Can you hear it?
A long pause followed that unusual question from my sweetheart. We were standing out in our yard after several days of blustery winds, harsh temperatures and ten inches of snow. This particular spring morning, we applauded the crisp blue sky and warmth of the sun.
A few steps into our walk, I noticed the crunching of snow under foot. We stepped up our walk to warm ourselves up and my sweetheart says, “Can you hear it?”
We both stopped walking. Nothing. I couldn’t hear a thing (except for me own thoughts about what I was listening for).
WOW. It’s unusual to not hear anything. Especially since the wind had been blowing so intensely for days.
As we walked and listened a little longer we settled into the stillness. We noticed the distant goose flying overhead, the dog barking from inside the neighbor’s house and the faraway snow plow coming our way.
What a joyous way to start our day! I felt the silence and stillness deep within my being. I experienced peace and the feeling of, “all is well”. All because my husband invited me to stop and pay attention.
Sadly, I don’t get to start every day like this. Most days are jam-packed with thousands of spoken words via TV, radio, computers, people, and surroundings.
I’m inundated with noise and lots of it! The internal and external pollution contaminates my domain as I miss out on the beauty of life.
Start your day like this
I am empowered to make changes in my life and so are you. Won’t you join me in being intentional about how we show up in life? In the first blog of this series, Why You Should Start Your Day Like This, I talked about how starting each day on purpose can help shift what we experience. We can learn to pay attention in love.
When we combine paying attention and love we move to a deeper level of appreciation. We notice the everyday things in life differently. Miracles are all around us, and we miss them because we aren’t paying attention. The miracles are actually hidden in plain sight so we need to watch for them!
For instance, stop right now and listen. What do you hear? Maybe the refrigerator is humming, your colleague is talking on the phone, the kids arguing in the background or maybe nothing.
Now listen a little deeper.
Still yourself. Slow your breathing down. Calm your heart. Listen for sounds farther away. Do you hear the hum of traffic, a wind chime playing a symphony for you, a soft conversation down the hall or a choir of birds singing your favorite tune?
It only takes 1-3 minutes to awaken your senses and recognize that wonder of God, all around you. Hearing and really listening with a different intention can open up your life experience. You can go from overwhelm to calm and focus.
The miracle of life and all that it offers is often deafened by excessive noise. Despite the noise, we can equip ourselves with tools to live fully alive and on purpose.
Take the challenge
If you want to do something simple that could significantly impact your day, here is a challenge for you. Give each one of these tools a try for a couple days and see how it transforms your outlook.
- Set an alarm for 4 times a day where you take 3 minutes to sit in silence. Three minutes will feel like an eternity, but it will help you slow down. In the 3 minutes, notice all that you hear inside and outside of your head.
- Let the thoughts go, brush them aside with a mental broom or imagine placing them in a small stream and watch them float away
- Notice a variety of sounds around you.
- Breath, return your attention to your breathing. Listen to your breathing.
Creating stillness and quiet in your routine helps you become more aware of your own thoughts, those of others and God’s still small voice. The practice of being quiet and still can equip you with more awareness and choices. Learning to listen deeply for God’s voice is empowering and life-giving.
- Listen, on purpose for something in your daily life.
- Nature sounds that could include birds, animals, or weather.
- Music-is there a reoccurring theme or topic singing to your soul?
- What words are you using in conversations? Do they build up or tear down those around you
- Listen to the news. The “news” not only from media, social media, and phones but also from your family, friends and colleagues. Learn another approach to the overabundance of news, good or bad.
- Pay attention in love.
- Take note, pay attention with the ears of your heart. Listen for the needs and longings, in addition to the facts. The news is usually connected to real people, nature or animals. When we listen with our hearts, we become more compassionate.
- Ask yourself, “How can I be part of the solution?
Throughout centuries, people have found that praying for, and about the news changes our perspective. This helps shift our attention to the people of the news, not just the discomfort of the news. Prayer gives us compassion for one another and points us back to God; the source of all our hope.
Through prayer, we are united with other brothers and sisters across the world or across the street, that empower us to “do something”.
As you try these tools and become more aware of your hearing; consider these questions.
1. How do you experience yourself and God in the silence?
2. What is God saying to you in music, sounds, and spoken words?
3. Where is God in the news?
We miss out on so much when we don’t pay attention in love. God has given us five senses and a brain to enjoy life. Paying attention to our surroundings by listening with our heart gives new meaning to living.
Awaken to the wonder of God
Awaken your senses, live fully alive and experience a deep connection to God all around you.
Awaken to the wonder of God and the deep connection to Him. Have a joyous, sensuous spiritual awakening.
Can you hear it?