Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

Like a lot of you,
I love words.
Words in books.
Words in art.
Words on jewelry.
Words on just
about anything.

For 2011, I even
chose a word to linger
in my mind and sit 
upon my heart.

I chose L I S T E N.

As in stop talking and
let the other person talk.

As in listen to all of
the beautiful sounds
that make up my life.

My kids laughter over
a shared secret or
Gracie barking at the
UPS man....The birds
beginning their songs
early in the morning.
The comforting drone
of a baseball game in
the background.
The clocks ticking
when I am home alone.

As in listen to what
someone is truly saying....

I want my home to be a haven.
{When my husband voices concern
if the house is a mess.}

I want to be loved even
when I'm unlovable.
{When one of my kids
gets sassy after a bad day.}

I want to feel connected.
{When someone laments a
lack of friends.}

As in listen to my heart more
and my head less.

As in listen to God and what
His plan is for me.

As in listen when others
are seeking out help.

Because hearing 
and listening
aren't really the same,
are they?

I've tuned in to tentative 
remarks recently ~ both from real-
life friends and from anonymous
ones on-line ~ indicating that
they don't know how to 
leave comments on blogs.

I did hear you.
I remember how that feels.
You want to join 
in the conversation.

Easy-peasy.  Just click
on the this great tutorial,
for some guidance.

To make commenting easier, I
would recommend opening a Blogger
account.  Blogger, a subsidiary
of Google, is a free service.  
Opening  a Blogger account does 
not commit you to writing a blog. 
Even my friends who write blogs using 
other blogging platforms or those who only 
read blogs have Blogger accounts. It will let 
you link up your e-mail address as well 
as create a profile of yourself with 
as much or as little info as you want to share.

Then, you will have a Blogger name.

You can even add a picture of your
smiling face or your dog or whatever
you'd like to represent YOU.

You can get started, here.

Examples of fun profile pics

And for those of you who consider
yourself old pros at leaving comments,

Why haven't you edited your Blogger
profile to allow an e-mail response from blog
writers, hmmmm?  

When I get a very
moving comment and then write a
reply only to have your address come up 
as no-reply blogger when I hit send,
I am a 
unhappy camper.

Maybe you don't know how to enable
e-mail response to your comments.
Perhaps you didn't even realize that you 
needed to enable anything.

Well, you do!

So please follow these super-
 simple instructions
to make sure that
your {virtual} mailbox
isn't duct-taped shut.

If you're uncomfortable using your personal 
e-mail address, you can always set one
 up just for blogging, which is what I did.  
No mixing e-mails from school or my book club 
or my mother-in-law with my blog comments : ) !!

Are you listening to 
your life?

Are you really?

Then you know.

You are important.
You are relevant.
You have a voice.

Now.....use it wisely!
And send me some love.
Pretty please : )
I'm listening.

To listen well is as powerful 
a  means of influence as to talk well,
and is as essential to all true conversation.
~ Chinese Proverb



Al said...

Very informative post. I have some friends who are also very nervous about the whole "blog" world. They are timid about commenting, etc. You have done a great thing by lending a helping hand to people in a similar situation.

A Vintage Green said...

Well written Suzanne. Thank you. Kindness in your words, and help for others.
- Joy

Joanna said...

I started off with opening a Blogger account just so I could comment on my sister-in-law's blog, but within a week I was so hooked I set up my own blog (with lots of help from my teenage children) and love being part of the blogging community.

I happily receive emails!

Listen - a great word.


Susan T said...

As ever just brilliant. I think I need to check my e-mail set up - OOPS!

Much love from a now wet and grey England - still we have a gorgeous Easter to remember.

Have a great weekend.

Sue xx


What has been the most surprising thing you have learned or heard in your year of listening?

Great idea, to help other learn how to comment. I hear that a lot, too.

Happy listening.


Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

I feel just the same. It's happened quite a few times that someone has left a really heartfelt comment that I haven't been able to reply to.

