This week, I went BIG with seeing the moon, instead of only looking at it, and I saw the way it moves around the sky at different times of the night. I gave it my full attention, instead of taking it for granted, and expecting it to illuminate the night sky.
I changed the way I looked at the moon and saw how useful it is, as a force that increases the ocean tides, and stabilizes the earth’s rotation so it doesn’t tip and cause extreme weather. I saw it playing a starring role in lunar eclipses, solar eclipses, and appearing to get smaller and larger and change shape when the angle of the sun changes and casts shadows on it.
In the clear night sky, all the way from earth, I could see the valleys and highlands and marks where it had been hit by meteors and comets. On a cloudy night, it shone a smoky, foggy light through the clouds. One night, I saw a ring around the moon, caused by light reflecting on icy clouds surrounding it.
When I went BIG with seeing the moon, instead of simply looking at it, I realized how wonderful it is to have, and life would not be nearly as good without it.
As I worked on actively listening to those that I spoke with this week, I found that truly listening to the people in my life was hard work, but well worth it. Dr. M. Scott Peck says it is rare that someone listens to you with their full intention, as people’s minds wander, or they are busy driving, or cooking, and are not giving their full attention to you.
This week I put in the effort to listen to the people in my life, and it made a difference. Instead of thinking about what I was going to say in return, I let them talk. I could tell they were aware of the intensity of my listening by the look on their faces, and they felt my love.
I also learned that listening is healing to the person you are giving your attention to.
I have a friend who is retired, and this week he told me about a friend who moved away to a gated community. I worked hard to give him my undivided attention, and soon realized why he told me about his friend – he himself was thinking about where he was going to live for the rest of his life, and I felt empathy for his situation, and actively listened to him talk for about ten minutes.
At the end of the conversation a huge smile lit up his face, as if he was happy he had told someone about his plans, and as if a load had been lifted from him. I felt like I had given him a gift that had cost me nothing. When he drove away, I realized that I too had received a gift. By putting in the effort to not interrupt him or change the subject, I grew and developed as a person through the conversation we shared.
For this week’s optimizing yourself exercise, I am going to actively listen to people, without getting distracted with other things.
Dr. Peck says one of the most important ways you can show people you love them is by listening to them. By investing the effort to pay attention to them, we extend their spiritual growth as well as your own. It is a two way street, where both the giver and the receiver benefit.
I am going to actively listen to the people that are speaking to me this week, and I will let you know how it goes next week.