How Listening to the Day Can Improve Your Happyness


Listen to the Day

Listen to the day, and what it says, in whispers of wind upon the sounds of playing children...  Shrieks of delight and roars of competition - foes fallen and friends united, brothers in love.  

Listen to the day, with grubby hands and feet, blonde strands of hair plastered with sweat and determination to little heads, intently bent over a lady bug, inspecting its spots. 

Listen to the day, the heat of the sun on my legs, and I ponder home.  I miss fireflies and waves, cicadas and sweet tea, the smell of pine permeating the summer air.  I miss the sunset, with its million different reds and golds and purples, glinting off the sound in perfect reflection of God’s grace.  

Listen to the day, and the soul of the call to prayer at dusk, when everything stills and the traffic lessens, and full bodied songs travel through the city, tucking it in for the evening.  

…And yet, this is home. 

That is the first time I've written anything remotely poetic since high school.

Amazing things happen when you just stop yourself and listen.  Put a halt to the meanderings of your mind and just sit for five minutes.  Let thoughts float in and then let them go or jot them down if you are inspired.

I’ve begun a serious daily attempt at this.  You can call it living in the moment or finding your flow or quieting your mind or whatever you want, but the point is to just stop and listen for five minutes, as distraction free as you can.

For me, the easiest time to do this is in the afternoons or morning, while the boys are having play time outside.  Yes, they are running and yelling and playing and being their rambunctious selves, but if I put my mind to it, I can actually get in the time to just listen.

You can do this too!  Over your morning coffee.  Or in the evening with your spouse.  Or after you put the kids on the bus.  Or in the bathtub.

What do you see?  What do your hear?  What do you feel?  Now take a deep breath and let it all just BE.

Now I find I’m stopping to listen throughout the day, as a mindful and diligent practice.

Here is what happened:

I’m less worried about my to do list- whether it be blog related, kid related or house related.

I’m less concerned about cramming in as much as possible, and more concerned about slowing down and living well.

I’m (slowly) letting go of the habit of stretching myself too thin, mentally and physically.  This is an especially difficult thing for me to do.

The result:  I feel like I accomplished more at the end of the day, than when I don’t take the time to stop and listen.

You know what else?

I’m more patient with the kids.

I’m yelling less (more on this in a future post).

I’m less cranky at the end of the day when H gets home.

I hurt less.

I breathe easier.

I'm more inspired and creative.

I’m Happy-er!

All from a very practical five minutes of stilling my mind and listening.

So I challenge you to do this:  Listen to the day.  Five minutes.  For five days.

Then tell me in the comments how it changed your Happyness.

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P.S.  If you liked this post, please comment and share!


14 thoughts on “How Listening to the Day Can Improve Your Happyness

  1. Beautiful passages about summer with your boys ... where is your home now? A great reminder to sometimes just *be* and not get overwhelmed with doing. There seems to be particular times when the efforting gets me nowhere and I am much better off just surrendering to listening. Your words painted a very tangible picture of the kinds of things that get in during those times.

    1. Thank you for the wonderful compliment! Home right now is in Amman, Jordan- thousands of miles across the ocean! It has been an amazing experience, but even this far away, it's so easy to get caught up in the doing and hustling. It really takes active practice to just stop and listen!

  2. Susan Freeland

    Misti, this is beautiful. It is a reminder even your ole retired Mom needs. I have my quiet time in the morning, and do some listening, but it is NOT what you are trying to share here. Your comment about being stretched too thin reminded me of time in Ft. Wayne. Thanks to advice I heard on a radio program, I learned the importance of saying, "No, I'm sorry, I am already committed w/o explanation." That made a huge difference in my spirit. Love my grandsons and the ladybugs. We listened to cicadas a couple of weeks ago; now it's crickets, but sadly I've seen only one firefly all summer. Hummingbirds have been very busy! I SO enjoyed our conversation this a.m. "See you" Saturday. Love you, Mom

  3. Maggie

    What an amazing writer you are! Thank you for this reminder to listen. I'll integrate it because I agree - listening makes on the difference in the quality of my life.

  4. This is such a beautiful practice, Misti, and I thank you for sharing it! It really is easy to forget in this fast-paced world that we all have the power to return to the simplicity of the moment any time..we just have to take it! I do this as often as I can, particularly in the mornings (as it usually takes me some time to come around in the AM) and also in the evening (as I feel that an evening routine helps me as much as a morning one does). Not always easy to just be, but it is a very rewarding practice. Thanks for this!

    1. Thank you Jennifer- I'm not sure how this comment ended up in spam, but I just found it as I was reviewing my comments dashboard! I think it was fortuitous though, because after my latest post about getting lost in the to do list, I needed this little reminder myself 🙂

  5. Thank you for this post, this is definitely something I have to start doing. In Switzerland we would say, "I have to write it behind my ears", meaning, I have to take this advice really seriously. I am always doing something. I got a gift last Christmas with the title "The book for People who do too much". but guess what, the person that gave it to me has no idea what all I do 🙂 The closest I come to "stopping and listening" is when I do chores in the morning, spreading the hay for the horses or picking manure. But then again, it's doing again.

    1. Conny, I'm so glad this post spoke to you! I think I might put that book on my wishlist and FYI- I think doing barn chores is the PERFECT time to stop and listen to the day. When I managed a barn I loved that moment after sweeping the aisle where everything was nice and clean and the morning chores were done. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and sit on trunk and take that time for yourself to listen! (Did I mention I'm SO excited to have other horse people reading my blog!) Thanks, again and have a great weekend!

  6. I totally agree with this! It's not easy to pay attention to the sights and sounds and people around you and really be present, but every time I do it, it feels amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Holli Jo. You know the more I try to do this throughout the day, the less exhausted I am at the end of the day! Something so simple as living in the moment does loads for one's health. Have a wonderful week!

  7. Loved this! Thank you so much for sharing! I have recently started to become more present during the day and every little reminder helps. I will definitely be trying you challenge to listen to the day for 5 minutes for 5 days!

    1. Thank you, Val! Let me know how the challenge goes- I'll admit it's hard- after about day 3 you think "I'm okay, I can skip a day." And then yesterday I had a very stressful overwhelming afternoon and knew that I would have handled it better had I taken the time to listen!


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