This guest post comes from Chandler McIntyre, one of Mood’s Voice Talents.
“Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand.” – Karl A. Menniger
This quote resonates with me in an inspiring and achievable way. I believe listening is truly an art form and one that can be achieved on a day-to-day basis. Listening to the many environmental sounds, voices, words and music that come forth can open up the world in new and different ways. Iʼm trying hard to keep this in mind as I approach each new day with open ears.
About four years ago, listening and sound took on a profound new meaning for my family. My husband and I were introduced to a different world, one which was void of sound, via our adopted daughter, Bliss, who was diagnosed at 12 weeks old with bilateral profound sensoneurial deafness. She was unable to hear the human voice, but could detect low level sounds, like the rumbling of a train or thunder.
Fortunately, we were connected quickly to an incredible support network of audiologists, speech language pathologists, social workers, a teacher of the hearing impaired and a groundbreaking surgeon, who all have patiently and methodically brought the wonderful world of sound and listening alive for our daughter. She now has bilateral cochlear implants, and she can hear almost fully out of both ears.
More than ever now, tuning in and listening are at the top of my forever to-do list, especially when Bliss is verbally communicating. She is amazing, and she is talking more and more each day. However, at times, to understand her intention and sentences, I have to really listen – quiet my mind and focus on her voice and words 100%. When life is at full force, it can be challenging to focus and listen. Thoughts that evolve into words, easily can be “lost in translation,” and I find myself often misunderstanding her, simply because my mind is not fully present.
We call her cochlear implant processors her “ears.” She wears her ears during her waking hours to hear and listen daily, and I have to remember to always put mine “on” as well. Listening to my daughter communicate verbally, has become a meaningful daily exercise of gratitude, slowing down, and taking in what is truly being said and intended.
When I look at the mountains Bliss has climbed through her listening skills, it makes me wonder what possibilities await all of us in every day life, simply by being still and opening our ears. Below are a few thoughtful articles, that definitely inspire me to “put my ears on” and embrace the art of listening more and more each day. Hereʼs to the great gift of sound and to the subtle, powerful skill of listening.