Wellness Now: Your Oasis in a Hectic Day

"We have two ears and one mouth
so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
~ Epictetus, Greek philosopher

Isn't that a great quote? Especially since, let's face it, we're pretty lousy listeners most of the time.

I heard a radio interview with a retired minister who had volunteered to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. The interviewer asked how he and the other volunteers helped. "What we do,' he answered, "is take the time to listen and be present."

It sounds pretty simple but listening and being present is a tall order for many of us. We may hear but how often are we truly listening? Being a good listener is a skill; like any skill, it takes practice.
May you be well,
Olivia (aka, Ohm)
Relaxation Coach, Workshop Facilitator & Author
Listen Up!
What is the difference between hearing and listening? Hearing is the physical act of taking in sound through the ears. Listening is a conscious decision, which requires concentration and focus.

Listening is an active form of meditation that involves paying attention - to a conversation, to the sounds around us, to our own inner wisdom.

Some interesting statistics about listening:

  • We are preoccupied/distracted about 75% of the time when we are supposed to be listening.
  • Immediately after listening to someone, we recall about 50% of what we heard.
  • In the long term, we remember only about 20% of what we heard.
  • Fewer than 2% of all professionals have had formal education or training to improve listening skills.

It's no surprise that listening can be a challenge. But it's not magic. Through the conscious decision to listen with purposeful attention, you'll hold the key to effective communication, insight and clarity.

Practice Your Listening Skills! 

  • Close your eyes.
  • Spend the next 5 minutes focusing on the sounds around you.
  • Simply notice what you hear. For instance, rustling leaves, birds chirping, a horn honking, a church bell ringing, etc.
  • How does really paying attention to sounds make you feel - physically, emotionally and mentally?
  • Repeat this a few times a day.

Try expanding your listening practice to conversations. Pay attention to your thoughts: Are you focused on what the person is saying or on your response? "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand," Stephen Covey said. "They listen with the intent to reply." Notice your intention.

Be quiet, be attentive, be a good listener.

"What people really need is a good listening to." ~ T.S. Eliot