Inner Listening


Do You Hear What I Hear?

Said the night wind to the little lamb,
do you see what I see
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
do you see what I see
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite

Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
do you hear what I hear
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
do you hear what I hear
A song, a song, high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
do you know what I know
In your palace warm, mighty king,
do you know what I know
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring Him silver and gold
Said the king to the people everywhere,
listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
listen to what I say
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light

The Buddha said, about his teachings, don’t just take my word for it, go out and find the answers yourself.

Rumi says, look for the answer inside your question.

Your Inner Voice comes from the part of you that can see the bigger picture and helps guide you towards your true life expression. – Joan Sotkin

Many teachers of various backgrounds and experiences have said what Joan said, in different words.  They suggest a myriad of techniques and practices on how to access, listen and trust our inner voice, our guide, our higher self.

Practicing quiet, meditation, yoga or other forms of stilling our bodies and minds has great benefit in being able to better listen to ourselves.

I awoke one morning with the “Do you hear what I hear” song in my head.  Reading the lyrics more closely I was struck by something about the song.  If you notice the verses travel from seeing, to hearing, to knowing.  Knowing a truth, a great and important mystery, so important that it deserves the most valuable offerings we can give.  And in this knowing we are gifted with goodness and light.

This knowing is birthed in us, pure and good, like a child, full of hope and possibilities.  We have experienced times when we had an “ah-ha” or a deep understanding, a knowing.   This knowing can feel liberating, filling us with confidence and a sense of “Yes!”  This is that voice speaking.  This voice we listen to.

Do we need to pass through the gates of seeing and hearing before knowing?  As humans, it just might be that we have to, at least for some things.

Sometimes I read something, or hear something on the radio or iPod, and a deep resonance will occur, a knowing of a deep Truth, at the precise moment I need it.

Sometimes, I sit in silence, in meditation, or by the beach or among the trees or in the water, and have a revelation to a question that has been tumbling in my head and heart.

Sometimes, I hear  a story, a phrase, or a piece of advice from several different people within a short amount of time.  Or people will mention a book, or movie or music – three times in a week.  It’s as if the Universe has a 2×4 and hit me with it.  At that point, I can’t help but acknowledge the invitation to listen, to incorporate what I have seen and heard into what I know and then, to know differently.

Sometimes, my inner compass tells me which direction to go when I’m lost.
If I just listen.

How do you listen?


Aging into Our Elderhood – What have you learned from your elders?

“When we resist aging, we resist life itself, since aging is inherent in living. To resist the reality of aging creates needless suffering. But, if we can see the aging process as an unfolding opportunity, as a way to gain deeper wisdom by discriminating external phenomena from internal reality, then we can open to the fullness of life and the experience of Conscious Aging.”

This quote was offered from an elder messenger at a workshop exploring ageism.  I believe it sums up what I hope to offer on this blog.

As we age, especially in America, elders become invisible at best, and oppressed and abused at worst.  One reason is because as we age we have grasped onto the fears in the messages that aging exclusively means decline, lack of independence and worthlessness. Because of these fears we have pushed away any hope that there is something more, something worthy about aging.  We have allowed ourselves to miss the many opportunities for continued learning and growth that is always available. Elderhood and the way in which we can claim it will be different for each person.  Claiming our Elderhood must happen if we are to change aging from something to be avoided and feared into a time of learning, hope, connection and strength even with the realities of the physical changes and unavoidable death.