The Art of Listening

“Just listen,” is not as easy of a task as most make it out to be. Listening is an art, a skill that can be mastered.

How does one listen? I have always found it interesting that from a very young age, we have constantly been told to “listen” and to “pay attention” without ever being taught how to. Even as adults, we so often neglect the importance of what it truly means to listen.

Listening is an art, and trust me, it takes a lot of practice. There are a lot of aspects that come into play when listening to another speak.

Investing All of One’s Attention Into Listening

I would consider this to be the aspect of most importance when it comes to listening to another. Directing one’s attention towards one thing at a time requires intense focus, practice, and self-discipline (especially within the fast-paced society we’ve constructed for ourselves).

When listening to another, it is of utmost importance to give them all of your attention within that moment. If one is simultaneously attempting to complete a separate task, or if their mind is wandering the entire time, then their attention is not being fully invested in what the other has to say, and they are therefore not listening.

Being Present

Being present goes hand in hand with investing one’s attention into what the other has to say. If one is not fully present for the other, whether it be focusing on what is to come, or focusing on what has already passed, then they will not be able to comprehend the message that the other is trying to convey within that moment.

To be present with someone is to be grounded within the moment, to connect on a deeper level; A level deeper than the identities and mental-constructs of what we expect others to be. It is important to do this so one can accurately become conscious of what the other is actually trying to communicate, instead of formulating one’s own misinterpretation of what the other was originally intending to express. 

Maintaining an Open Mindset

If we hold onto the assumption that we already know what the other has to say, then we are also implying that whatever the other has to say is not important, or does not matter.

I always remind myself that regardless of what the other is trying to communicate, their feelings are valid, and they deserve to be heard. This does not mean that I have to agree with or believe everything that they have to say, but by no means does it suggest that I have to disregard their thoughts and feelings.

One cannot truly listen to what another is trying to communicate if they have already established a presumption in their mind of what they are going to say. If one listens with an open mind, letting go of all preconceived notions and expectations, then they will be able to effectively hear the message that the other is attempting to convey to them.

Acknowledging the Beingness in Another

Lastly, acknowledgement is so powerful. It is important to acknowledge the beingness and conscious aspect of the other as you are listening and present for them. The other is not simply an object existing only to serve, the other is a living, breathing, human being with thoughts, feelings, and perception just like you and me.

Once one practices becoming aware of the fact that how we treat others is equally as important to the way in which we treat ourselves, and that what others choose to express to us is equally as important to what we have to say,  we then are able to communicate from a place of compassion and higher awareness rather than placing the importance only on the points that matter to us and our own objectives.

The Art of Being

There is no trying, only doing.

The moment one “tries” to be a certain way is the moment they get lost in the process. 

The beauty of simply being is that one doesn’t have to try or do anything. This is what some would call, “going with the flow”. It is the art of intentionally transitioning into a state of allowing and acceptance.

When we try to act, or even think a certain way, we are also unconsciously establishing the implication that we have to do in order to be. But we are already complete as we are.

Although it is important to recognize that through this natural process, awareness is powerful. Being is not simply giving up and falling into a state of unconsciousness, in fact, when we are in a state of being we are becoming more aligned with our higher consciousness. When we allow things to flow naturally, it is important to do so with the presence of awareness so we also become conscious of the things that were once running behind the scenes as unconscious patterns.

So being is not simply a doing in order to gain a temporary sense of relief from our lives, it is a way of livingOnce we begin to live life in this constant state of flow, it creates the shift into becoming our natural state. There is no more trying, there is no more “If I could just achieve this, I will finally be complete,” there just is, and that is a beautiful thing.

Practicing Unconditional Self-Love

When one begins to practice unconditionally loving them self, they are also nurturing a positive relationship between their mind, their body, and their being.

Unconditional love is not something that can be obtained, or a goal that is to be reached. Unconditional love is something that we as human-beings are constantly learning how to practice and cultivate within our own lives. 

So many of us often create limitations for ourselves by reinforcing self-constructed negative belief-systems, like patterns of self-doubt and self-judgement. In my personal experience, it feels much better to work towards letting go of such a mentality, and to give yourself a break.

One thing I have learned is the importance of making myself aware of the fact that it is okay to make mistakes, as long as I am able to perceive these mistakes as a lesson to learn from instead of a grievance with the power to hold me back from growing.

Instead of holding such high exceptions for ourselves, as if we’re not human-beings with imperfections, we should work towards being more compassionate and understanding towards ourselves, as we can then more genuinely express compassion and understanding towards others.

It is not selfish to prioritize yourself; if anything, once one practices loving them self unconditionally, they can then radiate that love to others,  and share it with whomever they decide to share it with.

You are already complete as you are, you don’t need any external validation to determine your self-worth, and that is truth. ♥

Patience, forgiveness, nourishment, making peace with being alone, a nice warm bath; self-love takes many forms, but at the end of the day, it simply comes down to what works best for one personally, based on their own personal life-experiences.

Trust in whatever feels right for you, and everything else will begin to fall into place.