| ANNE WILLIAMSON |
On Sunday, WAYfinding folks and friends got together for a sensory nature walk through a local park. The kids involved received a scavenger hunt list - things to touch, hear, see and smell. One of these items was to hear a bird. As my daughter and I took off, we felt rough and smooth bark, saw light streaming through the trees, heard friends laughing, but no birds. I remember thinking to myself, "Well, this is too bad. It must be too cold for the birds this morning. None of the kids are going to be able to complete their list."
We went on like this for maybe 25 minutes when a question appeared in my mind's eye, "Have you really stopped to listen?" I had not. So, I scooped my daughter up, used the universal sign for "shhh," and asked her to close her eyes with mommy. And, there they were: the beautiful trills and chirps of birds high in the trees. It was a graced moment - one all too quickly interrupted by my daughter tapping my face and saying "no sleepy" - but a moment full of grace all the same. I simply had not stopped to listen.
Does this ring true for you too? How often do we think we're listening - to our friends, kids, partners, even God - when, in fact, we're not? Because we haven't truly stopped... the external movement and noise, and internal chatter. LISTEN, LEARN, LOVE...
And, Indy folks, don't forget to join us tomorrow, Wednesday, October 8, 7:00p - 8:30p @ Indy Reads Books as we stop, and really listen to and honor the questions we have about faith, God, spirituality. More information can be found here.
Sit with these words a moment. Maybe repeat them to yourself. What is stirring in you? What do you hear? Keep listening...
Watch this clip from positive psychologist Shawn Achor's interview on Super Soul Sunday:
What is resonating with you? Where did you experience an internal "yes" or "no"? Keep wondering and listening...
Out of what is stirring in you, set a loving intention for the coming week. Perhaps open yourself up to a little kind accountability by sharing your intention with a friend, partner, God.
One idea: I love when Shawn Achor says in the above video, "If you've got a lot of noise, your brain never gets to meaning." This seems to me to be the conundrum of our 21st century western culture: we've got A LOT of noise, but meaning is what literally makes life meaningful. The only solution I see is to learn to cancel the noise occasionally and increasingly. A walk through the woods is a great place to start, or simply take 10 minutes in a quiet room to pay attention to the detail around you, to listen to your breath, to feel your heart.