Mindful Mondays – Week 36 – The art of listening…

Listening. Something we do, or at least think we do, everyday in order to move about our lives. But what does it really mean to listen? Our world is full of distractions.  Many of them are small enough to hold in the palm of our hands. How do we maintain a good listening protocol?

I recently had the opportunity to attend a university book club discussion. The discussion was based around the reader’s assessment of Becoming Mrs. Smith, my recent historical fiction title. I understood that book club members would be interested in hearing from me about how the book came to be. They also sought out insight into characters, settings, and such. Open to answering their questions as best as I could, the hours went by quickly. The most interesting thing I took away from the meeting though, was a further understanding of my own listening skills.

The art of listening

I have always been an active listener. My head nods up and down when I am engaged in deep conversation. Even at a workshop, if a speaker is particularly insightful, my heads bobs along. The awareness of my head movement exists simply because it often draws the attention of the speaker at the front of a room. I am not certain if my active listening is helpful to the speaker or not. I do know that it is a cue to myself to be aware of what is being presented. On some level, my heart and mind are interested.

I listened as the book club members provided me with deep insight into what I was doing right and where I could improve when it came to crafting a story. I was delighted as they quoted back to me my own words. In that moment, I knew that my story had struck a chord. It had resonated with them so deeply that my words had become their own. It was quite literally a highlight for me as an author.

Continue reading