The first post of this month addressed listening to the good stuff that comes to us from others and the second dealt with the voice of our Ego disguised as humility and how to defend ourselves against it. Today’s blog post is about an altogether different kind of listening and it is the kind that doesn’t come from either an outer voice (from someone else) nor an inner one (from ourselves). What I want to address today is the kind of listening that happens from a quiet awareness of our situation, our world and our Selves.
Each moment of each day it is easy to feel bombarded by noise that seems important: the beep of a text message, the tone of a ringing phone, the bing-bong of a calendar reminder. We hear ideas, we pay attention to agendas, we ask and answer questions and as a result we have begun to block out the opportunities we could have to really listen to what the world, the Universe and the collective consciousness is trying to tell us. These constant intrusions often leave people feeling lost and in a constant state of confusion about anything deeper than the ‘to-do’ list. There doesn’t seem to be enough time for considerations like meaning, purpose or joy. Many people feel like they’re steering their lives in circles never coming to any conclusions or arriving at a destination because their mistakes (read: lessons) are SO familiar: “Haven’t I done this (or been here) a million times before?!”
What has happened is this: many people have gotten so caught up in the DOING of their lives that they’ve forgotten how to actually make anything of it…the CREATING has become a lost art. And how can anyone CREATE anything when there is no opportunity to be inspired?
Many people have stopped noticing the small signs in their life that tell them when they’re on the right (or wrong) track. They think of that friend but don’t pick up the phone to make the call. They notice a trend in their dreams but don’t take the time to reflect on its meaning. They see a new possibility for themselves but deem it too risky – even though the thought of it makes our hearts soar (maybe for the first time in a long time).
It’s time to wake up to those small listening opportunities. Life is telling us something. Even if you believe that the only meaning that exists in these “signs” is the one that we assign it – the wisdom remains the same. By giving ourselves the pause we need to reflect on our lives, thoughts, and path we open up the way to new possibilities for ourselves. Simple moments of reflection carve out the opportunity to recognize what it is that drains us and, more importantly, what it is that refuels us. Only then can we empower ourselves to break out of our default patterns and actually make healthy change in our lives.
I encourage you to take some of those moments and really use them. The next time you’re dining out and your date visits the restroom resist the urge to check or post on your favorite social media site and, instead, let your thoughts go inside of your Self – let them swim around. If you think of someone you’d like to contact about an idea – write it down. If you find that you can’t stop thinking about the person that left the table – tell them. And if you feel like you’re coming up empty consider why it is that you’ve lost touch with your Self and reintroduce the two of you. You might be surprised at what opens up to you as a result of this kind of listening.