In the ninth grade, I remember the first time I moved into a yoga pose. Pretending to be meditating, I closed my eyes, crossed my legs and brought my thumbs and middle fingers to touch. I was in the school cafeteria. I had no concept of yoga except this—and I was quickly reprimanded by my concerned christian friend—that Christians can't meditate. It is against God to do such a thing … And for many years, when I heard the words mediate and/or yoga, that was the experience that came to mind.
I love the benefits of living an active lifestyle. I am not a competitive person, but I find an incredible amount of joy in finding my edge. Most of the time. But, it's not always easy to stay motivated.
There have been seasons, where training for an event was just what I needed. There have also been seasons when training for an event or setting too many expectations and goals became more stressful then helpful.
Most of us listen with just 25% efficiency. Chances are that even when we are not speaking or on our smart phones, we are thinking about what we will say, rather then being present and truly listening to what is being said to us. This week we will dive into some practical ways to practice how to listen, love and lead well.
Whether we are talking about raising our children; who we work or volunteer with; and/or anyone of in our sphere of influence; are we the person that we want them to intimidate? Or are we still hoping someone else is going to rise to the challenge and take on the work of making a positive difference?
Active listening and being present is a lot of work. By nature, we think of ourselves first. So putting anyone before ourselves takes mindful effort—but so is anything worth having. So how do we make this a reality when we already feel pulled in so many directions?
Learning to listen well will make ours far richer then only focusing on ourselves. I think most of us want to listen, love and lead well. I also think we tend to give up when we allow ourselves the excuse that "we just aren't wired that way" or we are too busy today, maybe tomorrow...
I also know that somedays I fail at listening. I have went through the motions, but could not truthfully tell you how the people that matter most to me really are doing. Even if they tried to tell me! When those days are over, maybe I made it through a few more items on my to-do list, but I am far less content with how I spent my time. When this happens, it is always a reminder that my short term desires are not worth living my life for, but the people God allows me to get know and share life with are.
How about you? Do you have any other tips or practices that helps you listen well? I'd love to hear them if so.
Trail running… my first real introduction to meditation. The biggest difference being if you happen to follow a rabbit trail of thoughts—there is a really strong chance you will bite it and hit the ground.
I can’t even remember why I wanted to start running trails. However, I will never forget the miles of running on jagged rock and mud—and aide stations that have Nutella pita sandwiches and M&Ms—and the necessary focus to what was in front of your feet.
I've been a mom for almost seventeen years now. A few things I've learned about myself along this part of my journey.
I first learned I wasn't very patient, I have practiced patience, prayed for patience, gained some patience —and can still lose patience when television and electronics are essentials and cleaning up after one self is not.
"Show up. Hold space. Do the work. Abandon perfection.
Flirt with your curiosity.
And for the love of the process, keep coming back..."
A Yogi quote from Lululemon
Showing up and holding space is not the same as showing up, checking it off of the to-do list, and moving on to the next item. What's the difference?