Mindfulness: Listen Openly: Be Present with Those You Love

A critical component of mindful living is to listen openly.  Listen without judgement.  Listen fully.  Listen to gather information.  Listen to learn.  Listen, not so you can respond, but so you can simply listen.

The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.

Thich Nhat Hanh 

My daughter caught me yesterday and called me out.  When I am only half listening to her, but know she said something “good” I automatically say something like “That’s great honey.”  It sounds good, but I am only half present and later will not recall the “good” thing that my teenager just shared with me.  So many teens do not share with their parents, even mine can share more attitude than events at times, I need to be present when she is trying to engage with me.

If I was to embrace my daughter with mindfulness what would it look like?

Psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn has simply defined mindfulness in this way:

“paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

If I were to embrace my daughter with mindfulness I would pay attention.  I would hear exactly what she is saying and provide an honest, engaged response.  I would be engaged during times of fun and creating fun memories for my daughter and I.

If I were to embrace my daughter with mindfulness I would get out of my own head and interact with what is really taking place in our world.  Instead of preparing for the future or reflecting on the past I would be spending time with my daughter and be an active participant in her life.

If I were to embrace my daughter with mindfulness I would hear her from a non-judgemental perspective that freely allows me to see things more clearly, to evaluate situations non-emotionally, observe the real emotions of the situation, and provide the support my daughter desires.

If I were to embrace my daughter with mindfulness I would be present as my daughter blooms like a flower.

Today’s Simple Smile Igniter:

Embrace those you love with mindfulness.  Slow down, clear your mind, and engage in meaningful interactions with others.


Add Yours
  1. Roz K Walker

    What a great reminder to be present, especially with those closest to us. I’m guilty of half-listening way too often. This post reminded me that time with my children is precious and fleeting. I commit to being present this week and the weeks to come. Thanks for this post, Jodi!


  2. Rhonda Neely

    Oh, how many times have I heard a wife tell me her husband doesn’t listen. You and I both know he’s not present. Great article I’ll have to repost on my blog if you don’t mind.


    • 100smilechallenge

      Of course I do not mind if you repost this Rhonda.
      I made a comment to my boyfriend that my daughter thought he didn’t listen to me.
      He listens to me much better now.
      On occassion many of us need a little reminder that we are not mentally present although we are physically.


    • 100smilechallenge

      Great goal!
      We get going so fast sometimes and have some many things on our minds at times that pausing and fully engaging in the present can be.
      I am back to keeping more lists of things so when an idea comes to mind I can capture it in the appropriate place or schedule it for later.
      This frees me to be present in the here and now while preparing me to take care of those things in the future when I can be full present for them.
      It allows me to slow down without worring about possibly missing or forgetting something for later.


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