“Listening with Open Ears”

“Listening with Open Ears”

Week 31 8-1-20 “Listening with Open Ears” Changing Lives Through Dancing!


A few years ago, I had a great revelation. I realized that I saw in others what I recognized in myself.


What does that mean? It means that when I see someone who loves to dance, cook, walk and run, or any hobby or interest that I love, I instantly recognize that quality in them. You can create an instant connection with someone just over the great interests shared.


Then, after a long time, I began to realize that what bothered me in others came from troubling qualities that I possessed and that I recognized in others. When I saw someone talking over someone else, or someone getting on my nerves for their harsh response of speech, or just someone not listening, I would get irritated. I realized that I was allowing others to “push my buttons” and I was often angry with others. I was just seeing myself in them and not realizing it.


From lectures, reading, and just maturity, I realized that what I saw in others that upset me were qualities that I disliked about myself! This realization brought me down a few notches.  I have spoken and written about this and have had quite a few not agree with me. But I know for just me, this is the case.


How has this realization changed my life? First, I have learned to listen and wait and respond rather than react to others. In today’s world, there is a lot of talking and not a lot of listening! I have a big mouth, a strong opinion, and a short fuse so I have practiced to first hear someone out and take in their words rather than flip open my mental fact book to respond before even hearing out the other person.


The second great change is for the good, when I listen to someone talking about something I love, I drink in their words and let them finish talking about music they heard, the last dance they performed, the latest motivational quote they heard. Now I listen and share more moments with others. In the past I would hear someone speaking and rather than listening, I would be forming my response before they had even finished. Bad quality for me to have and my bad listening skills at that time.


It’s amazing how lovely other people truly are. Taking a moment to truly listen is a skill that may be practiced and perfected daily! I have found that my response is just not all that important anyway and the best response is usually a heart-felt agreement!


Having practiced this listening skill has opened my life to truly learning from my mentors and life coaches. I have learned to take in their words, guidance, and advice in a new, strong and meaningful way.


So now when I hear someone saying “like” for the 30th time, I check my own verbal graffiti first before I quit listening to them. Before I get angry with someone who is angry around me, I realize that they are not angry with me, they are just upset and need to vent. (They might be angry with me, and then I apologize quickly).


I hate the bad qualities in my own life and at 64 years old, I still have time to grow and change for the better.  I’m not perfect, but I realize that there is something special about everyone around me, I must take the time to see and listen clearly.


Try to stay calm as we heal from this virus, go through a powerful election, seek peace during the social unrest and protests, and try to keep our businesses open, keep our jobs secure, and keep ourselves safe. This is not an easy time for anyone and we all can truly use a smile and a good word daily.


Remember, we will make it through all this. It will get better…and it will!


Thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting Arthur Murray Santa Monica as a small business in Santa Monica! We appreciate you!


Love to you all. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe. Be Well!


David Woodbury