Sunday, July 1, 2012

On the importance of listening

A new dawn, a new day, new insights; so much to be grateful for! This morning I am reading in Oriah Mountain Dreamer's book, The Call, about the importance of listening to your body.  And I see I was missing an important message on Friday, when I was so tired that every task I thought to undertake felt overwhelming.

You can see it in yesterday's post: I automatically went to that blaming place, being hard on myself for not doing.  It was good, in that I listened to my body and didn't try to tackle things for which I had no energy. 

But I didn't take that extra step -- and if you are a parent, you know the importance of this step -- I didn't kneel before that tired whiny child in me and ask her what she really wanted.  I just saw her as a tired whiny irritating child, getting in the way of big important me and all my important plans; I didn't honor her wisdom, didn't pay attention, didn't stop to listen -- even though I had taken a wee vow earlier in the week to spend time with that inner source of wisdom.

So whatever she might have had to tell me went unheard -- and, not surprisingly, she began sending some louder, angrier messages yesterday; you know, the kind you have to listen to -- fierce aches and twinges of pain that tell you something's wrong, slow down, listen, pay attention.  Nothing serious, and I did take a minute to listen and adjust, but it wasn't until this morning that I really woke up to what was going on.

I could hear my own child-voice, and the voices of children everywhere: "But Mommy, you promised..."  And it's true.  I did promise.  I promised to listen, and then forgot and went into that sort of spinning auto-pilot mode of busyness and exhaustion.

Such a good lesson.  Today I promise to listen more carefully; to pay attention; to honor her need to sit or move without rushing her into something she's not ready for.

But I will say this: you know why I can be so much more rational this morning?  Because we got more sleep last night.  Because some friends of ours came over for a visit, heard our whining, and told us there were alternatives to our dog's hard plastic collar that makes so much noise in the night; they even went on line and told us where to buy these cloth collars -- even called the store to see if they had any in stock!  Now that's a true friend. 

So after they left for the ferry, I drove off to the local Petco and picked up a Contech Pro-Collar, and -- oh, what a difference it makes!  No noise, no banging against the back of the legs or the bed or the dresser or the door or the wall, and he basically slept through the night -- probably because he's basically wearing a pillow around his neck; it's got to be way more comfortable.

... all of which is another reminder that we alone just don't have all the answers.  We need one another, need that sense of connection, that wisdom we have to offer one another -- even about the simplest little things.  Engaging, listening, paying attention, acting on the wisdom -- it's all good!

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