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Do You Listen?
Bonnie Moss (c) 2007-04
 
Listening: There's an old saying: "God gave us two ears and one mouth", meaning we should 
listen twice as much as we talk. Do you know how to listen?   Source unknown 

The mind goes a mile a minute as we try to listen to someone. There are those who finish the 
sentence before the speaker says it all. Still, others hear only the first few words and 
something else grabs their attention. Some have their thoughts wandering off to the far distance.

At times, the listener immediately identifies or relates the words to their own circumstance 
and interrupts the conversation. Many of us have done these unconsciously without realizing this 
is not courteous to the speaker. It is easy to forget that listening is an important part of a 
conversation. No one benefits from too much interruption during a conversation. 

Listening is an art. It is a skill that can be developed. Being able to listen adds depth
and enthusiasm to a relationship.It is a way to let someone reach out to us or give one a chance 
to vent. Who has not had the need to talk to someone and just ease to the tension building up 
within before it bursts out of control? There are different ways of listening as thereare a variety 
of talkers and topics to talk about.Good listening is passive- not interactive.

Interrupting
Nothing breaks up the flow of thought as badly as being  interrupted. Some people have the 
knack of patiently waiting till the end of the topic. Whether or not they digest what is being 
said, or are just being polite, this is a commendable trait.

It takes practise but most of us can learn to be good listeners by not interrupting.
Good listening skill allows a good flow of thought from the one who is talking. A good listener
encourages good conversation, good exchange of ideas and fosters enthusiasm. It builds trust.
When you listen to one who needs to vent- you provide comfort and a much needed moral support.

Boundaries :As with everything, there is a downside.
1. What about listening to a one-sided conversation- I refer to these as the Me, My Syndrome. 
   There has to be a polite way of interrupting this kind of talk.
2. Sounding Board
This is a negative aspect to listening.When you become a sounding board too
often, this is a draining negative energy. Know when to pull out.

The deeper level of listening
Being a good listener nourishes the spirit. It helps to slow down an overactive mind.
It brings focus to the moment. Listen to your favorite music and really listen quietly. 
to your inner voice, let it help you diminish the clutter in your mind and listen to your heart.

With a quiet mind, yes, you can listen to the sound of silence and peace.

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