Friday, September 21, 2012

Really Listening

When's the last time you listened, really listened to someone?

When was the last time you shushed the millions of things that pull at you in every direction during the day, and fully engrossed yourself in what someone else was saying? When you listened not only to the words out of their mouths, but the expression on their faces and the body language they used to tell a story?

Did you find yourself leaning in? Did time and space stop? Did the world stop spinning madly on and you had a connection, an undeniable connection with people?

I work in a gourmet market and our customers are foodies, beyond a doubt. Or at least the regulars are. Every shift I hear amazing stories about their lives. The mother who is worried about her college daughters attachment to a boy who is only looking out for himself. (She likes Lemon Blueberry cookies.) The couple who helped their 90 year old neighbor retrieve his clothing after 2 months of quarantine since the Waldo Canyon Fire. (HUGE fans of the fish and chips.) The woman who pedaled to the summit of Pikes Peak, still in chamois 12 hours later, with her sweet boyfriend (turns out he's THE Andrew Hampsten). Seriously. I waited on Mr. Hampsten. And his lovely girlfriend who tackled some demons on that hardcore climb. (She ate a muffin with a pint of vanilla bean ice cream. Well deserved!)
People have amazing stories to share. Ones that take you outside of yourself. Ones that make you realize just how its the people in your life, the fulfillment from relationships and your ability to listen to others, that make you rich beyond belief. People provide a connection to this enormous Universe.

Yes, my feet are screaming. I walked 20 miles inside of the store on concrete. But I had a constant smile and enough tips to buy myself a six pack. I also had a connection to a small little slice of the Universe with its purple mountains and crisp fall air. I love it here. And by here, I mean living in the here and now. There's no place I'd rather be.

I challenge you to try listening, really listening to someone other than yourself. Lean in and get close. You never know what you might learn.

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