Inspired by change, challenge and creativity

You Need To Listen To Me


“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” 
― Ernest Hemingway



As summer wanes, the silence increases.  Little birdsong is left as many parents and young ones get ready for the trip South.  Crickets and locust still continue their chirping day and night, but the frogs’ croaking has lessened as well.


With the movement now of summer to fall, I begin to hear the crunching of the leaves.  I hear the grasses rustle and sway.  Soothing sounds that nature gives us that seem to move with my breathing in and out.


And with the quieter times in the garden, I revel in that solitude.  It gives me a chance to listen intently to every little sound now.  And to listen to my internal voice.  It usually is too busy with so much outside stimuli that I can never quite hear its message entirely.


DSCN2616I often think we don’t listen enough to ourselves and to others.  I have definitely been more of a talker instead of a listener.  Nodding, shaking my head…in a hurry…get to the point…I need to move on to a meeting….oh yes I have done that too…now what was I going to respond…need to keep that thought in my head…what were they saying…..that was the usual discourse going through my head as someone was talking.  Not listening, just hearing dribs and drabs so it would appear as though I was.


And I wasn’t proud of those moments.  Sometimes I wished I had the time to listen more, to really listen.  Maybe to make the time to listen.  When I took time to listen to people who came to me, I was helpful even it was just to lend an ear and not to give advice.  People need to run their ideas or their troubles by someone and sometimes come up with their own solutions.


But beyond those times when someone came and I had time, I wish I had connected more with people.  Spending less time talking….this is hard for me…..and more time listening.   Hearing them, letting them talk.  Getting to know someone by letting them tell you about themselves without interjecting about my life.


But listening isn’t easy, is it.  To keep your attention focused on someone else.  Really hearing their words, watching their body language totally engaged with them.  Not wanting to respond and get your ideas or experiences out.


It is a gift to give someone your full attention.  And when I give this gift, I find I have less of a need to talk.  Instead I crave the connection that comes from this gift…a more special experience.  Giving someone my attention, my time….I can’t think of a better gift, can you.




Special Note:  The plant featured in this post is Northern Sea Oats.  It is a wonderful native grass that grows here, and I love to listen to it rustle from late summer through winter.


I leave you with another thought about listening in my garden.  Feel free to download the photo and share.



All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.



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  1. August 21, 2014    

    I volunteer on a telephone crisis line. I was astonished to learn how difficult (and tiring) really listening is. And how valuable. Such a small gift – such a HUGE gift.

    • August 21, 2014    

      Oh my Soosie that is a wonderful thing you do and yes very tiring, but such a HUGE gift you are giving!

  2. August 23, 2014    

    not listening…..really listening with my whole heart
    is my biggest regret, especially with my kids when
    they were young. If I could have a do-over, I’d go back
    and have a good long listen again. Totally would.
    Grateful for grace and second chances.
    Thanks for reminding me…..always I need to hear it.
    (I’m listening now:))

  3. August 27, 2014    

    The best gift you can ever give is your time because you never get it back. There is so much noise and clutter in our lives that we have to decide what’s just static and what’s meaningful conversation. It isn’t always easy.

    • August 27, 2014    

      I like that thought Tammy that it is the best gift because you don’t get it back…you just give it freely…

  4. August 27, 2014    

    I too don’t listen intently enough to friends. Clients yes, because it costs money when one doesn’t, but like you mentioned, I am always thinking get to the point. Life being kinda short does not make allowances for listening if not much is being said. Some people can rattle on and on and say nothing. Listeners have to be polite and just wait.

    • August 27, 2014    

      Well said Donna…I think it is about having time and giving time…sometimes it is just not possible to listen as intently as we would like.

  5. August 28, 2014    

    A beautiful post, and a photo to match. Slowing down, being present, paying attention as much as possible to right now. These things yield wonderful fruit, both in solitude and with others. Keep trying!

    • August 28, 2014    

      Thank you Sara for your lovely words as they remind me it is a journey everyday that we get to keep trying….a wonderful mantra ‘Slowing down, being present, paying attention’

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  1. Living From Happiness – Creativity in Monochrome on August 24, 2014 at 4:02 am

Favorite Quote This Week:

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” ~ Aristotle


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