Here we go another day, another article. We're now at day nine of the ten day challenge put forth by Nick and I at Florida Entrepreneurs club! Today, I was inspired by my friend and fellow writing challenger, Michelle Bakels, after listening to her presentation on the topic of her Coding With project that she's doing in conjunction with the writing challenge, to talk about my new found love of listening.

Listening is such a fantastic thing to use your ears for. Not just the act of hearing, but the act of actually listening, or as some refer to it as, actively listening. Since I actually learned to listen I hear things so much clearer. So much so that I often find myself staring at my phone watching the gray circle flicker as I listen to someone speak on Clubhouse. That is, until I have the thought of "I wonder how I look to someone else right now?" at which point I laugh and lose that intently listening focus for a second before I become reabsorbed in the voice.

It's a bit surreal. It's almost like I've found myself hanging onto people's every word sometimes. It's a powerful feeling. How often do you take a deep breathe and just listen, intently? Not often enough. At least, up until recently I wasn't (so I found out). Listening is such a powerful act, it allows you to do so many things, take in information, empathize, enjoy sounds/music, and so much more.

I've found listening to be empowering too. When you listen to only someone's voice and just focus on that and that alone, it's so much easier to hear someone. And when you hear someone you can be there for them, you can learn from them, you can empathize with them.

So I decided to write this post today to remind everyone to take a minute or two or more (hopefully) to really lean in and listen to someone or something (e.g. a song, YouTube video, anything!). Really sit back and just soak in the words. If you're listening to someone then before you respond take a breath and compose your thoughts, they will flow through your lips. It will be genuine af too! If you're listening to something then feel the music and the lyrics, sit back and close your eyes and just listen. You'll really appreciate it! I do this and call it critical listening (a term and practice I stole from my dad).