Tag Archives: Work

My One Word 2015


At a friend’s request several years ago, I chose one word to concentrate on throughout an entire calendar year.  My 2012 word was peace.  In 2013 I chose the word focus.  Last year my 2014 word was truth.  Each word has been enlightening, engaging and eye-opening.

It’s been a busy several weeks for me but I want to go on the record with my chosen word for 2015.

listen water

Not only do I enjoy talking a lot and appreciate a good active listener, I also started a new job at a call center which requires careful listening.  The people who call me are in some level of crisis in their homes, typically burst pipes, theft, fire, or storm damage.  They deserve someone who will listen with empathy and skill.

My first obvious challenge with this word is to begin actively listening instead of finishing people’s sentences, which I only do as a helpful service.

Turns out some many most people don’t like it.  Also?  Sometimes I’m waaayy off.

listen beer

Webster’s Dictionary defines listen this way:

1.  to make a conscious effort to concentrate on hearing something or somebody

2.  to pay attention and take something into account. 

Hearing and listening are not the same thing.

I am discovering moments where the word LISTEN practically blinks in my mind, preventing me from interrupting and instead valuing the other person’s time, thought and input by allowing them to continue their train of thought to completion.  It’s like I’m learning how to listen–really listen–for the first time.

hand over mouth listen

I am slowly learning that listening at my job and in my home are reaping great benefits.  I’m learning a lot more about the people I listen to.  When I actively listen, I show them they are important and worth my full attention and time.  Listening avoids mistakes and helps solve problems.  Trust and respect increase.   Well, most of the time.

listen strangers

It is also very telling how quickly I get distracted, want to interrupt, or make wrong assumptions.  And sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I am doing that I acknowledge verbally, only to be reminded later that I wasn’t listening.  Like, at all.

Take for example just now when my kid told me something but I was distracted by writing this post on listening.

But it is only February.  I have 10 more months to improve.

listen dog better

What helps you listen?

Use the Force


Newton’s First Law of Motion states that an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force.


An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

So the resistance of anything to a change in its state of motion OR rest is not just a tendency…it’s the LAW.

This explains a lot.

  • Why it is so challenging to START something new.
  • Why it is so difficult to REST when in the midst of doing All The Responsible Things.
  • Why it is practically impossible to maintain appropriate balance the two–rest and work.
  • Why it is just as frustrating to keep on going but in a DIFFERENT DIRECTION.  So.  Much.  Effort.

I think that the Holy Spirit is or can be that “unbalanced” force for many.

It is unbalanced because it is stronger than the person it is acting upon.

It comes from a place of light and right and good and pushes us towards movement or rest or change that is not necessarily easy.

And by “necessarily” I mean NOT AT ALL, EVER.

The Holy Spirit that I am aware of  does not scream SLOW DOWN like an overzealous lifegard.

God does not pick us up and turn us around like a happy meal car, rev our engines up for us and point us in the direction He wants us to go.

Jesus didn’t heal every person who he laid eyes on.  Some people he even argued with.  “Do you want to be well?”  “What do you want?”  “Who do YOU say that I am?”

So spiritual inertia takes into account our human tendency to stay, to do or to not do.   What a brillant plan.  It is not all up to us.

How is inertia playing out with you?  (work/relationships/dreams) 

For me it is REST from helping many, in order to focus on those that ONLY I can help.

It is also CHANGING DIRECTION from some personal communication habits that aren’t effective.

Simultaneously it is MOVEMENT towards a skill set that has been ignored and now is the time to engage.

None of it is easy.  All of it is essential.

Is there a nudge you need to heed to rest?  Change directions?  Begin some new thing?  How will you Use the Force

See what I did there?

I would love it if you would tell me in the comments below!