To truly listen to someone we must be present – without distractions or interference in our heads.
Its estimated that the average human being has 10,000 thoughts per day. Real thinkers can have over 50,000 thoughts. That’s over 30 thoughts per minute…

Now that’s a lot of buzz, interference and distraction going on.

Here is a series of 3 experiments to try for yourself to see how present and focused your mind is. I believe that if we can listen to ourselves, then we can be a better listener for others.

At each level, be patient and try not to judge yourself. If your mind wanders simply start over.

Begin by taking a few deep breaths and take a moment to center yourself and be present with this moment. There is no rush.

Level 1
Count from 1 to 50 in your head.
Notice how many times you had to start over…

Keep working on it!
Once you have this one down, move on to the next level.

Level 2
Count from 50 back to 1. Notice that a little more concentration is needed here…
Once you can do this easily, move on to level 3.

Level 3
This is a meditation practice that I learned during my yoga teacher training. With your eyes closed bring your attention to the inhales and exhales of your breath.
On each exhale, count from 50 backwards until you reach 20. After 20, count on every exhale AND inhale until you reach 1.
When you have reached this goal, your mind will be clear of interference.

.. And you will have learned a lot about patience, commitment and acceptance of yourself in the process.

Not only will you have learned to listen to yourself, but you will have begun to train your mind to come to a place of focus. Through focus we are able to quieten the mind and find peace. … and of course, become better listeners.





41 comments on “* How Good a Listener are you?

  1. Great focusing techniques Val. Thankyou. I’m listening. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wonderful lessons to teach us Val.. Wishing you a Blessed week, and thank you xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have an antique clock in the living room that is really loud, and helped me keep good time on the counts! LOL That was good, I liked doing it forward and then backwards!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A worthy goal… even just the slowing down is worth the process. Better listening is the gravy! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the specifics, Val, of how to stay focused. It is this time of year when we tend to lose focus the most, and these are wonderful exercises and gentle suggestions…thank you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jet! Yes , it’s so easy to be drawn into other people’s stories and dramas during the Holidays. I hope you keep true to yourself and have a heart warming time ahead! xo

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks for sharing, Val. I definitely need work on my focusing skills. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very nice post Val, what a nice blog you have. Thanks for all these tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Man I would struggle with the third one Val! And talk about distractions: I’m wondering who took the time to track and count 50,000 thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful techniques for quieting the mind, Val.

    As to how well I listen . . . it depends on how well the speaker speaks. The more proficient the speech, the better my hearing. :mrgreen:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Now this post had me thinking. 30 thoughts a minute. And some of them even positive.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great ways to focus and quiet the mind, Val…loved the exercises!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Val, fascinating post. Although I am bound to say that of my 10,000 thoughts a day 9,500 are along the lines of where did I just put my spectacles down?

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Going to try this today and will let you know when I’ve got it! Thanks Val. We are grateful to you ~ Happy Thanksgiving. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Carol Ferenc

    Oh, dear. It will take some work for me to achieve this. I’m going to try …

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Excellent approach… I will definitely keep in mind this advice.. Level two is so important, indeed. Thanks so much for sharing. All my best wishes. Aquileana 🌟

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love this practice Val even I find it very difficult. Will do…
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. … great article … from my personal experience, i feel we do not have to train the mind, but we should show ourselves how often it interferes (with the counting and otherwise), next recognize that we most often do not need its comments 🙂
    this realization is enough to reduce the influence, and in consequence the shatter … i humbly write

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate this perspective Bert. 💛
      The path to consciousness varies in different traditions. I have found in my experience that focus has been a step to letting go into mindful awareness. My mind was too full of chatter and distraction to embrace the moment, and so focusing was a practice of preparation. xo

      Liked by 1 person

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