Saturday, August 8, 2009
The Benefits of Deep Listening
I had to go into New York City for a meeting yesterday. I followed my usual routine of greeting the horses and feeding them on a gorgeous summer day. Then, I took the train down to the city and arrived mid-morning. I walked down Park Avenue, took care of business and walked back to Grand Central Station.
The weather was perfect. New York City was enjoying summer in all its glory. I was grateful to live so close to one of my favorite places on earth. But I was even more grateful to get back on the train, leave the city and return to the country and my horses. I don’t think that I could find what I need to cope with all of life’s challenges living in an apartment with only Central Park as a green escape. For 16 years, it was more than enough. Now, it couldn’t begin to satisfy my soul.
What I appreciate so much about being able to just walk out my back door and be in nature is the ability to instantly find a way to go into a state of “deep listening”. I love this expression that I learned from a very wise woman named Sandra Ingerman. She writes a newsletter each month, and this is what she said in her most recent one:
“There is so much we must attend to in our spiritual evolution during such a time of great change. I am sure you can see that changes keep increasing and getting more dramatic. And it is so important to follow your inner wisdom and guidance right now. It is essential in order to thrive to watch omens, trust your deep inner feelings, keep listening to the inner messages you are getting.”
“Working with the elements in nature is a great way to move into what indigenous people call “deep listening”. Nature can move us into a trance state where our rational mind quiets down and we can listen to the deep guidance rising from within... Sitting in the breezes or winds of summer – just listening – allowing your ordinary thoughts to fly away and be replaced by your inner voice can provide guidance for you right now.”
The first thing I did when I got back from the city last night was to go to the barn and pick out the horses’ hooves. They were happy I was home, and so was I. It always is a marvel to me that I can be transported so quickly from one world to the other. The big news while I was gone was that a large coyote strolled by the barn in the middle of the afternoon and that my husband got poison ivy in his eye while he was clearing a bridle trail for me in the woods behind our property. Both events were cause for alarm, but they also reminded me of the differences in my existence between city dwelling and country living. As a refreshingly cool breeze blew through the window over my bed, I fell asleep with big plans for a weekend of “deep listening”.