Are you listening?

Are you listening image
Are you listening?
I had this epiphany the other day that I am always listening. I love podcasts on yoga, cooking, traveling… I love to listen to audio Italian lessons. I am always working on creating a new music play list for my classes. I listen, I listen, I listen…
Technology has provided us the ability to always be listening and learning. I cut the grass while wearing my wireless headphones. I walk Zeek while practicing my Italian. I learn about something new in the yoga world while driving to my next class. Information always seems to be coming in or at least I thought so.
However, as I cut the grass the other day, I realized I must have listened to some of the same Italian lessons at least 5 times and I still did not have all the vocabulary and concepts memorized. I will never deny that I need a lot of repetition to retain information, but this seemed a little ridiculous. But, then, a deeper self-reflection set in, ah another epiphany… I wondered…was I really listening? Was my mind wondering and my brain shutting out the information? Was I dreaming about dinner or next week’s event? Was I just tuning out the sound? I would say 100% yes!!!
My need to listen did not develop out of a desire to avoid silence, but rather, it came from the need to always feel productive. Then, I wondered, was my need to listen all the time reducing my ability to retain and therefore reducing my productivity? Sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out.
What if I listened less in effort to listen more? If I allowed my brain to rest more often, would it all come a bit easier? If every once in awhile, I walked, ran, cut the grass or cooked in silence would I remember more? Would I have the ability to be more present? Again, I would say 100% yes.
Our yoga practice provides us with the time to be present, but often we forget the importance of the present moment when we step off our mats. When information is always coming in from multiple directions, it seems almost impossible to focus on the present moment. So, in effort to listen more, learn more and be more present I am going to make a conscious effort to reduce some of the influx and simply listen to the world around me.
Maybe you are not addicted to podcasts and learning Italian, but maybe you always have the TV on or you get all the social media notifications on your phone, maybe you always feel the need to call someone during your silent moments. Consider what creates your influx and try reducing or eliminating it for a week or two. See if some of the silence allows you to listen more.
Sending you love, hugs and peace,
XO – L

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