To listen truly is part art, a little science and a big sprinkle of magic. I, for one, need practice, practice and more practice in honing this delicate skill. I hear a lot but in many instances, I’m not listening. Why?, because I am way too wrapped up in the hamster wheel of response. Perish the thought that the party I am engaged with would think I am idiot for not coming up with a brilliant comeback. Listening is a craft like acting, which needs a laser sharp focus from all the senses. Clearing the mind of the clutter and debris is the first step. Its time for the brain to go through the wash cycle.
I think its a soul building experience to become quiet and focus on what the other party in the exchange has to say. There is all the time in the world for a comeback. Why disrespect the speaker by paying lip service and not paying attention. I’ve gotten good at that. I’m beginning to study and understand self-compassion, I’ve gone back to the basics and looked at how I react and interact with my fellow peeps. Reading the non-verbal cues that my body sends me is a start to tell me whether or not I’m on the road to be fully present in this very moment or if I’m about to let my stress level implode and make me totally crazy. By being aware and being able to tap in to these cues , I then can be fully participating in any sort of interaction. If I’m sounding like I’m going off the deep end, please throw me a rope. My recent days have been rather rocky as of late. Life situations are forcing me to reevaluate many things. It is non-verbal cues that point me towards the joy of the moment and the very essence of my well-being. Again, if I’m aware I get these wonderful bonuses. Many times in my rush to respond, I lose these gifts. Practice!!! I just need to find the off button.
As part of my current job, I am tasked with feeding all the horses on the farm that live there full time. This is a job that is done by myself. It is a great opportunity to really engage in what I like to call “quiet listening”. Silence becomes a mystical force and it weaves me into the tapestry of the universe. The spiritual energy is awesome. I watch the horses come up to the fence, evaluate them condition-wise and watch and listen to them eat. The horses can listen to my energy and when I am at peace and quiet, I am allowed to become part of the herd. When I come at them agitated, they become defensive and want nothing to do with me. Sometimes my best course is a deep breath and exhale. Kind of a letting go. The language that these animals read is amazing. A shrug of the shoulder, a kneel down, or a waving of my arms tell them much. Natural horsemanship is a very special art all its own. These miracles as small as they might be are not to be missed. As we have been pounded this winter with a great deal of snow ( for Virginia that is) , one of the big treats is standing out feeding, hearing the horses eat but no other sounds, while watching the snow fall. For these moments, I will always be eternally grateful. What a way to become serene.
When I visit historic places, I firmly believe that when I stand still with a quiet mind, I can hear the voices from the past. One of my favorite places to visit is Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The landscape that hosted this tumultuous battle is gorgeous. As Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorite people, I swear I can hear his voice utter the now famous Gettysburg Address. “Four score and seven years ago….” if I listen to the quiet. A great sense of calm washes over me.
And then there is my favorite, intuition. Time after time, this gift has never failed. Now whether I have chosen to “listen” to it is another story. One of the last times I was at the horse races, I had bet on one horse in this particular race, when I saw an entry in the same race for this Virginia bred horse going off at 47 to 1. $20 bet would get you close to $1,000.00 if he wins. My intuition said , “Hey Bob, better bet this horse”. Then the rational brain chatter kicked in and said you’ve already bet one, no more. And of course, rather than listen to my intuition, I listened to the chatter. The Virginia bred horse won wire-to-wire. Talk about oops and a slap from the universe. That’ll learn ya, boy. Hard lesson.
You really have nothing else to do but listen. It is the key that unlocks that magic door. Clear the mind, become receptive and erase the voices. It is within this simple action that great power lies. Never lose sight that we have come equipped with some pretty intense tools that will lead us to a life filled with success, abundance, amazing adventures, clarity and the big one, love.
Thanks all for letting me offer some thoughts on listening. I find that on this journey called life, things we discover are so much more fruitful if we share. It is with a full heart that I bid you guys adieu. Till next time when we meet on this awesome ride, be blessed. Remember we are all pretty awesome. Just saying!!!!