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Ode to the Blossom…

Outside my bedroom stands a glorious cherry tree. I call it the cotton ball tree, for in the Spring it becomes a round white fluff ball balancing on a dark gray leg. When viewed from the other side of the pond, it receives grand compliments like the belle of the ball, dressed in regal finery.

She is the first to don her green as the winter wanes, preparing and fueling herself to burst forth with voluptuous magnificence. Watching the tightly wrapped buds as they expand in preparation to expose themselves, beckons one to be patient. Then it happens, the soft white nearly translucent petal leans back, inviting the others to join her, telling them it is safe to open up.

It is a grand party, they dance and wave on the currents of seasonal change. Quietly role modeling for the nearby trees that the time is now, a merry invitation to play.

I am awed by their extreme courage and strength, such delicate baby soft petals do not give way to the last ambushes of winters gusts. They stay perched in their efflorescence perfection. I am mesmerized by their unabashed elegance and enraptured by their swirling soft perfume.

The time of fading looms. They cling to the final glory days. Intense gales with blurring rain try to undress the dignified queen of trees. The fair ivory petals do not forsake her, they stay, grasping to the last days of their eminence.

A blanket of white bares the truth, fading with quiet acquiescence they fall. Knowing that their time in the sun has come to an end. They exalted the rising of Spring, tempting others to brave the change, now with extreme fortitude, they accept death.

Springs blanket of white shall last merely a moment in time, a mirror of life’s fleeting impermanence…

I sit in admiration of their unpretentious valor, for they did not try to burst on the scene before they were welcomed and they do not linger longer than they were invited. There is a resplendent acceptance that life cycles, birth, life, death.., birth, life, death….

As the sun worships their last moments in the cradle of leaves, I too stand in adoration of their benevolent presence and passing. Our time shall come again on the ebb and flow of seasons. I thank you humbly dear blossom for the reminder that everything has its season, blooming in perfection with the raw truth of impermanence and fragility in the presence of time.

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I Hear YOU…

  • As you read that title, what is your first response?
  • What do you hear your mind say the second you read it?
    • Yeah, sure you hear me!
    • No you don’t! No one really listens anymore.
    • I don’t really share, so how can you hear me.
    • ???

Have you ever noticed how quickly you start to think about what you are going to say to someone who is talking to you? There you stand formulating in your mind what you can say back. What’s the perfect thing to respond? When you do this, are you truly listening, sincerely hearing the person you are with?

If you are a parent, do you really listen to your child, no matter the age, to HEAR what they are sharing? Not just the words they speak, but the body language, the message sent from their eyes, tone, word choice, etc…

What about how you listen to a colleague, spouse/partner, friend, family member, stranger..? Do you listen differently depending on who is talking?

Have you ever noticed how much attention you will give to someone “important and powerful” by societal and cultural standards – yet when your child, friend, family member or co-worker share you only half way tune in? I observe this all the time.

Do you think you fool anyone with regard to your HEARING and Listening skills? People, especially the young and wise elders, KNOW when you are really listening or not. Just watch a baby who has a present or distracted parent. Observe your friend when you really sit and pay attention to their story versus being fidgety to battle for conversation rights. There is an intuitive knowing when someone is truly LISTENING and HEARING YOU.

I have watched and observed this for years and years. Noticing within my own behavior the expansion of my ability to truly HEAR. As I have gotten older and wiser, my ability to HEAR and LISTEN has increased, enriching my life in so many ways.

When I worked in a nursing home, daycare, restaurant, sales rep., customer service specialist, ropes course facilitator and classroom teacher – HEARING was key. Active, Present Listening enriched, expanded and opened all of these professions into glorious opportunities for co-learning and co-growing through genuine heartfelt sharing.

We all crave a safe place to share. The desire to be truly heard is as powerful as the desire to be seen. In the chaos and busyness it is often a challenge to get people to drop into TRUE sharing, however, I have learned that BEing completely present, making eye contact with sincerity and truly Listening opens the flood gates for powerful connection.

I strongly believe that one of the most important gifts I can give myself and others is to HEAR. To Listen with intense complete presence, shutting off my mind chatter. I absolutely LOVE the connection experienced when I truly listen – WOW.., it is intensely powerful. Full of surprises and new understandings.

What if today, you challenged yourself to slow down and really HEAR? What might you learn about your partner/spouse, friend, child, co-worker, etc..? How might you feel as you allow this true connection? What might you learn about yourself and others? Below are a couple of articles that briefly discuss Listening, I thought you might enjoy them.

What Great Listeners Actually Do” – Harvard Business Review

The Science of Listening” – Huffpost

Today’s Affirmation:

“I am a good listener, hearing with all of me in complete presence what other’s are sharing with me.”

Today’s Meditation:

Join me for a guided meditation

Today’s “Walking Naked Truth” Practice:

  • Today, slow down with awareness at least three times to truly LISTEN.
  • Notice how it shifts the experience.
  • Today, share at least three times with genuine honest sincerity – creating the energy of true connection.
  • Notice how you feel when you share your truth in vulnerable open presence.