Are You Listening?

by Sheila Finkelstein

Treasure Your Life Now:
Today’s Relationship Tip
Are you listening?

Tip # 34 in Love With No Regrets “55 Ways to Show Love” is “Listen with your Heart and your Head” –

The story below that goes with the photos and videos illustrated a time when I was paying more attention to the conversations in my own head than to that of the young boy with whom I had been conversing. I thus invite you to listen to the first 30-second video. Can you “hear” yourself in it, in either of the roles?

Today’s Photos
Late one afternoon, as I started walking and taking photographs of wood knots in Green Cay Wetlands, I got into conversation with a young boy and his mother. I stopped and showed them the Green Cay Wood Knot Lion, still in my camera. We then discovered another possible lion, or other critter, right under our feet. G, the young boy, did not agree with his mother and me on what it was. So the next time I made a discovery, he went down close himself to inspect it.

boy studying woodknot on the boardwalk at Green Cay Wetlands
Click on the photo to see Wood Knot the Boy is studying

We continued our walk, made some other “finds”, and then stopped again. My young friend climbed on the railing to watch the blue-winged teals. As I photographed, he continued talking about a story that was evidently on his mind from earlier conversation. His chattering along with the movement of the bird, is in the 32-second, fun video below.

If you can’t see the video, click on Blue-Winged Teal

My friend and his mother moved on as I stopped to record the two blue-winged teals below. This is a 34-second video in which you can experience the busy-ness of the teals and the peace of the scene.

blue wing teal
Click on photo to see the video online.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Let’s look at “paying attention.” If you’ve watched, and listened to, the first video with the boy chattering, you’ll have heard me break in with the suggestion to look at the water coming out of the duck’s beak.

I cringed when I heard this in playback. It reminded me of how often, I pay attention to my own thoughts and agenda and am not FULLY with the other person. And, I know, this is NOT unique to me.

I invite you, for the next day, or more, to pay attention to your own listening. Are you always full present to what the other person is saying or are your thoughts going elsewhere?

When you notice you’re not, are you planning on what you are going to say next, concentrating on something else, or is your mind simply wandering?

If/when you catch yourself, I invite you to stop, apologize to the person who is speaking, if appropriate, and ask for a recap. Then fully enjoy being in the moment with that person

As always, have fun with this, and please share your experiences in the COMMENTS below.

Adapted from Picture to Ponder Volume 6 – Issue 11

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