Every week, I recommend a book for #FridayReads that broadens my horizons, enhances my perspective, provides insight into humanity, and uplifts and inspires me. Occasionally, a book speaks directly to me as if reverberating my truth. One of those books is Julia Cameron’s The Listening Path, The Creative Art of Attention.

In the book, Cameron guides her readers through a six-week, transformational experience that helps transform us into becoming better listeners – to nature, silence, ourselves, other people, and what she calls “beyond the veil,” connecting to the world beyond, what I call the other side. The result inspires creatively, connects us more strongly to our environments, and teaches us how to pay closer attention to ourselves and each other.

In addition to her words, the quotes she shares about listening to others are some of my favorites. I encourage you to read the book and take inspiration from these quotes: 

Listening is an Art

“The art of conversation lies in listening” – Malcolm Forbes

“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold” – Turkish Proverb

“The most effective way to show compassion to another is to listen, rather than talk” – Thich NHat Hanh

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them” – Ralph G. Nichols

What Listening is – and Isn’t

“Listening, not imitation, may be the sincerest form of flattery” – Joyce Brothers

“Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you” – Henri J. M. Nouwen

“Listening is not merely not talking, though even that is beyond most of our powers; it means taking a vigorous, human interest in what is being told us” – Alice Duer Miller

“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing” – G.K. Chestterton

How to Listen

“Stop and listen. The story is everywhere” – Thomas Lloyd Qualls

“Part of being successful is about asking questions and listening to the answers” – Anne Burrell

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work” – Mary Oliver

“You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time” – M Scott Peck

Good Listeners

“It takes a great (hu)man to be a good listener” – Calvin Coolidge

“Friends are those rare people who ask how we are, and then wait to hear the answer” – Ed Cunningham

“Good listeners, like precious gens, are to be treasured” – Walter Anderson

“It was an honor, to be listened to closely, to be heard. One could honor someone without agreeing with them” – Meg Waite Clayton

Better listening skills help us connect with others and ourselves, tap our creativity, and give us a deeper understanding. You can find Cameron’s book at most independent book stores, including Bookshop.org.