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A few days ago my girlfriend asked:  “Why have the birds stopped singing?”

I smiled in this innocent statement.  I knew she had so much on her plate trying to fit in school, work, trying to find a new career, her family, and me. Her head was swimming.  I knew this statement was a reflection of her busy mind.

I simply stated “Because you are not listening.”

This happens to all of us in life.  We get entangled in our action items, and our perception of life and the music stops.  We create the weight of the world on our chest, we struggle to breathe, we climb into bed and we want to sleep.  We wander through the day frustrated, unhappy with ourselves and our environment and we often keep to ourselves.  We miss the beauty in front of us.  We miss the love that is present.  We stop listening.

In your life, where have you stopped listening?  Where have the birds stopped singing?

When our mind takes over our eyes and ears become closed.  We see and hear only through our state of being in life.  If we are chaotic and our minds busy then we only hear noise.  If we are angry and frustrated we hear horns, and get stuck in traffic and we argue with people.  The day becomes overcast and we feel defeated.  Our view, our context of the world is of despair, of defeat.  Our thoughts drive our actions and our actions are consistent with this way of being.  Thus, if we feel there is no hope, or that our lives are difficult then our view becomes consistent with this.  The birds will stop singing.

Buddha stated “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.  The mind is everything.  What we think we become.”  We win the game that we play in life.  If we feel the world is out to get us or that someone is going to hurt us we will create this world.  If we think that a loved one will leave us one day then we will create actions to win this game.  What we think we become.

The challenge is that we become blind to our way of being.  We create that this is just the way our world is and we cannot do anything about it.  The first step is to get present to when your world feels off, when you feel as though you lack power.  Once you distinguish this then look at your thoughts, your actions and your way of being.  It is important to be true to yourself on this one.  How are you REALLY BEING in this part of your life or relationship?  Next, create a new context, a new way of being in this part of your life.  Start with the end in mind.  Distinguish this way of being and create this distinction within yourself.  Then life and people will see you in this light.  Your way of being will create actions consistent with these thoughts.  Your context will have changed.

You will hear the birds sing again.

Call to Action:

  • Get present to where you lack power in your life.  Where are you not listening in life?  Make a list and really get present to your thoughts, actions and way of being in these areas of your life.
  • Once you are present, create a new context, a new way of being in these areas of your life.  Create this distinction within yourself and become this way of being.
  • BE.  We often fail to just be in life.  Schedule time for yourself.  Listen to the world.  Listen to yourself.  Recharge, be with nature and living creatures.  BE LOVE.

Thomas D. Craig

Author A Cup of Buddha