?
Listening goes farther than hearing the words you speak. It also involves a self examination with the goal of truly understanding ourselves. In the book Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred, Mark Nepo defines listening as "the doorway to everything that matters. It enlivens the heart the way breathing enlivens the lungs. We listen to awaken the heart...to stay vital and alive."
The act of listening is difficult due to all the external and internal distractions. But I am interested into opening the door to life. Here are some benefits I think we can reap from listening to ourselves speak:
- Talk Less. Listen to your words and consider whether you really need to say what you are saying. You don't like listening to BS, so be part of the solution and stop uttering it.
- Talk at the appropriate tone and level. Instead of raising your voice to speak to others, go to them and then speak at a reasonable level. No one else needs to hear the conversation. Remember your tone is what usually makes people tune you out.
- Speak unto others as you would have them speak onto you. As you speak, think - would I like to be spoken to this way? While this can be hard when you're in a heated or engaged discussion, take time to think after if you embodied the Golden Rule.
There's always another conversation coming up during which we can listen to ourselves and learn ways to be better.
Ms. Bhakti Mary
I am an optimistic, positive, generous and driven woman who is passionate about self-improvement.
The essence of who you are does not lie in the past. What matters is what you are willing to do NOW. You are the presence.