Sunday, November 19, 2006


I had the great pleasure of seeing the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in concert on Friday night. It was wonderful. Despite being in the gym of the local high school, the acoustics were fabulous. So much better to hear an orchestra live, than on a recording.

I could have closed my eyes and been transported to an early 1800's ballroom, watching elegant couples twirling around the dance floor. In reality, I can't waltz my way out of a cardboard box and I wonder if I would have been a wallflower were I living then instead of now?

The last piece they played was Dvorak's "Slavonic Dance No. 8" - something I'd never heard before and it really appealed to the gypsy in me.

It was a great prelude to a weekend otherwise spent fighting the crowds in the malls and cleaning house! * o

Sunday, November 05, 2006


My 13 yr old, Charlie, has a really bad habit of saying "what" immediately after you say
something to him. He listens with "teenage-ears" - too much going on in his brain. Yesterday, I said something to Charlie and he immediately replied "what?". I waited a couple of seconds, then gently asked "what did I just say?". He repeated it back to me perfectly. Then I said, "see you do hear, you just say what automatically". He laughed and said, "ya, I guess I do".

In my coaching lab this week, we were given an assignment on "listening". We were told to practice tuning out the words someone was saying, and pay attention to what we "hear" - breathing, emotions, tone, and energy. It's a difficult task, this paying attention. How often we carry on our conversations, much like my son and I, with a thousand other things going through our head. And now I realize there is a difference between hearing and listening.

How many times are we really present in a conversation?

And this got me thinking about my spiritual listening as well. I go through prayers and devotions by route, my mind on other things. I never really spend a lot of time just present with God and listening. Is it any wonder I rarely hear His voice? What growth in my spiritual life could I experience if I slowed down, caught my breath and just listened for awhile?

What a gift we give others when we take the time to really hear them. To be present beyond the words. What a gift we give ourselves.

Try it this week. Try listening, be fully present in your conversations. Notice what kind of effect that has on your creative life. What do you hear? * o