It's a Happy New Year!

I'm embarking on a new adventure in 2014, one that launches with this first blog post...

This will be the year that I learn to listen differently.

What does it mean to "listen differently"?

For me, it means that I will be giving my undivided attention to listening.

You see, I don't always listen fully. Sometimes my listening is half-assed. "Uh huh, uh huh, I know what you mean..." Sometimes I don't listen at all. I may be completely consumed in something else and don't hear a word you're saying. Occasionally I may be so checked out or immersed in something that I don't realize you're talking to me.

But how do you change behavioral patterns that have been deeply ingrained for years?

Luckily, I didn't have to figure out how to get experiential learning of how to listen differently. The Universe conveniently offered me the tool to effectively change my listening habits. I just had to decide whether to take it on.

The opportunity was to STFU. Really. Just "stop talking for understanding."

I love to share advice (whether or not it's solicited) or give my opinions (even if you could care less). Sometimes I chastise or correct, criticize or praise. And I particularly like to share stories. Long ones. (My husband says I only have the "long version" and couldn't possibly be succinct. I do like to get into details!)

So when I considered this opportunity to not talk, it represented a big change.

And saying "yes" represents a challenge unlike anything I've ever undertaken.

I've decided. It's a done deal. I *am* doing this. A year without talking, without singing, without scolding my husband of 22 years for something/anything, a year without cooing to our dogs, without mumbling to myself, without laughing out loud.

Thank you for bearing witness to my adventure.

I invite you to subscribe at www.theSILENTproject.com and follow the journey, comment when you're moved to do so, and share with anyone whom you think would benefit from the post. Thank you.