I’ve realized that I talk a lot more than I listen.
I remember getting scolded by a boss years ago for not listening to a client. I was too concerned with sharing my perspective, justifying my recommendations. His point? She was the client. She was paying us. While we had an obligation to share our expertise, at the end of the day, the client wouldn’t stick around if we weren’t willing to listen to her.
Listening means giving up your stage.
It means you aren’t the center of attention. It means you take into account other people’s perspectives. It means acknowledging you don’t always know best. It means admitting your way is not always the right way. It means letting go.
I’ve learned there are many ways this applies to life, not just in verbal communication.
When I look at the parts of my life that work the best, they are the places I listen. Listen to my body. Listen to my heart. Listen to inspiration.
There is a balance because I have learned to pay attention to signals instead of simply doing what I think I should be doing.
Case in point. I’ve never really had a problem with my weight. Yes, on most days I exercise and eat well, but not because I am trying to maintain or lose weight. Because it feels good to do so. Yet, there are times I don’t exercise for weeks, or I eat all the wrong things because that’s what my body is craving.
I don’t feel guilty about it. I don’t beat myself up. I honor it.
Because I know there’s a reason I’m feeling that way. I know it’s about balance.
I trust that if my body doesn’t feel like exercising it probably needs a break, so I give it one. Sometimes that break lasts a few days, sometimes a few weeks, and on occasion it can last a few months. But the time always comes that I feel the urge to go back out for a run, or do some other form of exercise. And I look forward to it. I enjoy it once again.
I see so many people forcing themselves to exercise or be on restrictive diets.
They focus on everything they put into their mouth. They judge food as good or bad. They have not listened to their body for so long they don’t even know when they’re hungry anymore, or how to listen to what their body needs.
Most of those people have battled weight issues for years and constantly feel deprived. Instead of enjoying moving their body (I’ll bet they did as a kid) exercise feels like punishment—something they have to do.
If they could only listen to what their body is telling them and honor it, they’d likely get back into a state of balance, the weight would come off, and they’d enjoy exercising—it wouldn’t feel like penance for that cheeseburger or bowl of ice cream.
Instead, they’d feel good. They’d be taking care of their body and it would take care of them right back.
If you haven’t been listening, I encourage you to give it a try.
Listen to your body, and honor it. Listen to your heart, and trust it. Listen to that little voice… I call it inspiration, and follow it.