How to slow down, listen to yourself, enjoy and improve relationships with a receptive state of mind
Our society runs in fast motion. There is much to do and technology easily eats up whatever time we have when we are done with our to-do list. The straight out truth is this speed is taking a toll on our lives and relationships. I'm one of those people who have much to do and love technology- internet, social networking, my DroidX, etc. However, what easily happens to others, happened to me. I stopped reserving space in my life for slowing down and listening to the “beat of my heart.”
There is much going on “out there” but there also is much going on “in here.” Yes, in my own body and soul, there are feelings, desires, intuitive senses as well as a desire for inner peace. My commitment to myself is to take some time every day to meditate, experience and get to know what I am feeling and release these feelings to experience more inner peace. If I listen to my feelings, I am more likely to be constructive in stressful situations as opposed to engage in some immediate tension-reducing behavior that does not ultimately give me what I want. I invite you to do the same. Constant busy-ness does not bring more meaning and joy to our lives. I am convinced that periodic slowing down to listen to ourselves actually makes us more effective and we get more done.
It reminds me of a client I had that refused to slow down despite the fact that I gave her an assignment to slow down for 10 minutes every day. She claimed that she had no time to slow down for even 10 minutes. One day, her husband showed up to a session without her and I asked where she was. He said that she pulled out her back and had not been able to move out of her bed or do even a bit of work in the last two weeks. She admitted that her back went out because of the constant stress and that taking 10 minutes a day for herself would have interrupted the stress cycle and she would have been for more ahead in her work if she did those 10 minutes a day breaks I asked her to do.
Listen to "Self", Listen to Others
Listening to “self” is developing a receptive state of mind. This receptive state of mind allows you to enjoy smelling the roses, hearing birds chirping, tasting delicious food, feeling the gentle wind across your face and seeing a cute baby’s smile. Tuning in your senses reanimates the world around you. It is a more soulful way to live.
As you slow down for periods of the day to experience your own bodily emotions, sensations and desires; you can utilize this same receptive state of mind to become a good listener to others. Most people spend very little time truly listening where the full attention is on the other person, taking in what they are saying, meaning and feeling.
I work with couples every day to develop the skills to be receptive listeners. One of the great joys is to have the experience of being heard even if what needs to be heard are unpleasant, difficult feelings and opinions. I am convinced that most couples waste so much time in the wrong direction; always trying to prove their respective points and push their own agenda. If we put as much effort into slowing down and becoming receptive to the other person, we will have more of what we want from our partner. They might even change their mind and agree with you AFTER AND NOT BEFORE you are receptive to them. Then again, if they still disagree, it might not matter much since you are enjoying the connection with your grateful partner, grateful for your willingness to be receptive and understanding to his or her point of view.
I ask you to commit to a daily dose of slowing down. Do a simple breathing meditation or simply ask yourself what you are feeling right now. Develop a receptive state of mind as you take in the environment through your senses. Lastly, utilize that same receptive state of mind to practice being a truly effective listener to your partner and others and see how quickly your relationships improve.