Tuesday Tea #26 ~ Giving the Gift of Undivided Attention

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Tuesday Tea #26 ~ Giving the Gift of Undivided Attention

Last week, I was reading my second most favorite person's blog- Ellen Lubin-Sherman who wrote the book, The Essentials of Fabulous Book". Wow--I LOVE her book--AND her blog.

Maria of Colour Me Happy's blog is my favorite. But I ADORE all of your blogs. It's just that these two blogs teach me about things I have a SERIOUS deficit in.  :o)

In one of her posts she described an imaginary woman she loved....  Ellen made a profound statement about this wonderful  woman who 'didn't remind you that you'd already told that same story twice, but instead pretended to never have heard it before.'  She mentioned...

the sheer joy of....
' being marinated in the delicious brine of someone’s full attention..'

Wow--Ellen certainly does have a way with words!

Though her story inspired me, it was also painful to read as I know that I am often distracted. I'm guilty of NOT listening. I know it.

I try to listen...look like I am listening...
but often I'm not. My kids know better...

When they were little, they would put their chubby hands around my cheeks and physically turn my head nose to nose with them and say, "Listen Mommy!"

Whatever in the world could have been more important than my dear children's stories and questions? I can't remember now...

This week I practiced 'marinating my friends in the brine of my full attention.'

What an easy way to bless those we love!

  The day after reading Ellen's post, I got my chance. Hubby started off into a lengthy exposition on the latest addition to the table of elements, the political unrest in some obscure country, or something...I can't remember now...but I made the conscious decision to LISTEN..really listen... with all of my mind, my eyes, my heart.

For the first time in ages, I became totally entranced with what my dear hubby...the lover and best friend was saying. Instead of thinking or voicing the immediate thoughts of, "Oh yes, I read about that too..blah..blah..blah..", I just smiled and paid attention, asked questions...etc.  

And a small miracle occurred.... He suddenly stopped talking to the son on his left whom he had originally been chatting with. Now, his eyes glanced at me as his head turned and he realized I was actually looking at him.

Soon his head was bobbing back and forth between me and our son. He just couldn't seem to resist the fact that I was actually paying attention. 

He had no idea that I was 'practicing' on him. LoL!  He seemed so pleased though I'm sure he didn't realize quite what was happening--or what was different.  It's a little sad to think how often I've given him only half my attention and heart... rather than all of it.

In a few moments my son pitched in with his own story and examples, so I slowly swung  my massive  'beam' of undivided attention over to his direction. Again the same reaction.

He talked, I listened. I asked questions--good ones.  I looked at him eye-to-eye. I said nothing.

And in his face I saw that same sparkle of pleased reaction in his eyes as he finally realized that he had my complete, whole-hearted, and  undivided attention. I was interested and giving thoughtful responses and he could tell it. 

He could see that I wasn't about to get up and walk away to busy myself with more 'important'  tasks. My eyes weren't scanning the room thinking of the next task I needed to do. 

I didn't interrupt. I didn't add my 'own' story. 
For this one magical moment, the conversation was all about him.

He talked and talked...soaking in my undivided attention. And he smiled...

I've had several more occasions this week, to put this idea into practice. I met with friends at the Honor Society Induction meeting yesterday and at the party afterwards.  We played pool while our husbands played at another table. The kids were in the laser tag room. To be honest, we ladies didn't get much playing done because there was so much 'chatting' going on. Again and again, I remembered to be quiet, and listen.

People are so much more interesting 
than I ever thought possible!  
--including my own family! 

It's so easy..and so sweet..to listen to those we love.

Really..it's just kindness..and love and the assurance that they are special to me.  It's a gift that we can all give, if we will just slow down and make the conscious decision to do so.

There really is ENOUGH time...to LISTEN. Just do it!

Ellen, thanks so much for sharing that life-changing story with us. It was hard to see my 'lack' in the mirror of introspection..but good too. I'd rather change than go blithely racing through life, missing out on the blessings of deeper relationships.

