Here’s to April for being the month of learning to be a better listener and more open and honest. Which probably stemmed from March being so reflective. Side note, excuse me if I start rambling, I haven’t been sleeping very well and keep feeling super tired all the time.
Moving on, for someone like me who’s a chatterbox, listening has never been my strong point. Growing up my Dad got bored of attending parents evening because teachers would say, I spent more time talking then I would listening to anyone, whether they were my classmate or teacher.
A few weeks ago I read an article about how sometimes when we’re ‘listening’ we’re not really paying attention to what is being said. Instead we tend to listen whilst thinking about our response BEFORE the other person has finished talking. Which ultimately means we haven’t fully given them our attention. Something we can all admit to have done at some point.
After reading that article, I decided to work on this area. Some of the things I have tried to do are simple BUT easily forgotten: things like looking at people when their talking or just putting your phone down .These seemingly little things let people know you’re present in the moment with them, and willing to listen to what they have to say, rather than scrolling through Instagram and saying ‘yeah’ every 5 seconds.
As well as listening I’ve been working on becoming more open and honest with myself and those around me. Mainly by checking in with myself, which in turn has strengthen my ability to be more aware of how others are feeling and having conversations I would otherwise avoid.
Along with these small but effective changes, I made an effort to make more time for reading which then made way for things like listening to podcasts / talks that have motivated me to continue bettering myself.
Sources of Inspiration …
A few days ago I sat down to write a summer bucket list, whilst listening to a whole host of TED talks. Below are the ones that resonated with me and when you get a minute (or two) you should definitely give them a watch!
- The Power of Vulnerability, Brene Brown
- The Art of being Yourself, Caroline McHugh
- My year of saying Yes to everything, Shonda Rhimes
Brene Brown is fast becoming my favourite speaker! The way she tells a story, and is able to have conversations that are usually delicate and give them a humorous twist are all SUPER qualities that I want to learn. Her talks have inspired me to spend the rest of 2016 working on acceptance and being myself.
Next Steps …
In terms of my blog, I have LOTS of ideas about where I want to take it, but I haven’t sat down long enough to have those ideas set in stone and fully figured out. As my focus right now is getting my dog ready to leave Japan, which is causing me some major anxiety.
For right now, Friday is the beginning of golden week here and I have a few posts about the holiday so look out for those! This weekend I am going to my first (ever) baseball game, so EXCITED! Hopefully I take some cool photos to share with you. Other than a national holiday, and a baseball game not much else is planned for Japan diaries.
That’s all for April reflection. I hope that you are having a wonderful day, that this month treated you kindly and that May is even SWEETER!
As it’s Thursday, I thought I would add my three things along with this post:
Brotherly Love. Sometimes all you need is your big brother to tell you everything’s going to be ok. And that’s exactly what I got this week. I was on the phone with him for ages, we spoke about everything under the sun and I spent the whole time laughing. Was amazing to speak to him, and catch up on each other’s lives.
The Power of Vulnerability. Brene Brown for TED Talks. Awesome video about the power of feeling vulnerable and how it can lead to great things once you learn to embrace it. Was really inspiring!
Running + Progress. I completed my furthest distance yet of 9K. After I finished the 5K training back in March, I wanted to give myself a challenge to see if I could do 10. I ended up downloading the Nike+ app (Free on IPhone) for some guidance and so far it has definitely been a challenge, but also motivated me to keep pushing myself.
Enjoy the rest of your day.