Live What You Know

Learn, Grow, Accept, Appreciate, Realize, Love…Truly Live It All! Make Every Day A Masterpiece and Live Each Moment In Joy! —or— You are Divine. You are All. We are One. Let us Be still. Let us Listen with an open heart. Let us Live what we hear. Let us Love with All of our heart. BE. YOU. I AM. —or— wherever you're at and growing from now.

Tag: Poetry

Swimming in The Deeper Currents of Life

Every single moment of our lives is trying to tell us something.  Life itself is the moment.  We must make room to allow enough listening to hear what the true message of the moment is.  We must bring honor and sacredness to the art that is listening.  Every encounter with any being or even just in stillness is an opportunity for deeper listening.  More than just a portion of our attention while we multi-task is required for the type of listening we’re talking about here.  How do you hear well enough to truly receive a smile?  What could be worth skipping a smile meant for you or missing the sound of laughter?  Why have we allowed so much noise to creep in and take us from the deeper currents of life?

In a recent Eckhart Tolle talk, he was discussing his teachings and he said, “The person got out-of-the-way enough for the teaching to come through.”  I love this idea.  If we allow our personalities and all our distractions in life to dominate our experience each day, we don’t leave any room for the sacred to come through.  We all know about intuition and we can feel the pull that comes from our “gut” telling us something.  We choose if we take the time to practice really listening to life and following where it is leading us.  We have the stillness inside that has all the answers we seek.  We often cover it up with one distraction after another or we let others tell us what we should do.  Perhaps we fear our own authentic power.  There is nothing to fear; only love to be found.  We are meant to hear the messages, they will get louder if we stay focused on noise and reside in distractions.

“We are evolving
from five-sensory humans into multisensory humans….
The perceptions of the multi-sensory human
extend beyond physical reality
to the larger dynamical systems of which our physical reality is a part.”

~ Gary Zukav ~

Our perceptions are everything.  They create our entire world.  How we choose to look at the world determines what we will see.  How we listen to the world determines who we will be, what we will create and how we will live.  It must be noted that our thoughts aren’t always worth listening to.  In fact, most often, they are not.  We aren’t talking about listening to our thoughts and acting from them.  We must go deeper and let the thoughts be what they are — only thoughts.  They will pass.  We don’t want to make choices because we are under the influence of our thoughts that crept in.  We want to listen deeply and use more than just the five senses as we expand and live more fully as our essential being.  There is more to listen to.

A simple act of slowing down can help on the path to listening to more of life.  I know deeply that the more we can listen to life, the more we can live.  I also cannot emphasize enough the importance of clearing the mind and touching the stillness as we slow down.  Watch those thoughts and lean back into the space that hears them.  There is much more to you than the thoughts.  Be the space behind them.  Resist jumping on the thoughts and allowing them to grow.  Choose your thoughts and choose your life.

Another great practice to bring more listening is accepting what is.  Even if someone is being rude, speaking with a harsh tone, interrupting you constantly, saying something you don’t want to hear, acting stressed out…whatever it is, there are reasons why these things are happening.  Being the space of loving listening can help ease the suffering of others in so many ways.  Accepting what is brings more love into the world.  We can love all the great things we encounter quite easily.  We can also love the not-so-pleasant things we see as well.  There is truly only love and fear.  As you see love, of course, love it and spread it.  As you see all other things, remember — it is only fear.  Give it love too and you can ease suffering and bring more love to the world that way.  Even the most dreadful behaviors come from a place of fear.  It sounds simple, but it is true.  Just love the love and accept the fear as you provide a non judgmental place for it to transform.  Any energy spent resisting what is will bring suffering to you and those around you.  Resisting what is doesn’t allow you to see and hear what life is telling you.  Accept it all as you listen deeply to whatever you are supposed to hear.

Simply put:

  • slow down
  • choose your thoughts wisely, letting the others pass like clouds
  • accept what is no matter what form it comes in
  • waste no energy resisting what already is…hear the message instead
  • listen with all your senses – the five and the multi-sensory ones beyond
  • spread love, by celebrating the love you encounter and accepting the fear you encounter…your acceptance just may allow it to turn towards love
  • courageously swim in the deeper currents of life; trust your knowing…treat life like one big doing meditation…it is.

One more thing, it is a great hint in life to follow the beauty…true beauty that is.  God/Life/Universe/All is in the beauty.  See that, hear that, be that and you’re on to something.  Hopefully you have time to follow the beauty in this lovely poem below by Mark Nepo.  He has gifted the world with amazing work on listening.  His latest book is called Seven Thousand Ways To Listen, it is definitely worth the read.  Enjoy this gift from those pages.

