Being Present OC

Being Present

Being present to and with one another can be spiritual practice. We’ll get into Clearness and Unity and the other ways we listen for the Will of the Divine with and for one another in later months. Right now we’ll focus on how we can be present to one another both in our “in real time” gatherings and our shared space here.

Young person looking down from a ladder attached to a building, hair covering their face.


When I was 14, my family moved from my hometown to a very small farming community. I did not want to leave my friends and was very sad. We were in the midst of loading the moving van and items were scattered around the porch and yard, including a open folding ladder. I supposed because I was curious, I climbed the ladder and sat atop it, getting a sense of things from that vantage. Just then, one of my mom’s friends in the neighborhood walked up. She greeted me and asked how I was feeling about the move. I don’t remember what I replied or what else she said. What I do remember is how she made me feel. In spite of the fact that I was a goofy kid sitting on top of a ladder on the sidewalk, she listened to me with kindness, openness, and willing presence. She made me feel that how I felt mattered, like I mattered. I think the conversation only lasted for a few minutes but it has stayed with me all these years as a model for listening.

Worthwhile Struggle

Windy Cooler shared this in a Facebook post:
[My child] was telling us this evening that if you learn a word you stop struggling with describing what it refers to and over time the word is really imperfect, a little hollow. It’s expedient, but sometimes it is more worthwhile to struggle and not have access to the fast word. I was recalling though that feeling of when you are struggling and then someone sums up what you are experiencing with a word or a phrase, how seen you can feel because if there is a word for this then you are not alone. Maybe we need to struggle, to be invited to struggle, and to hear that carefully reflected back to us…or to carefully reflect for others.

When have you felt really listened to and heard.  What do you carry with you about that experience?
When have you been a good listener for someone else?
Can you think of a time when were not fully present? Can you name why you were not?
What about on-line? How can one be a good “listener” when reading?

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