An early July afternoon, needing a respite from a complex, wayward project, I headed out for a walk. I longed to hear the birds sing, feel the breeze tickle my cheeks, and sweat – a perfect combination for releasing pent up energy.
After a few minutes, I accelerated my pace, felt my feet moving with the ground, and watched my breath deepen. But rather than relaxing into the movement, my mind returned to the project and its conundrums. The chatter was overwhelming – noisy and intense as a Sunday morning political talk show with every opinion clamoring for center stage.
Fortunately, a collection of crows caught my attention and in the midst of their cawing, my mind became quiet. First one breath. Then, a second. In this space, a soft voice spoke lovingly. “Listen to your heart. It carries your wisdom.”
My mind could not wait to join in the conversation “What does that mean? “ she pleaded “Of course, I’m listening – there’s a lot going on here!” The soft voice, still soft, spoke again. “With all the chatter going on, how can you be listening? Just wondering.”
“Hmmm…..”, my mind went thinking as the soft voice continued. “Yes, we’ve learned a lot through our experiences and we’ve created many conclusions about life, what we want, what we need, how to get through challenging situations. No wonder there’s so much sorting out to be done. BUT……..”
Silence jolted my mind from its distractions, listening, now, and curious about what was coming next. “…….your chatter is all your voices trying to figure out what to do next based on what they know and have learned. It’s good, but it’s only a start.
“You see, every next moment, irrespective of the past, is unknown so the mind doesn’t really know. It’s our hearts that connect with the infinite wisdoms. Our hearts call us to love, again… to trust without reason…. to feel connected to the world beyond what our physical eyes can see. Listen to your heart. It carries your wisdom.”
There’s always an interplay between our minds and our hearts – what we learn from the world and what we know deep within our being. The interesting thing is that we often miss the interplay. In the hustle-bustle of every day life, our attention goes to the physical – what we see, hear, and do; and it’s easy to miss the quiet voices of our inner knowing.
Standing on a street corner, do you hear the wind? And when you do hear it, what does it say? Do you trust its message? For the wind is like this moment. As soon as it appears, it is gone again, allowing the next breeze, the next moment to have a life all its own – the same or different.
Since that July afternoon many years ago, I have practiced quieting my mind. In the listening, I am both student and teacher. I have learned that my mind loves the world. It builds my capacity through experience. It figures out life’s puzzles – what worked, why or why not. My mind is curious – to read more, learn more, go to new places, jobs, homes. In its conversation with my heart, it shares what it is like to be living fully human through every moment and every experience.
In every moment, my heart embraces my being with infinite love and trust. Her deepest wisdoms are not answers, definitive and discreet. In fact, I’ve never heard her speak to a completion or a conclusion. Rather she opens the doorway to possibilities – to be curious, courageous, to love every moment and to remember to live across life’s full and exciting range. Along the way, she coaxes my mind and emotions to love more, to trust more, to fear less, to honor the world as myself.
Sometimes the interplay makes sense. Other times, it doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s here that my heart reminds me to be patient: understanding and clarity will come in its own way. She’s right. My mind has kept track. In time, I find unexpected gifts: a greater love than the one I lost, a new start, forgiveness, an appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.
Now you know. This is the process within my life and my writing. I listen to my mind, emotions, my body and heart. I explore what I have learned and what I don’t know. And I remember, like the wind, every new moment brings the newness of the unknown. It is a grand adventure.
Thanks for reading!