What I’ve Learned: Lead With Listening


If you lead with listening you have no choice but to respond with grace- My Motto


I'm a fan of taking personal journeys; going on trips that only require the company of myself and my thoughts. Sometimes I find myself resting in my thoughts although completely distracted by the pace at which my life is going. It seems like the older I get the more time passes so swiftly and before I know it, my thoughts- turned ideas are nothing put passing memories unexecuted.

I can say that 2014 and 2015 was an incredible journey. I didn’t physically travel to many far and distant places (although I did make a pit stop in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain), but I did explore the depths of my heart and mind more intently. That was a road that hadn’t been traveled in quite some time as I have unknowingly been working too many hours, listening to the problems of others way to often and allowing myself to be weighed down by the burden of another’s pain more than I realized. As I travelled a path to further understand myself, I first thought that many people would be along for this process. I would bounce ideas off of them, listen to their experiences and find a way to cross paths in a manner that would provide me triumphs and teach me lesson. Yet, suddenly and very abruptly I learned that this was an expedition only I was on, a solo mission; one that had to be taken within. I can, in my 29th hour, say that I am not completely happy with where I am. This is by no means a discredit to myself or any of my amazing achievements, it is but reality. I have seen the difference in where I was and where I am and there is a stark contrast between how I have felt and how I am feeling.

After a bit of self examination I became acutely aware of how tired (both physically and mentally) I actually am. Throughout the course of a year I have worked more hours that I have at any other job and something inside of me just isn’t at peace with slaving for the monetary value of making someone else’s brainchild a flourishing reality. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the concept of exhaustion and burn out without a smile and I don’t know why one would speak in jargon and dance to the whims of another’s strings. There is a stark contrast between contentment and climbing, satisfaction and slaving, love for what you do and the goal of just being recognized. I realized that who we (who I) surround ourselves with can undoubtedly have an impact on how we choose to function and some things are simply unhealthy.

I can recall passing up parking spaces that I know I should have taken. Ordering salad instead of a pizza when that wasn’t my craving and going out when I should have stayed in the house because I was actually sleepy. Somewhere between my teen years and womanhood I decided to stop listening. Listening to the impulses that allowed me to make the best decisions, allowed me to pray first and ask questions later, the ones allowed me to develop a true sense of trust…in myself.

I often say ‘when you lead with listening you have no choice but to respond with grace.’ This year I have decided to take a step back and learn to lead with listening, to myself. I will not compartmentalize my impulses, instead I will process them. Learn the secrets my gut may be telling my heart and make decisions based on what is truly best for me. I will provide grace not only when listening to others, but most importantly when learning to listen more keenly to myself.

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