Time to Listen

As important as our time in community with supportive others is, our time alone holds answers to questions we may not have realized we had.  With a quiet  environment, we can hear the racket in our minds.  If we sit in the outer quiet long enough, our inner quiet comes.  The “stuff” that clutters our mind hushes gradually like a first grader at the beginning of class.  “What will the lesson be today?”  If we hush and listen patiently, what’s important will reveal itself.

Perhaps our intuition will reveal itself, too, answering those questions we previously thought were beyond our comprehension.  Mind-thinking becomes centered response, a much better and more mindful way of saying “gut reaction.”  The power and wisdom of God is accessible through us, just as it was for Buddha, Jesus and others.  We’re just too busy to pay attention and too caught up in our own agendas to let God’s will be.

* * *

Now, interestingly enough, I originally wrote the above meditation sometime early 2006 in my journal from which I am pulling posts from time to time.  Here’s the really interesting bit.  I spent most of last week in Orlando, FL at the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services Forum.  (If you read my ACOG response post, you’ll know I mentioned them before in regards to Mother-Friendly Care.)  At this forum, I met amazing women, women who have spent most of their lives advocating mother-friendly care at all levels and women who are new to the effort but have dived in completely.  (I suppose I consider myself one of the latter.)  I spent last week surrounded by “supportive others.”  This is a WONDERFUL motivation for action.

Yet something happened which could have been considered unfortunate.  I left the forum early to catch my flight . . . the flight that got delayed.  I would have missed my connection, so I switched flights . . . to the one that got cancelled (after we were all boarded) because the co-pilot’s travel time was up (or something like that).  Because of the morning’s weather, most flights were delayed, and Atlanta was basically crazy.  I would be stuck in Atlanta’s airport all night even if I did make it there.  In line to get a voucher for a hotel in Orlando, a gentleman told us there were no hotels available anywhere in the surrounding area.  I was getting to stay in the airport all night anyway.  I must say images of The Terminal ran through my head.  But what could I do?  All along, I kept telling myself to just go with the flow.  Believe me, there were many others expressing their anger, and negativity can be hard to resist.  Perhaps it was a good thing I was tired already.  Only 12 hours until my flight.

Fortunately I had my bag filled with notes from the forum, my notebook (my memory) and some books.  Eating dinner of some highly nutritious Burger King, I settled to finish book one — Cesarean Voices.  (If you want to know what doctors aren’t telling you about cesarean sections, READ THIS BOOK, along with Silent Knife.)  Finishing and resolving to share the book, I moved on to organize my notes from the forum.  Sounds easy, but there were many slide show handouts to sort and pages of notes to categorize — tedious but necessarily helpful.  Then, on to the project that lasted the rest of the night and through the next morning — reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.

Normally, I’m not one for hype.  Just because it’s an Oprah Book Club book doesn’t give me incentive to read it, but a recommendation from my spiritual director does.  Turns out, I love the book.  It voices and clarifies much of what I have experienced and feel in and about this life.  Thoughts I had would be addressed in the next pages.  I’m sure I’ll refer to it frequently, as I received much inspiration in my night alone in the concourse, despite the constant reminder of the terrorist threat being Level Orange.

For now, I’ll wrap up an otherwise long ramble to say that synchronistic events led me to have a night alone, a night of relative quiet, a night and morning of genuine insight and revelation that might have been otherwise missed or delayed.  Hopefully you won’t have to spend a night in the airport to get your quiet, but if it is due, apparently the Universe will go to great lengths to help you.


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