I always feel bad at the thought that they might be thinking that I just didn't care enough to reply. But I do. I do. I do!!!!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning GENTLE WRITER! Yes, listening is a lost art for so many. I was in a meeting yesterday with a colleague and I was so blessed to by a complement she gave me, and something I never really even thought about....she said that one of the things that makes me the teacher that I am and why the kids like me is because I LISTEN TO THEM....I wept. Thank God. No one seemed to listen to me when I was young, and now I have the chance to listen to others....thank you for confirming this with your beautiful post. Anita

Jane said...

So well put, Suzanne. You will help so many people with this post, my dear friend. I did a similar post a while ago which might be helpful to your readers at J x


I love this have a way of putting it that I think will make people LESS scared :)

A Vintage Chic said...

So beautifully written, Suzanne...I love that you gave "Silent Bloggers" some good tools today.

I'm going to try and LISTEN more're so right: to hear and to listen are definitely not the same thing!

Wishing you beauty and joy today, dear friend--thank-you for all the beauty and joy you share with the rest of us...


cityfarmer said...

I know, right!

this is one of my biggest F.A.U.L.T.S.

Farmgirl Paints said...

love your word YOU. can't believe you threw me in the mix. that is a cool profile pic example though if i do say so myself;) happy friday...we leave tonight...wheeeeeee...wish us luck!

Alicia said...

this is so good, suzanne! i hate it when i get a "no reply" too...such a bummer :( thanks for sharing great tips.

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

REALLY listening is H-A-R-D! I admire you for trying, I know I do but not always with great results. Esp. with the kids! Have a nice weekend.


Ironstone and Pine said...

Great post Suzanne....I'm a newbie blogger and immediately went to my profile to check my email status, because I really really want to hear from viewers if they want to get in touch with me! I hope you continue to bring blog issues to our attention from time to time, thank you!!

Morning T said...

SO glad you mentioned linking email account to blogger account/comments. Sometimes I want so badly to respond to a commenter but am unable to do so.

Great post Suzanne.
Happy Mother's Day weekend to you my friend.

Lisa said...

Sending you some love my friend!
Hoping you have a very happy and smile-y Mother's Day! Enjoy and find some time to listen to the birdies and the sweet sounds of spring outside your door!

pollydove said...

Suzanne, this might be my favorite post yet. I may just have to copy some of it for my friends who always say, "I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LEAVE A COMMENT!" So thanks for making it easy!!!

You know, sometimes my son will say, "MOM! Just let me finish!" I tend to interrupt before my kids get their stories out - assuming that I know the ending. I need to heed your advice here and follow your example! Thank you!

Amy Arnaz said...

Thank you, Suzanne, for the gentle reprimands. I'm guilty! After sending this comment to you I'm going back to your post to click on the tutorial so I can learn how to be a better blogger.
I want to comment on "listening." Yes, I agree, there is a difference between listening and hearing. It compares with looking vs. seeing. One is static and one is alive. Listening has depth, emotion, sensitivity, alertness and just hearing is one-dimensional. Thank you for this wonderful post. I always appreciate a reminder that encourages an inner-effort. Love you ~ Amy

Jeanie said...

Well, first of all, well said! Maybe all of us bloggers should take a page from your book and post this tutorial or link to you because it's so perfectly and clearly outlined! I love comments, too, and it's always frustrating to find the no-reply and have to search for the email address, which sometimes doesn't exist on the site.

And thanks, too, for including my Marmelade Gypsy as one of your cute profile pix! I'll have to give him a little bit extra Fancy Feast tonight in honor! He won't understand, but I will -- and we'll both be happy!

Teacup Moments said...

suzanne, listening truly is hard! but i get the sense that you are very observant and self-aware, and therefore succeed in truly listening. and thank you for the commenting help. you have a way of making even technical details like that read like poetry. :)

Linda said...

This will help a lot of people, Suzanne, and it's a very thought-provoking post, too! XO

pretty pink tulips said...

I know your words today will help some folks reach out and become reachable.

That's all we really want isn't it? To be connected. To feel like me matter. For people to care about us.

