Beliefnet
Fresh Living

Valerie and I were talking about what a rare, precious thing it is to find a good listener these days.  So we decided today to each offer a tip on listening, the process by which we take in the world around us and try to hear what’s real.

Here’s my tip: Take a moment to listen for beauty.  You’ll be rewarded every time.

Here’s how.  Stop what you’re doing right now and listen.  What do you hear?  The hum of a computer, the roar of traffic, the clack of shoes on a floor, a barking dog?  Turn down the volume on the self-talk, the inner scheduler, whatever might be going on internally, and tune in to the world that’s holding you right now. 

Now turn down the volume on any annoying sounds–a coworker’s loud phone conversation, the jackhammer down the street–and listen for something peaceful, calming, joyful, or inspiring to focus on.  Maybe that same coworker just laughed.  Or maybe when the jackhammer pauses you hear a bird’s song.  Maybe the hum of your computer is actually a soothing white noise. 

Maybe you wouldn’t have noticed any of those things if you hadn’t….listened.

How do you listen?  What do you hear?  What do you admire most in a listener?

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