Secrets of Transformation: How to Listen Within

“The more faithfully you listen to the voice within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.  And only he who listens can speak.” – Dag Hammarskjold

In the last article, I discussed listening as a way to water your seed of potential to become a towering oak of great purpose.  You may say, “Jami, I have tried to listen, and it doesn’t work.  I don’t hear anything, except my mind running in circles.”  My response is that you have been only sprinkling your seed with listening.  For a seed to really take root, a lot of water is required, especially when just beginning.

Listen Within Phase I

The process of listening contains two phases.  First, you need to decompress.  When your mind has been conditioned to run at 100 rpms constantly, you first have to slow your brain down.  In fact, the longer your brain has been moving at this pace, often the more time you need to decompress.  How you decompress depends on the person.  Really listening is an organic process.  You have to experiment and find what works for you.  This may include solitude, meditation, deep breathing, walking or sitting in nature, drawing or worship.   Maybe you need to take a nap!

Listen Within Phase II

But then you need to make the most of your decompressing time and move into the second phase.  Now, your brain is ready to fully connect.  Not just be in left brain activity, which is how we live most of our lives, but for the right brain to also fully engage.  Now, you are ready to listen.  I encourage you to take a blank piece of paper and let the words or pictures flow.  A great place to start is with desire.  What is the desire deep within you?  Let it out and write about it.  Maybe it is a page full of questions, emotions and direction.  Don’t stop and pre-judge yourself.  Just let it flow.  Later you can look back and see patterns emerge, but this is where you start.

I like to challenge people to take a full day retreat.  We live such hectic lives that we need half the day to just decompress.  I know one company where taking a day retreat once a month is part of their leadership’s job responsibilities.  They have found this to be so valuable that now they are investing in other employees doing the same.

I also find that the more you invest in extended times of listening, the quicker you are able to engage in deep listening while in the flow of your regular day.  You can begin to connect in a 30-minute time set aside for listening, a sprinkle.  You also begin to be able to connect in the spur of a moment.

So, I challenge you to take a full-day listening retreat.  You may say, “But, Jami, seriously, I don’t have time for that!”  My response would be, “How can you not have time for it!  Do you want to be comfortable just living out activities, or do you want to grow your seed of potential to a purpose of greatness?”  Give yourself a gift over the holidays.  Give yourself the gift of time.  Please share about your experience.

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