Welcome to the fifth day of our seven-day practice in which we expand our capacity to listen. We invite you to close your eyes and take one or two slow, deep breaths. Read the practice below and carry the invitation with you through your day. You may find it meaningful to explore the practice in the moment, and we encourage you to integrate it into your daily life as you explore the question: What happens when I make myself fully available to listen within and around me?
“To listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.”
~ Mark Nepo
This day’s practice offers us the opportunity to actively seek out unfamiliar voices and perspectives, and approach them with grateful receptivity. Explore the voices of those who differ with you in politics, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, income, etc. Seek out people in your community as well as authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and even news anchors. How does your open-heartedness help you listen to the experiences and perspectives of others with humility – with genuine curiosity and a desire to learn? How might you be changed by truly listening to voices, stories, and perspectives that are different than your own?
Different languages offer us an opportunity to deepen our practice of welcoming the unfamiliar. Through grateful listening, simply receive that which is shared without rushing to make meaning or seek a translation. Tune into the languages of the natural world: animals, insects, plants, clouds, the cosmos. Cherish the diversity of life’s many voices. What happens when you make yourself available to listen, even if you do not immediately understand?
Deepening the Practice
There’s no greater gift than someone sharing their life’s story and no greater response than to listen with a willingness to be changed by what we hear. The Moth’s Global Community Project invites people from around the world to craft their powerful experiences into succinct, poignant stories to be shared as a mechanism for global change. Their project invites us to listen for the gift of the unfamiliar.
Should you be inspired, please leave a reflection below…
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Write an entry in your private gratefulness journal
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An eight-day practice inspired by Br. David Steindl-Rast’s appreciation of haiku.
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We are delighted to announce the release of Kristi Nelson’s book Wake Up Grateful