by Lynette McCormack, lynettemccormackart.com
Listening and paying attention to what’s really going on inside and out is a gift I’m giving myself more and more often. To make it easier, I’ve even created a few practices I can use every day.
Here’s what I do. First, I take a few deep breaths to quiet the inner chatter, I close my eyes and tune into my center. Once I’ve settled in, I choose a card from an oracle deck, or randomly open a cherished book and read whatever catches my attention, or pull a quote from a basket I keep on my desk. I breathe in and welcome the message and in the gentleness of the moment I listen even more deeply for the wisdom waiting there for me.
Today, I pulled a card from my Elemental Messages deck. Pay attention to earth’s cycles
This message is so perfect for me because this autumn I have been paying very close attention. A welcome luxury after so many years traveling the world doing my work as a corporate facilitator.
During my career I missed a lot of what was going on outside in nature. I missed the softness of this time of year, the midpoint of autumn, halfway between the heat of the summer and the cold of winter. I missed seeing the quality of the light shift as the earth tilted away from the sun. I missed the changing colors of the leaves and the gathering of birds readying themselves for flights to warmer climes. Hard to pay attention from inside a conference room.
And now that I have the opportunity to pay attention I am. And along with my in-the-moment noticing, I’ve been finding myself in flashbacks of other autumns in far off places - walking with a friend through a German garden of the most gorgeous dahlias, relishing red leaves in Kyoto glinting in torch light, being caught in a grey and freezing downpour in Boston, building a labyrinth on top of a sunlit peak in Sonoma. And so many more.
What I’m realizing is we carry these memories in our cells. And, with just a bit of attention we can tune into them so easily. So interesting that our bodies carry memories of how a time of year feels, looks or sounds, even when we may not have, in the moment, been consciously paying attention or listening.
Today I appreciate myself for being fully present and here to pay attention and listen, really listen. And I know that in my own backyard I can make up for all those years I didn’t.
You can too. You can pay attention to earth’s cycles. You can tune into the wisdom you hold deep within. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and get ready to listen.