Have you ever noticed how busy the mind can be when someone talks to you? Deciding if you agree or disagree, thinking about what’s next or what just happened? The mind can be very busy, and we can learn to listen better, as well. We can listen with awareness. Listening with awareness means we are fully focused on listening. It also means that as thoughts arise, we let them pass through the mind as clouds move through a clear blue sky. And then return the focus to listening. Next time someone is speaking to you, remember to practice listening with awareness and notice what happens. You may find you actually feel more present, alert and caring.
Remembering awareness is a gift to your self and others. Please take care.

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Try this the next time you are aware that you feel stressed and want to quiet down the inner chaos quickly. Walking, driving, standing still or sitting, quietly say while breathing in, "I am breathing in, and I am at peace." Say while breathing out, "I am breathing out, and I am at peace." Focus attention on what happens. If you become distracted, simply return your focus to your words and notice what's happening within. Repeat until you notice a shift, and are ready to stop. The cells of the body receive thought as instruction, and they are willing followers to whatever we think. Saying we are at peace allows the body to shift from feeling rushed around, to slowing down, so we can feel quieter inside. With the goal of maintaining balance in all things, use this practice with care, and let awareness be your guide. Sometimes this practice is helpful, and other times, it can be used to distract us from exploring mistaken beliefs that keep us rushing around. Remembering awareness is a gift to yourself and others.

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