I am learning to listen.

Listening to the silent cues that help me navigate perspective. Listening for what’s missing.

I got caught up in the noise. At first, it seemed important, critical that I should pay rapt attention. It kept getting louder and louder, creating fear and trepidation. Why was it scary? Because, I couldn’t pay attention to ALL the noise. I didn’t have the capacity to process all. that. noise. It came from so many directions, and if it was important, I was missing a ton of it! Eventually, I began to doubt my ability to manage this massive amount of  data. In the back of my mind was the realization perhaps some of it was not crucial, needed or true. How could I manage it ALL? How could I live my best life without it? How could I possibly separate the wheat from the chaff of truthfulness?

Yesterday it dawned on me, if I just settled into in the silence, God would take care of the noise. That’s what faith is, isn’t it? And I invited the silence. And I looked for the Good. And it’s abundantly sprinkled…everywhere. (click to Tweet).

When I let it go, I was met with sweetness at every turn. I saw beauty in people and was blessed with generous gifts of kindness, time and understanding. It created a space. A space to breathe. A space to sink back into myself and remember who I was, where I’m going and a bit of why I’m here.

When I look at older people, I wonder, if I’m blessed enough to live that long, what it would be like to be them. The women I see are independent and strong. They take joy in everyday rituals, beauty around them, walks, time in nature, their work, art and words. Their lives are simple, yet full. Like poems. I imagine they’re kind, but not pushovers. They have wisdom enough to follow their own paths and let others follow theirs. They’re forgiving, occasionally demanding and they laugh…a lot. They take no shit, embrace a child-like sense of play. Those are the women who inspire me. Oh, and they have good posture, always. (Click to Tweet)

It’s a template for ‘creating’ you may understand. Like, when making art. There are artists we admire, and even say they inspire us. That inspiration is simply a starting place. But, always, if we’re silencing the noise and “allowing,” we will insert our authentic selves into the template. We may love Monet, but to copy him would be a disservice, as the world would be robbed of our own interpretations. Where would the next forms of greatness come from?

So, now that I’ve meandered, let’s pull this together and head home. No wonder I love the meandering rivers, so fluid and fresh, yet full of history, meandering. Wellsprings for life and goodness…just like us. Those women I respect, they aren’t over-run with the noise. That’s why and how they can be who they are!

The noise stops us. It distracts us from our paths. It pulls us aside and confuses us. While we’re listening to the noise, we’re paying the price of missing the silence. Silence is where the real information lies. Who do you want to be in 10 years? 20? That’s your life, you know? It’s a simple shift, yet so hard to do; letting go and having the faith you can turn your eyes away and be okay. So, I recommend we collectively lean back into the silence. Find your template. Let go and keep the faith. The truth of your own best life, that is what will set you free.

Be Free!

Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own WellLived 
Life by drinking in the beauty around her, following her passions, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.