The Art of Listening without Noise.

Could you imagine, "Just Listen" to mean so much more than, “Hey I’m talking, listen to me” or “Did you hear what I said”?  Growing up I heard it so many times, I could've mistaken my name for "just listen".

 

Listening past the sounds

After more than 50 years of JUST LISTEN to confidently land on the right side of fear, i'm able to share the wax on wax off lessons of "just listen". It's when I stop, pay attention, look around, observe the who, what and where that I realize my baby steps open me up to recognize the big steps others take.  In our family it didn't mean "listen to what i'm saying!" It meant, pay attention, look around, observe who, what, where.

Extremely headstrong (more like to say stubborn), I for so many years ignored the lessons and thought, "I know better". In my father's oh-so-Miyagi way ebbed and flowed my discovery of "the tool, the words, the considerations, the complexities, the people, the good, the bad, the right, the wrong and the way".

 

A Father's Lesson

I shared a story this week.  Nothing earth moving in the sense of profoundness or life changing like Moses splitting the red sea.  It was simply a father teaching his eldest child how to make poi.  A cultural and familial practice handed down through my family's elders.  One of the ah-ha moments rested in his keenly developed sense of listening.  His years of making poi and the wisdom of his elders laid the framework for how he would pass down cultural and family practices.  There was no need to hover over his six-year old daughter.  His focus on mixing his poi side by side, did not negate his complete awareness.  Truth be told, standing side by side, is a non verbal sign to say, "I will not ask you to do anything without doing it myself.  And I will be there side by side, never leaving you alone."  With intention, his daughter's path of learning is alive.

By looking past the obvious.  Noticing the aromas in the air to what scents were not present to feeling my body language.  My father in the truest sense, just listened.  And as fathers do, at least mine, he guided me through the maze of steps with the minimal of instruction.  As both father and teacher, listening, hearing, seeing, and feeling his student grow and evolve.  Nothing but pride surfaced as he watched his little grasshopper take responsibility for a task.  Show her humility in making mistakes while resiliently experiencing the gift of poi.

Do I have more fears, more baby steps, more 'just listening’? I hope so. FEAR is my internal constitution telling me I have more to learn. And if I have more to learn then I have more baby steps to lead me away from fear. And the farther I move away from fear the more I'm listening; the more I'm paying attention, the more I'm observing, the more I'm experiencing the who, what and where.