It´s Saturday. The first day of Spring and the Sun is shining, but it´s still cold and windy outside. The dishwasher is on and, even if it´s a silent model, I can hear how it moves the water with a certain rhythm. I hear the water boiling and getting ready to make a cup of green tea.

Noises… background noises. We get use to noises in our everyday. We get so use to noises that unconsciously we filter them and our brain stop paying attention to all layers of sound happening around us. Even when we think we are in silence, we can focus our attention to certain frequences and find out that there is always sound, or some noise of some kind happening…

When we think about listening we normally refer it to the spoken language, to the communication between humans, but listening is a very complex thing…

It might be because I am currently working on projects with deaf students that I am trying to be even more sensitive and caring about listening and hearing, about perceiving and feeling with all my senses… Trying to understand how things are defined, how many levels in communication are we really perceiving…

It might also be because I am a very sensitive person and my interest to improve my communication skills to enable the best channels for providing and exchanging information, trying to avoid misunderstandings, miscommunication, unnecessary conflicts with myself and with others… Language is an extremely powerful tool. It is incredibly useful and precious but also really dangerous. It depends on the energy and intention we put into what we say, the energy and cultural heritage in the words as they were made… Is a very very complex tool…

Last week I attended a short but very efficient webseminar arranged by coaching partner called “Kunst å lytte” (The art of listening).
Vegard, the coach, was talking about this subject and reading the comments that all participants were writing on the chat window so that he became our voice as well. What a fantastic technological development are we experiencing in this era of networking and internet, connecting from different places, spaces, rooms… Gathering with strangers online and exchanging thoughts through invisible cables.

The art of listening, as it was presented, is divided in 3 different levels of attention. Something I have never thought about, categorizing our listening skills… But it makes sense. Many times we can mistake listening and hearing as the same thing, in the level in which our ego and our interest in certain subjects filter how we direct our attention to the information we are receiving in every moment.

I am not going to analyze these levels here. But I invite you to listen to these levels by looking at 3 pictures that I took last week during a trip to the country side. We stopped the car to listen with our eyes, to look at something curious:
A man that was seating alone, in the middle of a big frozen lake waiting for the fishes to get caught. They also call it ice fishing.

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I was wondering, how is the sound there? how is this person feeling all alone there?

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How does it sound when he walks cracking the ice with so much cold and deep water under himself? how does it sound down there, were fishes are moving in dense waters noticing the rays of sun when they approach the surface?

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The art of listening… to one self, to our surroundings, to nature, to silence… How many layers of silence are we capable of registering? How much can we listen and communicate with someone without saying a word? How much does eye contact speak, a gesture, our skin, even a room where certain energies move around…

As I focused my concentration on writing this post I forgot that the water was ready for the tea…

I find more and more need for listening with care, for being silent, for filtering the noises around me… And I never considered as I do nowadays how necessary is silence and being alone to listen to myself, to my body, to calm down and let the ego go away. This dialogue is the most challenging one ever, to master this art of listening in order to be in peaceful balance with the Self.

The art of listening… an inspirational concept that is going to resonate in my mind as I move on in life, wishing to become a better listener and accepting that not everything is there to be listened to. Sometimes I miss to have listened to someone and/or something more carefully. But thanks to these moments, I am learning to pay more and deeper attention to what is happening, to what is necessary to be communicated. We can help each other to improve our skills and make of “the art of listening” a quintessential art.

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Thanks to all of you, for listening to these words with your eyes. Thanks for offering me the opportunity to experience listening in so many levels. Thanks for providing new information, for exchanging experiences… We are constantly learning and taking part in this “art of listening” together. Priceless art, worth the listen. :)