Tag Archives: listen

Listen. Listen Harder.

The lighting was low, the space was crowded and the atmosphere was a bit posh.

We were seated amongst the conversations, outdoors on the patio near a fire pit with a single lit candle on the wooden table.

My heart beats for this man I am with and it was his birthday.  As we leaned in to share iPhone light to read the menu, I felt the room slowly melt away.

His half smile and thus crooked moustache stared back at me in the dark.  In that moment, it was just me and  him.  Him and me.  Just us.

We talked for hours.  He shared about his favorite parts of the year, we talked about our communication breakdowns and most amazing breakthroughs, and painted our clear and radical future.  We talked about everything and then we talked about nothing.  I cried silently inside with the utmost gratitude for this life, for this man and for this moment.   Reality check, was it my birthday?

While smiling now and remembering the moments by the fire pit, I realized how beautifully and intently I was listening.  Hanging on to every word he spoke, we spoke.  Listening so hard.

And it was and is a beautiful irony that we connected on such an intimate level in such the public space that would seemingly not allow it.

Just him and me.  Me and him.

I say, let the rooms melt.  Listen.  Listen so much harder.

ListenHarder2.

Note to Self

 

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Filed under Gratitude, Love, Present

Show Me the Way

Life points you in the right direction.

If, any only if, you let it.

We meddle,

we settle,

we avoid and talk over.

Yet, this life will point you in the right direction,

If you listen,

are open to the risk,

are willing to see the possibility.

If, and only if, you let it.

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I Love Trees: Herman Hesse

…from Hermann Hesse’s Bäume: Betrachtungen und Gedichte [Trees: Reflections and Poems]

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. . . . Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

Credit:  Brain Pickings

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You = Impact

I am always astonished by how desolate the trails are in SoCal.  People, what are you doing?  GET ON A MOUNTAIN!

With that being said, the quiet and sweet silence on my hike today with my trusty dog, Bear was absolutely perfect and so eye-opening.

We hiked up the dog-friendly trail in Temescal Canyon late afternoon today.  We took a new route, trail ran a bit, and encountered a total of 4 humans, 2 dogs, 5 chipmunk style rodents, 7 desert-looking lizards, and an assortment of birds.  We were pretty much solo the entire 2 hour hike.

What I realized today was the ripple effect in our movements.  Bear would run ahead of me and move a tree branch sticking out that would shake the tree, make some noise, perhaps shake another tree, more noise and settle back.  Or, I would accidentally kick a rock forward in the ground that would cause something to scurry off into the brush nearby, make my heart beat faster and Bear jump forward.  There is this massive ripple effect of movement, that I could really only experience audibly and visually.  Who really knows what else is going on out there (nor do I want to, snakes?).

Once you get far enough into the hike, beyond the cars noisy engine and the hustle and bustle that is our lives both externally and internally; this is where quiet and space to listen intersect.  You can actually hear everything and realize how alive the Earth is, how very alive you are.  In one tiny movement, you causes a ripple effect of sound into the atmosphere, amongst the plant life, the wildlife and then back to your life.

It’s a rush to feel so powerful and large, and yet so small and puzzle-piece-like in the grand scheme.

So, what if we all were aware of this epic ripple effect?  At all?  More often?

Reminder:  you = impact.

What if you knew that a smile to that stranger today could shift a mood, to enhance an encounter, to some how inspire 57 people to passionate action?  Possible.

What if we realized the impact of one bottle cap dropped on the ground, picked up by the wind, broken down by the Ocean, consumed by a fish, consumed by a bigger fish, then consumed by you?  Truth.

What if we truly, truly, truly realized the radical impact of ourselves?

What would we really get up to?

What is your ripple effect?  Own it.  Every.  Single.  Day.  #impact

Wow.  Beautiful.  Be Powerful.  You.

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