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Are You Listening?

This blog.  Sheesh.  A week goes by and I have dozens of inspiring ideas for the week’s writing that I’m learning and thinking about–little nuggets of thought gleaned from conversations, magazine articles, books, within moments of frustration and fear, and in things peoples say.  This morning for example, during the silence of savasana our yoga teacher said, “Beautiful humans.  Find your divinity.”  Wow.  Now that’s a whopper of a thought right there.

The problem is, I think about these philosophical thoughts while I am doing all of the other stuff of life–trying to blanche my tomatoes before they rot; coercing Lucy to wear more than a sundress on a 45 degree rainy day (a losing battle); folding laundry; “playing dinosaurs” with Oliver; writing a card and giving a thoughtful gift to my friend Wiltse on her actual birthday (failed); and trying to return emails and phone calls in spaces of time here and there.

Thoughts bounce around like wild deflating balloons in my mind until I am able to land on my butt, open my journal, and begin the process of unraveling it all.  When I begin to write, my mind is like a clogged drain–there’s too much wanting to come out at the same time.  I begin by spending some time pulling the hair and floss from my brain to open the channels so it can all drain out.  This takes about five or so minutes before I hit my rhythm and thoughts start to flow and make sense.

This is precisely why the practice of journaling keeps me grounded and sane.  I need a place to stop.  I need a place to slowly draw out all of the stuff in my head.  I need a place to listen, really listen to myself. I need to write.

When I write, I can hear myself tell myself that this relationship is not right for me or that my job drains me or that I want to live a healthier life.  When I write, I can clarify my needs and hear my dreams and put one proverbial foot in front of the other on my way there. When I write, I am engaging in deep respect for myself by listening to myself.

We all would benefit from having someone listen deeply to us and help us hone in on what we are trying to say and trying to work through.  This is why we turn to friends and therapists–to listen and help us figure things out so we can move toward peace and contentment.  We seek people to help us heal.

While we need people in our lives, the truth is, within you is your greatest healer.  The more you practice listening to yourself, the better you get at it.  When you practice listening to yourself, you gain insight and self-knowledge.  You waste less energy because you become clear with your priorities.  You start to see where and with whom you are squandering your precious energy.  And in magical moments of lucidity, you begin to see your possibilities, your divinity.  And when you glimpse into all that lies inside of you, you summon your courage to reach for your dreams.

However you choose to listen to yourself–through writing, prayer, meditation, walks, singing, dancing, art, whatever–you must make the time to do so.  All of the stuff of life will never cease. It will be there whether you take twenty minutes for yourself or not.

I believe my yoga teacher is right–we all must find our divinity, because we are all from a divine force, no matter what you call it or believe it to be.  Something created daffodils and elephants and chameleons.  And us.

We are each given this life, not to suffer, though suffering is at times inevitable.  We were given this life because we each have a unique purpose, because we are here to let our light shine, to discover ourselves, to be brave on this ultimate journey and adventure of life.

Listen carefully and with great love.  There is beautiful music coming from your soul.  Do you hear it?

Janna Brayman Krawczyk is a writer and a teacher.  She has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters in Teaching from Hamline University.  She has been writing in a journal for over half of her life and has finally accepted that life is not easy, yet our struggles and obstacles are what inspire insight and wisdom.  For this reason, she must write as a way to understand herself and her life, stay sane, and dream big dreams.  She feels blessed to share this healing and illuminating practice with as many people as possible in her lifetime…

  1. Everyday you help me move towards being a better person and partner. thank you for experencing this life we me. sb

  2. Once again Janna…you have me thinking. Thanks for being my friend and sending this out to keep me in check.

  3. could not agree with you more! Let’s all get the dirty mud off our souls and let the light shine on in! Hallelujah! Peace sister! Weez

  4. Finding that (even) 20 minutes to journal is the hardest thing. Here it is after 10 pm and I am just finishing answering emails for work and am feeling exhausted from my long day of teaching. The inspiration I felt this morning has left me and I feel drained of enough energy to contemplate life’s meaning. Thank God for your youth and the energy to continue. I think journaling has always helped me process what is happening in my life. Also, I agree that writing helps me hear my own voice. That part is true for me as well as you. I write down the new insights as I see them, and sometimes review to remind myself what I have learned. Life is one long lesson and I a life long learner.


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