The Appointment
by Mark Nepo

What if, on the first sunny day,
on your way to work, a colorful bird
sweeps in front of you down a
street you’ve never heard of.

You might pause and smile,
a sweet beginning to your day.

Or you might step into that street
and realize there are many ways to work.

You might sense the bird knows some-
thing you don’t and wander after.

You might hesitate when the bird
turns down an alley. For now
there is a tension: Is what the
bird knows worth being late?

You might go another block or two,
thinking you can have it both ways.
But soon you arrive at the edge
of all your plans.

The bird circles back for you
and you must decide which
appointment you were
born to keep.

Wishing you the courage to swim in the deeper currents of life as you spread love by truly listening to everything!  Sending you love and joy!

 

Cultivating a Poetry Practice

As detailed in my previous post, after learning all about Coach Wooden, I read and studied all of his work with a voracious appetite to learn and a grateful heart for the spirit and gift I had discovered.  The thing that Coach expresses first and foremost in most of his work is his great respect, love and admiration for his father,  Joshua Wooden.   As you read Coach’s work, it is quite something to hear about his childhood on the farm and the many life lessons he encountered there.  His parents were a great example of exemplary character through hardships and all life brought their way.  It was quite meaningful to have a glimpse into another time with such amazing people working so hard without complaint.

One of the great things Coach shared was about his father reading to his children at night.  He grew up with no electricity, plumbing, or conveniences.  For their entertainment, his father read to them by the light of a coal-oil lamp.  He read them a lot of poetry and Shakespeare and more.  In Coach’s own words he says, ” The poetry Dad read to us when we were kids instilled a love of reading, English, books and knowledge.”  He also recalls, “Dad reminded me often, ‘Johnny, you’ll never learn a thing that you didn’t learn from someone else.’  Good books help us do that.” 

When Coach graduated from grade school, his father gave him what he called The Gift of A Lifetime...it was a little card that had a very special verse on one side and a list of “Seven Things to Do” on the other side.  He eventually called the seven things “Dad’s Seven Point Creed”… When his Dad handed him the card, all he said was, “Son, try and live up to these things.”  In Coach’s humble way, when sharing about these things, he says he wishes he could say he lived up to them.  He says he tried.  I think we can all see how he more than tried, he soared.  He lived up to his father’s Seven Point Creed and he brought it to so many in a time when it is so needed.

Number four on the list was, “Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.”  Coach certainly did that.  His love of books and reading started those nights listening to his father reading.  When I learned of this in his various retellings of it, it hit me deep and it changed me.  I thought of my own little ones and my heart tugged and I remember feeling, “Oh, how I wish we lived in a time when we could do this.”…next thought was something like, “Duh, we can do this now.”  Mad dash to the computer to order poetry books and our family poetry nights began…

We have kept with family poetry nights over the years and we have practiced in various ways.  At first we would rotate turns and let each family member lead the reading and discussion.  Whoever’s night it was would read the poem and then we would all discuss what it meant to each of us.  It was delightful to hear how we would each interpret things in our own way.  It also helped us to understand each other better and see things through the eyes of our loved ones.  We went through a stage of everyone reading each night, as we discussed several poems or at least listened to several.  We began to crave going deeper into just one or two poems again, so we returned to assigning nights.  Sometimes the kids are so enthusiastic, we read more.  We are going with the flow of it now.

Our family poetry practice has been a great gift in our lives.  Poetry cannot be read quickly, you must slow down and give it your full attention.  It speaks to the soul.  It brings meaning to our days.  We are by no means poetry experts, we simply follow our hearts toward what speaks to us.  It has led to so many wonderful works, discussions and experiences.  Often when we’re out in the world, one of the kids will see something that reminds them of a poem…they will begin reciting it and excitedly experiencing life in a deeper way.  It is miraculous.  The poetry doesn’t just stay in the house with us where we practice it…it lives with us all the time and blesses us constantly.  We love reading poetry from all corners of the world, it connects us to more than our lives here.  We have been blessed by poetry in our lives in countless ways.

As the years of our poetry practice are adding up, I can truly see just how much it has added to our children’s lives.  It makes them willing to look deeper at things and try to understand that which isn’t immediately obvious.  It has also developed their love of reading and learning in so many ways.  For my husband and I, it has been equally amazing.  Cultivating a poetry practice was new for us both and it has been the most delightful gift.  The poems have a way of finding us.  We have been exposed to so much more than we expected.  We will keep this family practice alive in our home and hearts as long as possible and continue to cultivate it and go deeper and deeper into our practice.  We are grateful for this gift!

Wishing you a life full of poetry!

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