Being Present in Your Life and With Others

August 9, 2009


Detail: I collaged my desk at ArtWorks.  It makes me happy.

Detail: I collaged my desk at ArtWorks. It makes me happy.

Something I try to keep in mind is to listen with attention instead of listening with intention.  If I’m waiting to interject whatever I have to say then I’m not really listening, right?  So if I just pay attention and stop trying to figure out how I can add to the conversation or respond to what’s being said, then I’m really listening.  I find that people really appreciate being heard.  This is being present in others lives which is something that Hospice teaches a lot.

One time I asked Linda Goff, a good artist/friend of mine no longer on the planet, how come she was always so quiet when we were in a crowd.  She said that she had learned that people don’t really listen so why bother to speak?  I was upset to hear her say this because any time she ever said anything it was defnitely worthy – at least to me.   Even if she was just burping, (which she did in public often, mischevious, irreverent soul that she was!).   So I learned from Linda about listening more because I wanted to be sure she knew that I was listening to her.  It was a way I could let her know she was important to me.  Once in awhile I catch myself really listening and I know that this is a gift that she gave to me that will last my lifetime and it’s a gift that I am passing onto others.  You know: the gift that keeps on giving.

Being present in your own life is also about listening with attention.  Listen to yourself, hear what you really feel, DO less, BE more.   In the being you are paying attention. In the being you are present in your life.  If you are always doing then you’re focused on the end result (like running according to a schedule, pursuing goals).  Allow yourself some being time.

I know artists understand this well.  When they are creating art there is no time sense.  Hours can go by without being aware of it.  They’re in that being place.  They’re present in the being without intentions, schedules, requirements or needing to hear or to be heard.   No explanations are required, no justification for what you’re doing.  It is what it is.

That’s a world that ‘just is’ whether you’re being or enmeshed in doing, there is always a world there that *just is* waiting for you.  All you need is to be.

Happy Birthday Linda, wherever you are. (Aug. 9, 1952 – May 6, 2003)

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One Response to “Being Present in Your Life and With Others”

  1. Yes Happy Birthday Bella.
    I love you and miss you too!!
    I am listening

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