And the first steps are: trying to connect with people, letting other people know they matter and caring about what the other person has to say.

Thank you for always listening....I hope you know how much I appreciate YOU!

Happy Mother's Day, sweet friend!
xoxo Elizabeth

hometown girl said...

i love this, listening is so important! i think we hear and don't always listen. have a beautiful weekend! happy mother's day my sweet friend!! xo susan

Style Attic said...

Yes! Say what you mean and mean what you say. I truly believe we can gauge authenticity through a post or comment. We are all created so different and have so much to offer, so I love to hear what people really, truly have to say, rather than what they think we all want to hear. Have a wonderful Mother's Day Suzanne XO, Kelly

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dear writer and friend,

I love it when someone comes to my blog and asks a sincere question to which I am most pleased to answer. You asked about the significance of that plastic doll.....MUCH significance. You see, my mother had nothing. We were poor, she could not read, drive, make any financial decisions on her own, or even hold a conversation with many people for she was held back from school from the 6 grade on. But the love she showed need NO FORMAL EDUCATION. That doll was a cheap little 59 cent five and dime shop doll. She crocheted the little vest and hat, and when I flew in from Boston to L.A. after having found out she was DYING OF OVARIAN CANCER, all she wanted to give me was this doll. She had NOTHING to give me...little did she know that she gave me more than she could ever understand. Whenever I see this doll that I have tucked away, I weep uncontrollably. It reminds me of all the things she WANTED TO GIVE ME, but couldn't, and that includes dialogues and motherly advice and such. I remember when I was going through adolescence and boy issues, I would cry and she just sat there, not knowing what to say. But she would always surprise me with a handmade item that I treasured so. In fact as she was dying, I told her how much I loved her. I asked her if she had anything she wanted to say to me, and she looked up at me with those big green eyes and said, "No." So there you have it. My 59 cent cheapy doll that is priceless.

Love to you and your mother, and may YOUR CHILDREN always remember the eternal blessing you are and always will be to them. Anita

A Cottage Muse said...

I am glad you are listening because I want to thank you for this post, your blog and for making me happy when I visit!

Have a wonderful Mother's Day!

traci said...

a wonderful word indeed. it is a hard one to really follow. to listen, not just hear.

happy mothers day my friend!!

koralee said...

Happy Mother's day to you my sweet friend. xoxoxoxo

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Listening is a most important skill to have. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and advise on how to be a good listener!

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

Sending Lots and Lots of love your way this Mother's Day weekend. You're a part of my life I love listening to, AND hearing!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

Wonderful post, Suzanne. I have also replied to someone's email only to find the return address says "no-reply blogger". I always feel so sad because I really do wish to send them a return email.
I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. XO

quintessence said...

I always do try to listen and not just hear. It's such an important part of relationships whether in real life or on line!!

Anonymous said...

As always, a very thoughtful & loving post, Suzanne!

Wishing you a very Happy Mother's Day!!!
~ Zuzu

paige said...

"can you hear me now?"...that is hysterical!
listen to this one...for the first few years of my blog. years. i replied to every single comment. every one! then last year i got all fancy with my new lap top & that email software showed the "no reply" thingy. well i'll be darned. i had been replying for ever to everyone only to find out they were NOT getting them. UGH>
i think the majority of questions i get on my blog are from readers who do not have their email linked to their blogger account. ugh.
great little tutorial there my friend.
happy mother's day!!!

Splendid Willow said...

I am listening! (Both to your wisdom words and always to your music!).

Happy, happy Mother's day dear Suzanne!

ox, Mon

P.S I am flying to Stockholm on the 17th to take care of my dear Mother. I miss her so.

A Rosy Note said...

Great post Suzanne. I love your thoughts on listening and your blog tips too. I always find it frustrating when someone asks me a question and then doesn't have their email set up so that I can respond.

Thanks for linking up to Photo Feature Friday this week. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day :)


Lili said...

Oh Suzanne great links on here! I have to admit, I was guilty of having the no-reply blogger status for way too long! xo ~Lili