Less Talking, More Listening

less talking more listening

Just for a day, what would it be like to really listen?

Instead of thinking of the next witty response or check mate argument ender, why not just quietly listen to what others are saying.

What could we learn – from others? From ourselves? From the silence?

This post was inspired by Day 339 in Beautiful You: A Daily Resource for Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary.

Do you struggle with listening and silence (or is that just me)? What have you learned from being quiet?

Image source:Quiet Please by bixentro on Flickr (cc)

That Time I Knew I Was Going To The Nervous Hospital: AKA My First Restorative Yoga Class

A person who recently took a restorative yoga class with me told the owner of the studio where I work that my class was hard.

Like, really hard.

Surprisingly hard.

When she asked why, the response she got may surprise you.

It was the quiet.

The quiet was the hard part.

The doing nothing while laying down with nothing to do was the hard part.

I was taken aback for a minute when she told me and then I remembered my first restorative yoga class.

Picture this: My body was supported in legs up the wall (just like the picture above), I was carefully covered with a soft, clean smelling blanket, my eye pillow rested over my eyes and then BAM!

No joke, within five minutes I truly believed I was going to have to live in the nervous hospital. I was clearly insane. The voices in my head got louder and louder the longer I stayed still.  I kept wondering when the men in the padded van were going to come wrap my clearly crazy self up in a straight jacket and take me out of there.

My mind wouldn’t quit.

The deep dark hidden secrets I successfully avoided by staying busy had finally caught up to me when my body got quiet.

Basically, my mind kicked my ass for an hour and a half while I laid there in the quiet waiting for the padded room dudes to come get me.

Needless to say,  It was quite a workout.

So I get it.

The quiet IS the hard part.

Sometimes I forget that laying down quietly with your body fully supported can be difficult.

I get it.

It clearly happens to us all.

I also get that sometimes we need to challenge ourselves to do hard things that are good for us.

Recently the New York Times published an article about how if you Relax! You’ll Be More Productive that has been widely across social media. I share it here with you because it perfectly illustrates my point about how lying down often, taking naps, taking vacations and breaks from your online world are hard, but totally worthwhile.

This gist of the article is exactly what I’ve said in my classes for years:

The less you do sometimes directly relates to how much more you can do other times.

So this, friends, is my invitation to you. Tuesday nights (and the first Sunday of each month) I teach how to live in the quiet. A nice supportive place to make friends with your inner critics.

Join me? It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, CA. Public and classes are available.

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Have you ever tried restorative yoga? Do you have a regular practice? What’s your experience?

Profound Moment – Paying Attention to the Details

Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

My first instinct when approaching this prompt was to retell the stories of the really hard parts of my year. If you’d like to read about them you can – here and here. Oh sadness, why are you so vivid?

My next instinct was to get all “yoga” on you and say something like,<insert breathy voice here> “every moment I feel alive”  - because I’m just that good at being in the moment.

Ha!

Then I wanted to punch myself for being so pretentious and figured that wasn’t the direction this post would take if I wanted to keep my readers.

So I’ll talk about something that has made me all misty-eyed and proud.

Drum roll, please….

I noticed – on several different occasions – the trees changing color.

What the big effing deal about that?

For starters, just about every tree in Sacramento changes from green to Technicolor yellow, orange, red. It is like an explosion of color and so different from the evergreen trees around where I grew up. You would pretty much have to be blind not to notice.

And until last fall (during yoga teacher training), I didn’t ever notice the beauty.

How can that be you ask?

Usually I’m stuck in my head and mired in how to get from here to there or how to get this group of people to do what I want them to do when I want them to do it and for them to think it was their idea – instead of paying attention to the details of life around me.

Not this year.

This year, I am paying attention to those damn leaves.

I’ve even picked out my favorite trees – they are twins.

They live across the street on the corner a couple of blocks down the street from me.

I found out recently they are ginkgo biloba trees. They are at least 10 feet tall, slender and right now have bright yellow flower petal shaped leaves covering them.

There is also a pile of leaves on the sidewalk and street. I’m hoping to see the flurry of leaves falling when the wind kicks in.

I hope I don’t miss it.

Why do these leaves make me so heart-swelling happy?

Because I am finally noticing the little details of life. I think they call it living in the moment. I have heard this is where the peace and the happiness live.

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Has there been a moment that took your breath away this year?


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Today’s prompt is from:

Author: Ali Edwards
Memory Keeping Idea Books
@aliedwards