“I have seen the healing power of good listening so often that I wonder if you’ve noticed it also. . . . Listening moves us closer, it helps us become more whole, more healthy, more holy.” – Margaret J. Wheatley
We discussed listening to music for inspiration and pleasure in this post. But what else can we listen to for inspiration?
Friends have told me they listen to podcasts or audio books while they run, walk or drive. That didn’t appeal to me at first, but recently I started listening to podcasts while I’m cooking, doing dishes or exercising. It makes routine chores more interesting, and I enjoy it.
One of my favorite people to listen to is Jamie Ridler at Jamie Ridler Studios. When I first started listening to Jamie’s podcasts, I thought, “She is so creative and encouraging of her listeners to be creative. She sees it as good to spend time doing what she loves and reflecting on life. What if I watched or listened to uplifting things like that in the morning?”
Jamie says, “I truly believe that by awakening our creative capacity, we will not only change our lives for the better, but also the world!” If you are looking for support and inspiration for your creativity, I recommend Jamie’s work. She has a gentle manner, and she encourages us to be creative and to treat ourselves well.
Another of my favorite podcasts is Tea and Tattle, “a podcast that celebrates female creativity and success.” Miranda Mills is the host of these podcasts and often co-hosts with her best friend, Sophie Perdito. They interview successful women. Some are authors, some entrepreneurs, some photographers or bloggers. Sometimes they interview someone unique, such as Yasmine Naghdi, a Principal dancer of the Royal Ballet. I feel inspired when I hear these women’s stories and what led them to their success. Tea and Tattle podcasts also include book discussions, travel tips, and more.
And what about listening to friends and relatives? Sometimes I resist what a friend says, but later, I realize they were right or at least partly right.
Sometimes the best person to listen to ourselves. I have developed a new habit of talking to myself. Before you think I’m losing my mind, let me explain. When I go for walks in quiet places, I sometimes speak into my smart phone, discussing an issue that I’m facing. I play back the recording and listen to what I said. I find that this is as effective as journaling as a way to find clarity. It is also a way to coach myself.
I wish I’d listened to myself yesterday. My body was aching, so I laid down on the couch. But instead of letting myself rest, I berated myself. “What is it with you, Sue? You’re either stressed when you have a lot on your plate or depressed and listless when you don’t.” It may have been better to be more compassionate to myself and ask, “What might be causing my aches? Might I be getting sick?” Instead, I got up almost immediately and pushed myself to get something done. A little later, I went for a 3-mile run with a friend and pushed myself to run the whole way. It turns out I was getting sick. I had fevers and chills during the night. Although my fever is gone, I’m still sore and wonder if I’d be feeling better if I’d listened to my body and let myself rest yesterday.
I’ve also realized it’s good to think about what we are listening to and ask if it is serving us. I used to tune to a radio station that gives news, traffic, and weather. I wasted time listening to this station given that there is a lot of repetition and commercials. It is better to check that station as needed than to leave it on for a long time.
Finally, what about listening to God? My husband and I occasionally give presentations for our Worldwide Marriage Encounter community. I think our presentations are improved when we pray and are open to guidance. I also pray that God will guide me before publishing blog posts.
How has listening to yourself or others inspired you? Do you have any favorite podcasts?