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Life Makeover for the Year 2014

Week 44 – Here’s what can happen when you learn to keep your mouth shut.

October 26, 2014

Greetings!

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Love,

Cheryl

 
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Here’s what can happen when you
learn to keep your mouth shut
.

Last week, Michael and I attended a retreat focused on understanding the inner critic and the role it plays in the psychological and spiritual development of a person. The retreat was wonderful and I intend to write more about it once I’ve had a chance to digest the experience.

I did, however, want to share a lesson I learned during an exercise with a stranger.

Here’s how it unfolded…

~*~
I sit completely still, staring into the warm, chocolate brown eyes of a woman I don’t know.

I feel awkward and embarrassed.  I want to look away.  But I’ve come here to be challenged, to be a student instead of a teacher.  I want to know myself in an honest, more authentic way.

So I stay focused on her eyes even though I feel vulnerable and exposed.  I take a deep breath and ready myself to share my soul with a stranger.

The teacher gives her instructions to repeatedly ask me the following question while remaining silent each time I answer.

What does it feel like when your heart is touched by beauty? 

The moment I hear the question, I smile.  I’ve spent the last year and a half focused on beauty. I’ve walked the beach for miles, collecting seashells and marveling at the rhythm of the waves.  I’ve sat for hours in fabric stores looking for just the right shade of peach. I’ve spent countless hours in nature amazed by swans and trees and light on leaves.  And I’ve found deep satisfaction in the beauty of well-written books, books I never used to have time to read.

I can answer her question without hesitation.

I feel happy, truly happy, I reply.  I feel at peace, like all is well with the world.  

She looks directly into my eyes, a smile slowly gathering at the corners of her mouth.  I can feel her heart open, preparing to catch every last drop of what I have to say.

What does it feel like when your heart is touched by beauty? she asks again.

I feel alive, I tell her, as if joy has settled in my heart reminding me that there’s nothing in the world I need.  Nothing.  I am blissfully full.

Again: What does it feel like when your heart is touched by beauty?

I tune in deeper.  Tears fill my eyes as I remember how, for so many years I relegated my need for beauty to the periphery of my life – a special treat only to be consumed once the “important” things were handled.

Now beauty has become my life.

What does it feel like when your heart is touched by beauty?

It feels like being in complete alignment with my soul, I explain, like I’m doing and being exactly what I’ve come here to do and be.

I stop for a moment, allowing the weight of that statement to land in my chest like an anchor.

Yes, that’s it, I say out loud.  I’m here to honor beauty, to embody the healing power of the Divine Feminine.

As I share this truth, I see this sweet stranger’s eyes fill with tears.  Suddenly we’ve become soul sisters.

When it’s her turn, I ask the question and keep my mouth shut as she offers her answers.  I make a point to look deeply into her eyes with Presence and love.  After a while, she stops answering.  Tears silence her voice.

Take your time, I tell her.
Tears are a rare form of beauty.
A form I happen to love.

She collects herself, and as words tumble from her lips, I discover that this angel woman has recently embarked on the same journey.  She’s been traveling the world looking for someone or something to give her permission to honor her soul’s need for beauty.

I smile a big, toothy grin.  She’s come to the right place.

Just then, the bell rings letting us know the exercise has come to an end.  We’re told to simply say thank you and return to the group.

We stop for a moment, staring at each other, grateful eyes communicating through the silence.

There’s no need for words.

Presence and a willingness to quietly witness the tenderness have been far more powerful than advice, suggestions, or ideas.

Lesson learned, I tell myself, as I return to my seat.

Ask questions.
Listen with Presence.
Keep mouth shut.

 

touched by Presence

This Week’s Video

A friend sent me this video this morning and I loved the inspirational story.  You can watch it here.  Thanks, Jacalyn!