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But how do we listen? It is so simple and so hard. So obvious to begin and so elusive to maintain. In this lies the vitality of deep listening. To keep beginning. Over and over. To keep emptying and opening. And simply to keep listening." I read this quote today while reading one of my favorite books, The Exquisite Risk. I was so excited because it correlated so perfectly with what I was talking about the other day about breathing into my abdominals. Let me briefly explain if you didn't read that blog. I was talking about how I used my breath the other day to get through an intense abdominal workout. I talked about how amazing it worked but also how difficult it was to maintain my focus to stay in a state of presence and awareness. This quote states my challenge that day so perfectly! I was determined to stay present and listen to my body. I was determined to be IN my body in every moment and breathe through the burning in my abs. It was so simple and so so hard! I really did have to keep beginning, over and over and over. I had to stay aware of my mind to catch it right when it started to wander and tell me how tired the workout was making me and how much my abs were cramping. I had to stay empty and open. I had to relinquish any judgement of myself during the process or I would have quit immediately. The last part of the quote was equally applicable... "... For to listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear." I couldn't put ANY attention on whether or not I was going to make it the entire 40 meters (abdominal seal lid walks). I couldn't put ANY attention on how many times I had to stop the last time or if I was going to stop the next time. I had to put ALL my focus and attention on the present moment. In this moment, and then this one, and this one and this one... ​I had to be open and willing to feel something different. I had to be open and willing to TRY something different and hear my body in a different way and wow, was I changed by what I heard and what I experienced. What I heard my body say that day was... give me your attention and I will tell you all about yourself. Open to me and give me your deepest breath and I will relieve your pain. ~~ The joy is in the journey... ;)

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