Saturday, January 23, 2010

What happened when I Listened this week

Lori Koop, an amazing wabi sabi ceramic artist that we met at Christine Kane's Uplevel Your Business program this fall, has come up with an ingenious way to continue the upleveling dialog with an Upword of the week.

I have so much amazing self-discovery with choosing a "word of the year" instead of a resolution (or what Christine Kane calls a Resolution Revolution) that I jumped right on this. With an additional word to focus on during each week in addition to my word of the year (this year it's SUCCESS) I am sure to achieve even more depth and self understanding.

I am keeping an online Upword journal now The Upwords come out each Sunday so on Saturday morning I have decided to dedicate some creative time to blog about my experience with each one and share them with you.

Lori's Upword this week was LISTEN.

As a Type 7 on the enneagram personality scale, I tend to be a doer - trying to fill my life with things, sounds, projects, multitasks, too much stuff. One of my friends jokes that all you have to say to me is "Kathy do you want to..." and I say yes. A focus on the word LISTEN helped me to hone in on what’s important, what’s begging to be heard amidst my usual self-created din.

Usually I have something rolling in the background no matter what I’m doing – TV at home, radio in the car. I thought it would be interesting to see what I can hear when those things are off. I decided that I to listen better to my heart, my surroundings, my loved ones, my mentors I needed to turn off the TV, news, negativity, gossip.

It has been a very interesting experiment to turn all the background stuff off! I did hear things! I was able to listen better! Here's a partial list of what happened.

• I focused better on my Uplevel Your Life lessons and homework.
• I remembered more of my dreams and had the aha moment in my previous post.
• I listened more carefully to my husband, my dog, my coach and my colleagues
• I was more fully present to whatever I was doing.
• I connected to my thoughts while walking on the treadmill or sitting quietly in between tasks
• I noticed resistance to certain thoughts (i.e. going to the gym) - first resistance, then a turn around to an urge to do that very thing I was resisting.

And it all showed me I need to do this more. I can walk to perky Irish step music or Christine Kane's Wide Awake CD on the treadmill but if I walk in silence I hear more of my own thoughts coming through.

If I turn off the background noise during the day and LISTEN better I more effectively accomplish what I am working on with fewer distractions making me more SUCCESSful.

As an enneagram type 7, I tend to keep busy so I don't have to acknowledge my negative thoughts, the things I am resisting. Seven's rarely admit they have any problems. Or more likely - admitting there might be a problem, but we don't have it.

This week, my coach, Tonya Leigh Williams author of the great JustBLiving blog, helped me reach in there and first listen then explore the thoughts I was resisting and see how listening to them and really understanding them would neutralize them, even turn them positive. So by giving myself the gift of listening to the thoughts that were “swimming around in there” I am working to acknowledge the negative ones and turn them into positive ones.

In searching for the appropriate image to include with this post, I came across the image and "The Story of Tapihritsa" on Kabir Kadre's web site whose message is "Listen carefully and do not be distracted." Taphritsa is obviously talking directly to me!! And maybe to you too.

This Upword stuff really works! I am excited to explore 51 more of them this year and share my experiences with my readers each Saturday. Why don't you sign up for Lori Koop's free Upword service and share how these words are helping the comments here or on your own blogs.


Lori Koop said...

Amazing! I hear the thoughts as I'm reading. That's where your fantastic writing comes from, in there, left to flow and caught by your wonderful pen (or keyboard). Can't wait! and thanks for sharing!!

Kathy said...

Thanks Lori - and thanks for doing Upword!