Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Listening with our eyes, our ears, and our heart

Good morning,

Today, I woke up and vowed to myself that I would listen to every single word out of my child's mouth. I know that sounds so basic, but how often do we fully interact with the person that is speaking to us?

How many times have you been on a one sided conversation because your friend or family member is not paying attention to a word you're saying? How many times have we "yessed" our kids just to get them to be quiet so that we can go about with our daily chores?

It probably happens in our lives more than we should because it becomes the norm. Listening to others validates their existence. It makes someone feel good that another person is taking the time to pay attention to them and offer a real response. It also makes us present in the moment.

We yell at our kids for not listening to us, but how often do we give them the same respect? We all lead by example to one another.

I made sure that every time Lance or Ethan uttered a word, I made eye contact with them, gave them my undivided attention and then reacted or responded accordingly. What a wonderful and whining free day I had.

Lance wanted to play park with the couch and I let him because it made him happy and able to use his imagination. He then wanted pancakes for breakfast and we made that too. We ate our pancakes with our eyes closed so that we could savor all the ingredients....vanilla extract, butter, maple syrup. Yum, the best pancakes I have eaten to date. Europeans understand about savoring your food. Thomas Keller, a renowned world chef, claims that after the second or third bite we no longer taste the dish, but are just eating it for the purpose of eating.

We left the house at noon and went to feed the geese at Washington Park. Lance wanted to bring his guitar and sing to the geese so they could dance. Children are so marvelous in their thinking when you make the time to actually listen to what they are expressing. We fed the birds at the park while Ethan and Kate were sound asleep.

Later that night we went to the Children's Museum for Super Hero Night. We got there just in time for Story ironic...we got to practice our listening skills once again.

My children were happy that mom gave them the unconditional attention that they deserve. In turn, maybe I didn't get all my chores done today, but my soul was content.

Take the time to listen unconditionally to your friends, your husband/wife, your kids, or anyone else that you interact with. Open up your heart to what they are trying to communicate and see what a huge difference that our sense of hearing can offer.

With love,

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