by David Ward
Listen and the act of listening may seem a strange topic for this month but I believe it is one of the keyaccess points to happiness and of course it’s maintenance.
A quick Google search reveals that is a popular search by people that could imply people want to know what ‘listen’ means. Curious as I am it reports:
‘take notice of and act on what someone says’, ‘make an effort to hear something; be alert and ready to hear something’, ‘used to urge someone to pay attention to what one is going to say’. As a noun it says ‘an act of listening to something’.
I am sure you have all had to deal with people either not listening e.g., to you or you too just didn’t want to know. So today I don’t want to speak about this (after all you may not be listening: pardon the pun) so I want to speak about how to listen to yourself.
If I that this point you are not listening then skip this month…after all, there is none so deaf as those who will not hear (that roughly translates to ‘Non c’è peggior sordo di chi non vuol sentire’).
One of the wisest investments you can make in life is to buy a set of ear plugs!
I’m not joking, as they allow you to listen to your body starting from your heart beat.
Try it as I can personally testify that if you listen carefully who can literally feel your body and all the incredible works it does you every single second. I know you are probably thinking that I have lost all reason because by suggesting buying ear plugs you simply cannot listen but here is the first consideration.
One thing is to hear another is to listen. So even if you have perfect hearing it does not guarantee you will listen. I’m sure you have witnessed this and you know the detrimental effects it can have on your state of mind and of course those around you.
The second consideration is that we another four senses: touch, sight, smell and taste. We can of course add a sixth sense which is usually proposed as intuition but I prefer to call it here as awareness. But with all these senses our body, mind, soul and brain often get overloaded to the extent we have too much ‘noise’. I find this ironic that while we have so much at hand, we decide to simply downgrade our possibilities by shutting down one or more of our senses. In other words, we rob ourselves of really understanding who we are and also the people around us. Food for thought.
Recently one of my sisters suddenly lost her hearing in one of her ears. Needless to say, she is still very much under shock and she confessed last week that not only is it debilitating but it has upset her and her life. While she waits for a visit to the hearing specialist, we are doing our best to listen to her needs.
This brings me to my third consideration. Listening allows you not only to be more aware of the gifts you already have but also live a happier and happy life. You can find many videos on Youtube that show the response of people regaining their hearing and the effects it has on them and the people around them.
Children in particular have incredible bursts of spontaneous joy and awe
Returning to the ear plugs allow me to suggest investigating the other four senses. For example, take off your shoes and socks/stockings and try walking bare foot on say, grass or a wooden floor. If you blind fold yourself or close your eyes tight you can really pick-up some incredible sensory feedback. This feedback is often muffled with our socks/stockings on and even worse with our shoes so we miss out on getting to know things around us. If you have the opportunity while in the countryside look for sensory trails. You can find them again posted on Google and are also sign posted and often accompanied with a nearby stream and different terrains to maximise the diverse feelings you pick-up with your senses including smell and taste.
A final consideration is understanding that listening is actually about knowledge and knowing. So just like the other four senses we explore the world and the people who live in it by getting to know them.
Jesus stressed a great deal about ‘knowing him by listening to him’ and there are numerous citations in the bible that testify this.He healed many with sensory problems not by chance but by design.
This month the happiness calendar is about Mindfulness that encourages you to ‘take some time to look within. Learning to be more mindful and aware can-do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life… the things we notice or our relationships’.