Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stilling myself to truly listen

Almost thought about skipping today, but I have tried to make this a daily practice. And no time to think of a topic. Though these, generally, have just materialized as I sit at the keyboard. Maybe you can tell. A sort of stream-of-consciousness spiritually written meditation?

Or, maybe not.

It does have a different quality than the hand-written journals I have kept the past dozen years. Funny thing about those journals, I was really hoodwinked into keeping them by a very cunning, but wise soul. She was an art coach who said I should write about my art and just use a journal. Well, that seemed non-threatening. What I came to recognize, over time, was that my art was about the important things in my life. I was keeping a journal. I had been a journalist for years, scribing other people’s stories, not mine. My role was as the invisible observer, bringing the story forward.

I realize now that it is time to tell my story. It’s exhilarating and anguishing.

I spent two years in a Quaker spiritual-nurture ministry program with a lot of emphasis on listening ... a gift I possess. By the response I get, I think it’s rare. I just talked to a client today who said he and his colleagues were good at listening. They are, but I also said they hear people. Anyone can listen; not everyone hears.

• Do I feel heard?
• What could make that happen?
• Is journaling a venue for that?
• What about listening?
• Can and do I do that?
• How do others respond when I do?

When I still myself to listen,
I can hear so many things:
deep longing in myself
and others,
the late-August cricket
or the snow crunching
on a brisk day.

I peel off layers of
tension, distraction
and daily life to transform
the listening to hearing

It takes all that I have.
Like peeling the layers
of an onion and handing
what’s left, my heart,
... to Spirit.

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