These past few weeks have brought some cooler weather to our golden shores, here on the east coast of Australia. Often through the transition from our really warm autumn to crisp winter mornings and late afternoons, I find myself going into mother nurturer mode with my daughters, ensuring they learn to rug up when the cool descends. In part I think it has something to do with years of growing up with asthma and an innate knowing that with this seasonal change, comes the potential for sniffles, coughs and wheezes. Whenever I was “wheezy” or tight in my chest, my beautiful Mum used to put her ear up to my chest and listen to me breathe. It was her practical way of deciding how I was travelling with the asthma, but to me it was much more.
Having my Mum listen to see how I was by holding her ear so close to my heart was more than a diagnostic tool. It was a show of loving care and concern for me. It was a seeking to understand what was going on inside my body, inside my chest, inside the heart of me. It was comforting and it felt safe knowing that she listened that way.
I guess another reason this memory surfaced in the first place was because my youngest has had a few asthma experiences of her own and as nature would have it, I found myself bringing my ear to her chest too. You know that feeling you get as a parent when you witness yourself doing something that was done to you as a child and it just feels so automatic? As I reminisce and reflect upon the meaning of this memory of listening closely, with love and care, it brings more than I initially thought.
My inquiry has led me to create an image where the heart is brought to the ear – to listen intently, care-fully. And this is how it has ended up….
It’s a photo of my ear with a heart nestled inside – the reverse of my mother-child listening experience of the ear being brought to the chest. Instead the heart is brought to the ear. As I formed the image of the heart, I noticed the question mark there. Do you see it?
So a question starting forming for me as I continued to add colour and shade to my little drawing of the heart.
….What lies at the very heart of listening?….
Here are some of the things which have come to mind…
….genuine care and concern…. presence…. attention….. seeking to understand…. openness….. curiosity….. heart… kindness….. compassion…
As always, this surfacing of awareness has come at just the right time for me as I reflect upon my world and my relationships, right now.
So my practice this week, is taking this little challenge on; which is to bring the heart to my listening and with that, to listen with more openness, more curiosity, more kindness and compassion. It feels good to me. It feels expansive and loving.
I wonder if you feel the same?
Does this help you in any way? If you resonate, I would love to see you at this week’s Friday morning wellbeing circle for women.
It all happens at the MYSHA heARTSpace from 9.30 til 11.30am-ish. We will practice listening in to our true selves and our own needs with heart, as we enjoy the unique MYSHA combination of gentle yoga, meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), sacred flow (free dance), visual arts expression and sharing with like minded, supportive, beautiful women.
You can book your place or write to me with any queries you might have here.
I hope someone has shown you the true gift and the heart of listening today.
Blessings and peace,