Many of us were told about the myth of the prison duo, father and son, Daedulus and Icarus. Daddy D was an incredible inventor. He had made wings of wax to escape. He warned his son, ‘if you fly too close to the Sun, the wax will melt. If you fly too close to the water, they will be too heavy.’. Well, Icarus obviously didn’t talk to Apollo and his Delphi oracle teachings which hammered away at ‘everything in moderation’. He flew too close to the Sun, wax melted and he plummeted to his death. If only…
How many times is our process of listening like doomed Icarus? We can be so fired up (Sun) about making points in conversation---that can we say we’re actually listening? Are you so ready to make your point? Or do we identify so much with what being said that we get ‘drawn in’ or ‘drowned’ in the feeling of what’s said that we keep no individual perspective to keep the conversation going? That Delphi ‘know thyself’ stuff really matters. Knowing the balance between your soul (water-connection-relating) and ego (fire-individual-action) can make all the difference between being an Icarus who soars or drowns to their extinction . Okay, I admit there’s some drama here.
However, in my and ORM’s defense the ego and soul conspire to use drama to get our attention. As we daily integrate our soul’s insights into our lives it is increasingly important to pay attention. Our souls quietly intervene in our ‘mundane’ existence in direct proportion to our resistance to it. Our egos and resistance are synonymous. One of our soul’s theme songs might as well be Roy Ayers’ two step joint ‘Take All The Time You Need’ written by Ashford and Simpson sung by The Chicas---listen to it---guarantee you will not be disappointed.
I ask you to go through this week and realize where you’ve listened with the focus of Oprah, the compassion of a counselor who loves their work and a sultry bartender who enjoys folx. What a Nora of ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ Spike Lee first movie fame! Her ideal man was a composite of sturdy/secure Jaime, self-obsessed/OCD Greer and mouthy/immature Mars (appropriate shadow energy for the planet too). Use what you’ve learned and observed through Ignorance (two weeks ago) and Emotions (last week) to realize where you could brush up on your active listening skills. Combine contrast and connect.
I’ve found that some of our best observations come from strangers in the retail context. This week I was returning a household object to Walmart. I am between smartphones feeling ignorant. The one I want is out of stock. The one I purchased is ‘glitchy’ according to the clerk at the T-Mobile store. I am impatient because I want to put the apps onto the phone of my choice like yesterday. I have the order number to return on the phone in my car. The team lead will not speak to me until I go to my car to retrieve it (I had already been waiting 20 minutes). Rachel, a bilingual clerk, reassures me that my place in line will not be sacrificed when I return. Meanwhile, the Latino man behind me was exchanging car batteries that had a two year warranty that somehow the computer was not accepting---the ghost in the machine was out to lunch and/or wasn’t hearing---you know the feeling. However, as now being the second person in line I had the privilege of listening to an entire exchange in Spanish while I waited! I am close to a 500 day streak on Duolingo in Spanish. An opportunity I would not have gotten had I listened to my soul’s voice which had said---’take the old phone into Walmart too’. Ego responded ‘why?’ The email should show up on the new phone.
Unlike Icarus, I did not fly too close to the Sun. I left my ego at the door. I waited, and got to hear something I thoroughly enjoyed. I expressed my delight at the sharp talon like nails of the Walmart lead---my only regret would be I said, ‘How long did it take you to get your nails like that, man?’ He might have not wanted to be identified that way. He did not correct me. Maybe he didn’t hear me---however, he responded, ‘An hour for just this hand’. I said, ‘They’re beautiful’. I flew away---neither too close to the Sun (impatient and ego driven) or to the water (overly identified with the experience). My soul guided me through a middle and moderate way, thank you, Delphi oracle and ORM.
Hearing matters. Soul hearing matters even more!