University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Listen Up

Listening up means hearing your own inner voice, noticing your surroundings, and being aware of the people around you. The ability to really listen to ourselves and one another is a key component in any caring community When you listen up, you...

Hear your inner voice

Your inner voice is the part of you that sees your role in the bigger picture of things and helps guide you toward the expression of your true passion in life. It takes practice to hear your inner voice. Many people use contemplative practices to help them ‘listen’ better. Contemplative practices can help develop greater empathy and communication skills, improve focus and attention, reduce stress and enhance creativity, supporting a loving and compassionate approach to life. There are many kinds of contemplative practice. You can find them outlined here in The Tree of Contemplative Practices.

Trust your intuition

Intuition or “gut feeling” is the rapid assimilation of our impressions of a person or situation that yields a reaction or judgment so fast that we’re not always logically sure how we got there. Sometimes we disregard our intuition because we think it’s based on nothing. In reality, intuition happens via complex array of cognitive brain activity that functions so quickly and so efficiently that it can seem like it came from nowhere. Usually, when we stop to reflect about a situation later on, we can find many logical reasons why our intuition was right in the first place. There are several gut instincts you should never ignore.

Know what kind of person you want to be

Instead of thinking about what you want to do, think about who you want to be. Your core values are the most important things about you. They inspire you to improve, appreciate, connect, and protect. Your core values are what you "stand for" and how you would like to be remembered. Let them guide your choices.