Saturday, May 18, 2013

Learn to Listen With More Than Your Ears

We all have untapped brain power
Ever find yourself in a sort a mental zone where things are amazingly clear? It’s that gray matter sweet spot in which you have so much clarity about a thing it’s almost scary how much insight you have. If I’m lucky, I get to experience that rare state of being a few times a year and here’s how I do it.

It's taken a long time for me to figure out certain things in life. One of them was how limiting it can be to use just one or two of my senses to understand the world around me. I’m referring to matters such as life lessons, the true nature of things, and what people are really up to behind your back. For way too long I relied way too much on what my eyes saw and ears heard only. I hardly ever considered other senses could also help me. And I don’t just mean taste, touch and smell. I’m talking extrasensory perception. ESP.

This isn’t about sorcery or Jedi mind tricks. When a particular mental state is achieved and really working, my whole body becomes a sensory organ. It helps me make sense of things (and people) in ways I didn’t used to think were possible. Maybe a better way to describe this is simply ‘listening to one’s self.’ Some call it intuition. Others place it in the category of just paying close attention. However you phrase it, on those rare occasions when it all comes together, I feel unstoppable.

I'm not talking Jedi mind tricks
A key component to achieving this state of being is getting quiet. That is, bringing your body into a level of calm that allows your entire self to tune in on what’s happening around you. When I get that way, I just don’t see things and hear them; I feel them. It’s experiential. At the same time, the biggest barrier to my ability to tune in to that sense has been my own impatience.

Over the years, I’ve grown to understand what patience means and what it can do for me, which has better enabled me to practice it. Even still, it's taken a lifetime to get this far and I still don’t have it down. Perhaps a trip to a Himalayan mountaintop on a llama is in order.

Now I consider myself to be slower than most people. That is to say, it takes me several tries at doing something the wrong way before I finally get it right. This is especially true when it comes to listening to my own body.

When I do listen to it, my body tells me what it needs. Water, food, rest, a workout – you name it. If I don't listen there's eventually a reckoning. For example, over the weeks spanning Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I’ve learned that in order to survive the season without falling ill, I have to eat and drink in moderation. Easier said than done. I also need adequate sleep. Darn near impossible. However, if I don't pay attention to my body and what it’s saying, I’m usually good for a winter cold at best; or the flu at worst. And it can be one heck of a price to pay when you’re a working person.

I imagine most folks out there regard what I'm spouting as either common sense or nonsense. In some respect, I can appreciate both views. In any case I’ve learned over the years to listen more and more to my instincts. In my experience I’ve learned it is something people ignore at their own risk. As for me, like I said, I've learned it all the hard way.

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