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 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.