Deep Listening

Do you consider yourself to be a good listener?

When was the last time you dropped everything, pulled your headphones out, put your phone away, and sat in silence?

I am totally guilty of getting caught up in the busyness of the everyday that I sometimes forget to be still. To hit pause. To take a deep breath and listen. Deeply.

We all experience moments when we’re listening to music and out of nowhere something just HITS US. A beautiful chord progression. A melody that gets stuck in your head. A harmony that is so complex and unpredictable that you’re immediately dying to break it down and figure it out. A lyric that feels likes someone literally took the words right out of your own mouth and wrote them into a song. When I experience moments like that, I’m itching to pick up my guitar or sit down at the piano and create something similar.

I feel inspired.

When we tune in and really listen, we’re able to hear things that can spark brilliant ideas of our own.

We can practice deep listening in three simple ways:

  1. Listen to others when they’re talking to you. Really listen. Put down the distractions and give them your full attention. Look them in the eye. When others trust you with their stories, you might just find that their experiences strike a chord in your own heart and inspire you to get creative.
  2. Take ten minutes a day to listen to a new artist or a few songs in an unfamiliar genre. If you’re still jamming to “Despacito” on the daily, give Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” album a listen. If you love Taylor Swift, pull up some songs by Boys II Men or Brandy on Spotify and try to break down their riffs and harmony parts. Listen carefully to their lyrics, vocal and instrumental arrangements, and production style. Pick out certain elements of their music that you find interesting that you could potentially incorporate into your own style.
  3. Start keeping a journal. Jot down some thoughts about your life right now on paper or in your phone. What do you need or desire most right now? Have any big changes taken place in your life or relationships? We become better creators when we take care of ourselves by making time to reassess and listen to what we need. Identify your needs, hopes, dreams and desires, and practice channeling your personal experiences (especially the beautiful and heartbreaking ones) into creative energy.

I’m looking forward to taking on this challenge myself! We’re getting deep already.