A Sincere Intention for the New Year

Today, I free myself of the endless distractions: Facebook news feeds and who is writing and who isn’t, streams of worries, what chores need to be done, and thoughts of what people may think about me.  Instead, I commit to listen well.  I desire to be attentive and available to the ideas, dreams, and questions that others may like to share.

Early in the day, I empty my mind of my own concerns, so that I may be more present to my friends and family later on.  I give away my worries this Advent because worry is the biggest hindrance to my mindfulness.
As Thich Nhat Hnah says, “the greatest gift you can offer loved ones is your true presence.”
Amid flashing Christmas lights, the aroma of home cooked food, piles of presents, and rushing around, there are people who want to converse meaningfully.  It can be difficult to cool down the excitement to speak a lot and rush around, but at times it is necessary to withhold certain thoughts and slow down so that others may feel heard as well.
Being a good listener takes practice.  I will practice this skill this holiday season and during the new year.  Through relaxation, prayer, and by setting an intention early in the day, I hope to become a more attentive listener. Awareness illumines the dark, hidden parts and gentleness towards the self makes this process more productive.
How about you? Do you have any new habits or skills that you’d like to develop in 2011?  If you gotten through this far, you’re probably already a great listener!


  1. Last night my daughters and I took a walk through the neighborhood, which was beautifully illuminated by the house decorations. I'd never done that before, a nighttime Christmas walk, and we found it so peaceful, and conducive to talk, too. It's a nice way to listen, at a leisurely Christmas pace …


  2. Being a good listener is something I strive to be. Since I'm quiet it's not too hard but still something I need to work on.At the moment, I can't think of any aspirations for the new year… I'm sure there must be something. I'll have to ponder that!


  3. Beautiful post and I love Thich Naht Hahn! I too am working on listening. I am trying to learn from my best friend who is the worlds best listener. There is nothing quite like feeling that someone is open to you and bearing witness.lovely blog … found you via Ruthie.


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