Have you found yourself distracted by work, computer, cell phone, while your children or hubby are waiting in the wings? Are you too  busy to really listen?  

These are good questions for us to ponder.

I'd love to hear your thoughts as we chat over our tea today. I'm drinking Earl Grey again. As Francis said, "I like eating the same thing. I always know what I am getting and I am ALWAYS pleased." Ha!

What are you drinking today? I'm so looking forward to a visit. I think my party preparations are going pretty smoothly now so I hope to visit throughout the day. Just link up here if you'd like to join me. :o)

By the way, I went back to count all of my Tuesday Tea posts. Can you believe that this is the 26th one? I started on Nov. 8th with Rayanne of  A Lovely Thought. Wow..time does fly!  I decided that I might as well number these tea chats to celebrate our fun. :o)

 I'm linking with these lovely ladies for tea time..... 

Raising Homemakers
Tracie's Cottage Flora Thursday

Thanks so much for joining me! 

Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday
The Plumed Pen's  Tea for Two
Rose Chintz Tea Time Tuesday
A Delightsome Life: A Return to Loveliness


Anonymous said...

Hello Donna! I mentioned this post in my own this morning. While not linking for the hook-up, I would like to thank you for this important message. Thank you! ;)

Marie said...

THANK YOU for this lovely post! I really need to hear this message - too busy, too distracted much of the time! But I must say that this post certainly held my attention!

Needled Mom said...

Great post, Donna, and is such an important message for all of us to read.

GlorV1 said...

Hi Dear Donna. What a great post and I do hope you enjoy your tea party. You have prompted me to "really" listen when my husband is talking. I know exactly what you mean. I will also do that today when he gets home. I'm guilty of everything you said. I will try to listen more. Thanks, I appreciate it. Have a wonderful day.

Kerrie said...

Donna, what an excellent, excellent post! I do believe posting less often has really agreed with you and your family-Wonderful! Have a great day, hugs, Kerrie♥

Trudy said...

This is a much needed message. Love your adorable bag in your previous post, so bright and cheery.

Wanda Lee said...

Hello Donna,

What a fabulous post and important, timely message for us all to hear!..,

I love the Tulips and tea time this week as well; lovely!

Cheers and hugs from Wanda Lee

Amy said...

I thought I'd commented earlier. . . but I seem to do things mentally instead of actually sometimes! I really appreciated this post. It convicted me. In fact, I had to stop to typing the comment to listen to a darling daughter:)

Unknown said...

I spend 20 hrs a week visiting the elderly some homebound, some with no families..I have learned how to listen..and even hearing the same stories over and over I always make them think this is the first time they are telling me this! And the good part is I get paid to do this..it has also taught me a big lesson in life..use your ears and your heart to make another happy. It cost's nothing! You have said it so well. Thank you for reminding me I'm on the right track..

Caroline said...

mmm, thanks for this reminder for this chatterbox. I need to practice esp. on goose and Kevin...

Donna said...

Well Ladies..I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who was ever guilty of this. LoL!

Shirley, I know what you mean. My family and I did a lot of nursing home ministry and it does teach you to listen with a smile no matter how many times the story gets told. :o)

Jill said...

I just love your posts Donna. This is so true. Your pictures are just lovely...Hope you are doing well.

Many Blessings,

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Hi Donna,
Your tulips and tea are just lovely! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us today and thanks for coming by to have tea with me. Have a delightful week.


Martha's Favorites said...

Hi Donna: Wow, that is a message we all need to hear. Thank you so much for sharing it and your lovely tea. I am going to go visit that blog you recommended. Have a wonderful day! Blessings, Martha

Terri said...

Lovely and beautiful post! Listening to others can be an art form!
Your tea and talk is fab. I love your tea cups and saucers. The scones look delicious! Mmmmmmm.

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