Speaking vs Listening

I have a right to speak up, to voice my opinions. And that is a right I hold dearly.

But sometimes, I wonder if we’ve collectively forgotten about the other side of this coin? If and when I speak up, I would like to be listened to. If everyone is so busy speaking, who’s doing the listening? Hence, perhaps it’s time to start to talk about the right, or maybe even the duty, to remain silent and listen as well?

Now, I don’t have to listen to everything, of course not. I’m not saying you need to either. You get to choose. It’s totally up to you! But at least once in a while, stop talking and practice the art of listening instead, and see what happens. You might learn something new, you might be strengthened in your current beliefs, your world might totally flip-flop due to what you hear. But if you don’t listen – you are missing out on many opportunities to grow, to expand your awareness, to get a new sliver of knowledge, and thereby getting another piece of the puzzle in place. The puzzle that is life, wisdom, the meaning of life. The kind of puzzle that has no edge-pieces. An eternal puzzle, where you can add piece after piece, for your entire life.

So don’t limit yourself by talking talking talking so much that you forget the art of listening. Because if you do, you place a limit on yourself. And I know, because I’ve been a lousy listener for parts of my life. So lousy in fact, that I didn’t want to hear any opposing views, because I thought that meant I was no good. If I wasn’t ”in the right” I had to be ”in the wrong” you see.

I totally missed the deeper truth, that by listening, and looking within, at my beliefs, norms and habits, questioning them once in a while, I enter the road to a better life. That’s how to grow as a person. Realizing a few years ago that other peoples opinions don’t have any bearing on whether or not I am good or bad, sure made it easier for me to start to take in what they said, made it easier to start to listen, to dare to look at what happened within me when listening.

I hope I never forget this. I hope I always continue to practice the art of listening, so that my eternal puzzle can grow and expand, in all sorts of forms and shapes and patterns, totally wild, and nothing at all lika a traditional 1000-piece puzzle of a house in the Alps. *Fairly certain the image in my minds eye of that house in the Alps is fairly similar to the image in your minds eye.*puzzle

If you go for the house in the Alps, go for it with all your might. No two puzzles are ever the same, and we should never strive for that either. I want (my!) life, my puzzle, to be something else. Unpredictable. Going for the unknown. Willing and wanting to expand and grow. While being totally at peace with the here and now. Loving myself in the here and now, but childishly curious as to what might come, what might be, what might happen in the here and now of tomorrow?

Daily habits

Continuing on yesterday’s topic of doing average stuff, but consistently, having it add up to something spectacular, I give you some wisdom from Seth Godin, from a blog post he published in December 2014 (published here):

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In the past six months, since August 18th 2014, I’ve discovered I’m quite good at this, building daily habits, and just doing it. Because once I committed myself to it (and also voiced it publicly, something that helps me feel accountable!), I have been doing my daily Seven minutes of morning exercise and a Headspace-meditation as well as my daily dose of German in DuoLingo. In September sometime I started doing another daily meditation as well. Also, for the past 39 days I’ve done my minimum of 15 minute #cleanse4expansion, without exception. Just doing it.

Oh, and I have an even longer track record, as it’s just over two years ago that I started to blog daily. There have been a few exceptions there, and I’m cool with that. But I don’t make a habit of exceptions, because then my daily habit is no longer what Seth so wisely points to: something I just do, without having to decide on a daily basis to do them. Rather I can just play around with how to do it, on each given day.

And you know what? I don’t find this taxing. It’s not stressful. And it’s not even something I feel I HAVE to do. I just do them. It’s like brushing my teeth. I don’t fight myself on a daily basis trying to convincing myself to brush my teeth, morning and evening. I just do it. Because I’ve learnt that habit, and I find that it serves me.

The same is true with blogging, Seven and the meditations. In the beginning there was some effort to it. And sure enough, sometimes I’d rather not. But…. it’s like brushing my teeth, I just do it, regardless if I really want to or not. Because I find that it serves me.

The moment it stops serving me (it being any daily habit of mine) – there’s no reason for me to continue. So the trick, for me, is to revisit my Why’s once in a while. I’ll give it a go right now:

Why do I blog daily?
Because it’s self coaching for me, and a great way to reflect. And sometimes it proves helpful to other people as well.

Why do I do a daily Seven minute of exercise?
Because I feel better, I get stronger, more fit, and my back (and the rest of my body) really benefits from the daily movements!

Why do I do two meditations daily?
Well, I started with Headspace because my brother got me into it. Not the reason I’m still doing it though! My reason why has evolved, and now centers around me really enjoying the quiet time with myself and mind, and also I find that it helps me be more centered during the non-meditating times of my day, which of course makes up most of my day. The second meditation is a practice that helps me connect on a daily basis to love and acceptance, and that is also something which greatly impacts my entire day.

What daily habits do you have, and what’s your reason for doing them??

Podcast 2/52 – On habits

You already know that The One You Feed is a favorite podcast of mine, so maybe it’s no surprise to you that I’ll include an episode from there early on in this yearlong series. But this is a mini-episode, where Eric Zimmer talks about building habits. It’s a short episode really just summarizing Erics best tips for how to build a habit successfully.

I won’t reveal all the different suggestions, except my favorite tip, which is one of the last ones: Never miss twice. Because I’m sure you, as well as I, have started to create a habit some time, only to realize all of a sudden that we´ve missed a day. Rather than beat yourself up over it and/or toss it all away, going There’s no point to it, I just missed a day, I’ll never be able to get this habit in please go Never miss twice instead. That is a loving and forgiving way to look at yourself and building of habits, because who cares if you miss a day? I mean, really. What’s the big deal? It’s like getting tossed off a horse, get back on again!never miss twice

I hope you listen to the podcast, and come back next Sunday for the next podcast tip.

Which one was your favorite tip? And are there any tips you have on building a habit that wasn’t on Erics list, that you’d like to share?

Let it shine!

Alan Seale sends out a weekly newsletter called The Transformer. On August 28th, this poem was the starting point:

Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Teresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.

— George Saunders, American writer

Wonderful words, stirring deep into my soul.

20130828-131302.jpgEspecially the latter part, about clearing away that which keeps me separate from my own luminous place. That resonates, because I believe we have so many patterns that form layers on top of the pure un-adulterated me.

Patterns can serve me. They might also do the opposite. It’s highly likely they did serve me when they were created. But do they still, perhaps years after I created them?

I try to identify my patterns and habits. Once I have, I let my Curious George run wild, checking them out, seeing if they still serve or not.

Any that I I find don’t serve me any more, I clear, one by one, making use of the energy within them, to become true to myself, showing my secret luminous place.

So let it shine – that which is truly you! We all need for you to let it shine!

What lies hidden in your secret luminous place?