How Are You Listening?
As I watch the leaves turn from green to yellow and begin falling from the trees I’m reminded how our True Nature is revealing itself in every season and moment of our lives. It’s not something outside us or other than us. It is us. True Nature is continually leading us from affirmation to affirmation, mystery to mystery, awakening to awakening, illumination to illumination. True Nature is lived when we open our hearts and usher our total being into receptivity, reverence and ongoing revelation to all that is and can be.
I know this sounds fairly mystical and it is, but we dare not dismiss it. Rather, as we believe in True Nature, Total Being, Essence, Soul, Spirit, the seen and unseen, known and unknown, visible and invisible, we also want to experience the mystery of Life with all its wisdom and insight in some conscious way, right? Brother David Steindl-Rast reminds us that I believe means “I give my heart to this.” What’s this saying to you?
This reminder challenges me to ask some very penetrating questions about what I truly believe and what I’m presently giving myself to. How congruent is my heart with my head and hands? Am I truly listening with my heart or am I thinking and acting from habitual patterns? Am I being still long enough to connect my True Nature with loving action? What am I giving and receiving? Where is my heart, my belief, my action, my True Nature in my day to day activities? How open am I, are you, to this inquiry?
As we move from season to season in our lives, it’s an intelligent practice to take note of the shifts that take place inside as well as outside us. In every season the shifts seem to take place daily. One day feels like summer, the next can feel like winter, then autumn and even spring pops up with all kinds of changes. We sometimes notice this outside ourselves, but do we believe that it also takes place within us? If so, do we give our hearts to it for rest, relaxation and reflection? Do you listen deeply with an open heart?
Julia Cameron has said that mystery and surprise is at the heart of creativity. This heart is the same heart that’s at the center of our True Nature that flows in, around and through everyone and everything. This all begins in darkness like life itself. We suffer from staying in the darkness and not letting the light at the center of our life penetrate our hearts. Our hearts harden as we forget to listen to our deepest needs, to the callings of the earth, rivers and trees. We forget who we are when we stop listening.
At this moment I’m listening to the silence of the energy in this room and to the intermittent noise outside the window of men hammering, talking and acting on a construction site next door. I’m listening to the keys of the computer as my mind sends messages from the mystery of True Nature through them onto this page. I’m listening to the silent pulse of my heart and the gentle rhythm of my breath. I’m listening to the ever present cries of those in pain and confusion and to the gentle lullabies that cradle their innocent hearts and minds. I’m listening to my heart in awe and wonderment. . .
The call of the soul, True Nature, is a silent call coming to us in every breath, heartbeat and moment of life. It’s a call to aliveness and illumination, an unmitigated call to lovingness, original blessing and presence. It’s a call to stop, look and listen to everything with and open heart; to be still and know in our not knowing how to proceed within the seasons of life. How are you loving and enlivening? How are you giving your heart to what you believe? How are you with True Nature? How are you listening?
- Spend some time with your journal over the next few weeks. Start with “I believe………” Write as long as you can about what you believe without thinking about it. When you finally run this out and feel complete, write “I give my heart to………” Don’t edit or think about it. Just start writing until you’ve exhausted the content.
- When the time is ripe, look at both of these and see where there’s congruence and connection……Also look at where there’s incongruence and disconnection……..
- Focus your next efforts on the congruence and connections between what you believe and what you’re giving yourself to. Spend the next month’s merging these places of belief and heart space. Notice the growth that takes place here. Notice your new heart songs, feelings, activities and new ways of being and doing.