I took a nice long walk around my neighborhood today admiring lawns and pink flamingoes, trying to make sure the next post was helpful and relevant to the series. The subject I realized today is another key tip in practicing an open mind.
As creative, enlightened people, we should actively practice an open mind by listening as much as possible.
I hope that will make perfect sense to you after I have given you many ways to do it through the course of this series. Please feel encouraged to subscribe to this series. I’m excited about how valuable this is in opening ones mind. Sometimes we shut people out as if we were using custom blinds for our psyche. Those are great for our house, but not for our heart and mind. We need to listen more.
We’ve all heard the statistics about how women have larger brains and how they are better listeners and better at many other things than men. I am not here to argue that at all. My wife knows full well how much I believe she is playing with a larger emotional deck that I am. What I want to stress is that I believe women and men, based on my experience of family, work, and life, are all generally poor at listening. In fact, it might be a cultural thing that we as Americans do not like to listen. Many are like me, we like to talk, fast, hard, and loud, no matter who gets hurt or shut out.
What if you could be more enlightened about what the people around you think?
The other day I caught myself lecturing my son on how his things were in every room in the houses where they didn’t belong (including a shoe at the bottom of the pool). As I rambled on and watched his bulbous brown eyes begin to well up tears, I listened to myself and it was not the ideal I have for myself. Ever done that?
It is phenomenal how much our mind is opened when we listen fully to someone else. Active listening is when you say back what the other is saying periodically and that is a good idea. But can you listen to people for half a day and not have a response? I’ve tried it and friends it aint easy. Just let what they are saying penetrate your mind, don’t respond except for the normal, OK etc. This is crucial to the experiment.
I could give you many statistics on how listening makes you a better person and such, but let’s just try the experiment what do you say? Starting right now at 11:26am until 6 or 7 tonight when I am doing my evening laps and jacuzzi time, I am going to listen. We haven’t been to church in a while and we decided to go to Saturday night services tonight … I might have picked the perfect day ;)
At any rate, whatever you do and whoever you interact with, this is a good exercise. I think you will be blown away at the paradigm shifts you experience and the broader, more open mind that you enjoy as a result. Heck, we may all decide to never speak again! …probably not, but it sounded like a good close. Whether you do this experiment or not, I’d love to get your comments on the concept of listening.