Thursday, September 08, 2005



as we go about our daily lives it's easy to let our to-do lists drive us, to multitask our way through. one of the results of this is that it becomes rare for us to give our undivided attention to any one thing. this includes one of the most important things we can utilize our undivided attention for - to listen to the people in our life.

i came across this quote yesterday and it brought the importance of truly listening back to the forefront of my mind:

The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.
-Richard Moss

so often when we feel overwhelmed, depressed or just plain freaked out, all we really need is for someone to listen to us rant, rave and think things through, and suddenly things feel more manageable. making it a priority to stop and listen when we are talking to the people in our lives, and expecting the same of them, can have big results.

have you ever had that experience where you are trying to solve a problem, maybe it's some oddity in balancing your checkbook, and you just can't figure it out, so you decide to go and ask someone for help. and no sooner have the words explaining the problem left your mouth then the solution becomes totally clear. it's as if you didn't need the other person there for any other reason than to listen.

listening is a powerful tool. and it's a tool that is available to all of us.

i was watching some of the only hopeful media coverage i've seen of hurricane katrina to date - it was on oprah yesterday. she had rounded up a crew of celebrities to help the victims of the hurricane in a variety of ways. while their efforts were meaningful, what i found most touching was the footage of them just sitting with folks and listening. allowing people to tell their stories again and again and thus begin the healing process.

not only does being listened to allow us to solve problems and move through difficulties, it meets a basic human need we have to feel heard. we are all born with distinct thoughts, ideas and gifts to share during our time on this planet. being listened to allows us to fulfill our purpose.

what helps you to slow down and really listen to the people in your lives?

what do you need someone to sit down and listen to you think, talk or cry about?

i'd love to hear your thoughts on the power of listening, and what you notice as you take time to give and receive undivided attention, as always feel free to post them here!

dream big,

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