Listening To Spaces

Ramblings of an Old Flower Child

80% of effective communication is active listening. Another way to say that is, “Seek to understand before being understood.” It’s what we taught in our Effective Communications class and is the basis of good counselling, diplomacy and just plain getting along. Essentially, active listening means being engaged, silent and still long enough to get all sorts of important messages being broadcast for alert ears. This receptiveness has us really paying attention to our space, whether the focus is global, local or inner directed. So I have been listening and paying attention.

What I am sensing is energy around the world building and shifting. The Occupy Wall Street Movement is a great example of the tip of this colossal awareness iceberg. 90% of people being so squeezed by an elite 2% that they show up en masse, demanding to be heard, is not unprecedented. The French Revolution, as well as the various historical and current uprisings in the Middle East demonstrates that. Yet, protesters flooding New York streets, aka “the land of the free,” in a rally against the rich is new. People just do not do that unless conditions are dire. With less and less control over his affairs, it falls to the guy at the bottom of the food chain to foot the bill. Even work for pay, the stuff that enables him to grease the great capitalist machine, is not within his grasp. Without fodder, the proverbial middle and lower class ox is expected to shoulder the weight of not only his own harness, but also the rich man’s cart and the piles of rotting hay on it. The monetary system, along with its capitalistic model and ethic, may be in its death throes.

About five years ago, I was introduced to the dynamic that is now coming to fruition as I watched a film at the Global Film Festival at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University. It detailed the how and why of the inevitable utter demise of the monetary system. The same year, I saw films about the corralling of the world’s water and oil supply as well as the increasing assault on the environment. All the films talked about inevitable and irrevocable change. It was a stunning, eye opening weekend.

I am feeling the massive transformation as a sort of knowing sense, as much as hearing or seeing it. Much of North American daily life seems deceptively normal. You don’t hear about half of what is really going on in the news since the controlling elite own the media! Furthermore, people are realizing that most of the real leaders are not in plain sight. Rather, the powerful few exist behind the scenes. They operate like puppeteers, hiding behind the stage, nameless, faceless and untouchable, whilst pulling the strings of hapless dolls. Does anyone know who controls the World Bank?

Fortunately, there’s the internet. This venue seems to be one of the few arenas where people can get an unedited view of current events. In my internet circle, I notice a proliferation of placards about all manner of things, including wise quotes from sages, imperatives about some kind of injustice in society, and edgy quips. We have taken to carrying signs on the web instead of in the streets. It seems a lot of people, sitting impotently in their safe and comfortable homes, are expressing all the right things. I do not know what that will accomplish when the same folks do not even get out and vote half of the time. When are people in this country going to get pissed off enough to take definitive action? I hope that the average person is finally getting an inkling that our leaders have betrayed their trust. The elect are listening neither to the people who empowered them to work for the common good nor to the screams of Mother Earth. I hope and pray for responsible leaders to show up already.

I, like many others, feel connected to the approaching change – the “paradigm shift” type. I was chatting about a profound energy vibe that I was feeling with my friend a couple of weeks ago. She, like myself, reported an intuitive sense of an approaching tidal wave of change. To me it felt like the first outer ripple of an oncoming onslaught that promises to, metaphorically if not physically, “fold, spindle and mutilate” the status quo. I am not heralding the end of the earth either. Rather the shifts feel like a harbinger of necessary global, as well as personal, transformative change. Awareness is a terrible thing. It makes you responsible.

Anyway, enough of the ranting. The way I described my experience to my friend was that I had noticed “spaces” appearing in my life. I watched important relationships silently end without a word. A business venture that I had invested heavily in was changing into something that I did not wish to be aligned with. A number of weird little (and not so little) things were popping up, some from the distant past. Most scenarios seemed to be calling for closure. Wrestling with the various losses evolved into acceptance and letting go. I began wondering about the space or opening that was being created.

After examining my role in events, I felt no regrets. I did not feel that I was running from anything. (Indeed, I even looked at whether I was preparing to die. That did not feel right.) Instead, although I was not totally easy with the space, I felt increasingly peaceful and content with the turn of events. I began meditating on (praying for) clarity, understanding and direction. I felt an excitement tinged with trepidation when I pondered the pregnant possibilities that I could choose from.

Then out of the blue, my daughter (who lives on the mainland) announced that she would love for me to live closer so that we would have more opportunities to be together. That was shocking to me. Yet I had always dreamed of a closer relationship with her. So, after some discussion, I promised to probe into the possibility of moving off the island. As I sent a silent “thank you” to my divine agents, I received an email from a friend who works as a realtor in Vancouver. (I typically get seasonal cards from him twice a year.) I immediately wrote back, asking for assistance in finding me a temporary rental. Amazingly, within a couple of minutes, he phoned me and offered me the rent-free use of one of his houses in Tsawassen. It turns out that he did not plan to list the $2,000,000.00 house until January and it stood empty. Now that is what I call divinely guided and protected!

I plan to go for a quick visit this weekend to check it out and visit with my daughter. It looks like the space that I wondered about may be taking the form of connection with family and a new home. Whatever happens, I am open to exploring new horizons and breathing something wonderful into the awaiting, formless space. I am listening and watching for avenues that feel right. Are spaces showing up in your life? Is it finally time to “seize the day?”

Helena is a Counsellor, Special Needs Worker and Writer.