As I walked out of my office after a session with a client, I smelled cigar smoke. How could that be? No cigar smokers lived with me. I opened up some windows, trying to get rid of the smell. But even with the flow of fresh air, the distinctive smoky scent lingered.
I walked from room to room, searching for the source. The burning sage? Was it on my clothes? On my dog? Suddenly it dawned on me: my dad. He had smoked cigars. Though it had been about a year since his death, his sense of humor lived on. I’d been getting to know him as a vast spirit being and was all the more aware of how our earthbound father-daughter relationship had boxed both of us in. So here he was in spirit with some kind of magic generating a tangible fragrance to call to my attention. I greeted him, so curious why he’d shown up.
Within a matter of minutes, I received an email from my mom letting me know about the challenging circumstances that were unfolding in my brother’s life. The puzzle was starting to piece together. My dad had come to let me know he was with us, aware of his family, and offering his support around the happenings in his son’s life. I felt an insistent nudge from my dad to reach out to support my brother, in the physical 3-D ways of expression with words shared across the miles.
Listening. Learning to listen. To all kinds communication. To the vast web of our connectedness. These gifts of our human-ness are readying to wake up.
Our senses have been numbed. Our voices have been silenced. It’s hard to hear our own hearts, and what’s living in the hearts of others, when there’s so much distraction and noise. Our human-based world is stuffed to overflowing with harmful words, with warring, with efforts to divide and conquer, with threats, condemnation and fear.
To wake up our awareness, we’ll need to quiet, find the stillness, and turn our attention within. And listen. Really listen. To all kinds of ways our inner knowings are calling to our attention. To be seen. To be felt. To be expressed. To take root. To have ample space to grow.
From that inner space of connection, when our eyes and ears, our minds and hearts are open and undistracted, we can more fully listen to what others are sharing. We don’t have to resort to the habit of making judgments or jumping to conclusions about what they’re trying to say. We can stay in the mystery just another moment longer. We can explore how it feels to see others in their wholeness, to be curious about who they are ~ other humans, the rivers and trees, the ocean-dwellers, the four-leggeds, the winged ones, our ancestral spirit guides.
Listening is a gift of respectful connection. An openness to learning. This is not about forcing agreement or sameness. Listening is about noticing, feeling, hearing, sensing the differences, the distinctions and uniqueness of each and every being.
And everyone and everything is in connection and communication with everyone and everything else in every moment.
This awareness of the immense beauty and magic of life itself, the natural capacity we have to see and feel and listen and share in a universe of respectful connections, has somehow gotten lost.
So it’s the time for our remembering. How to listen with the eyes of our hearts. How to feel and sense with the whole of our beings. How to weave fibers of connection filled with love and awareness within ourselves, with those seen and unseen, and on and on and on through the extraordinary web of life.