June 30 – Listening Freshly

“We are all on the edge of having to listen freshly all the time.”  – Ram Dass

When my first son was born and I embarked on the adventure of motherhood, suddenly cries took on a significance and meaning that they had not had previously.  Prior to that moment, they were background noise, at best, to me – heard with passive awareness.  In the instant that I changed, that changed.  My soul was altered in that instant, and I was listening freshly, with the ears of a mother.  That becomes a part of our story that never leaves us – Is there any mother (any parent, really) who does not turn around when she hears a child call “Mommy”, even once her own children are grown?

Each of us, at every milestone in our growth or transition point in our life, experiences this phenomenon of “listening freshly” as our perspective changes.

During the Ware Lecture at the 2016 UUA General Assembly, Krista Tippet said, “Listening is not primarily about being quiet; it is primarily about being present.”  There are often so many distractions that reside in silence.  Silence itself is passive, it implores you to fill it with something.  Presence is active.  Presence is a state of being that steps forth and envelops you.  When you are wholly present, all of you is engaged with what you are hearing.  Presence is inherently filled with the underlying question, “how is it with your soul?”.

So, I have a question for you – When was the last time you listened to your own story?  When was the last time you were present for yourself?

It is only through listening deeply to our own stories that we can get or remain in touch with our own soul’s state of wellness, degree of contentment, and depth of yearning.  Being present for yourself is the gateway to gratitude – an appreciation of the blessings that are already working their magic in your life, and an intentional welcoming that invites more in.

Sit with yourself on that edge for a moment, and listen…  How is it with your soul?

~ Christiana

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