One morning during the recent Transformational Presence Leadership and Coach Training in the Netherlands, this poem from Nick Penna appeared in my inbox. Nick’s words were perfect for our theme for the day: Intuitive Thinking. Actually, his words are perfect for any day! And by the way, Nick was in the fifth grade of elementary school in the U.S. when he wrote these words.

Waiting in Line

 When you listen you reach
into dark corners and
pull out your wonders.
When you listen your
ideas come in and out
like they were waiting in line.
Your ears don’t always listen.
It can be your brain, your
fingers, your toes.
You can listen anywhere.
Your mind might not want to go.
If you can listen you can find
answers to questions you didn’t know.
If you have listened, truly
listened, you don’t find your
self alone.

Nick Penna, fifth grade
(As published in Poetic Medicine by John Fox)

So much simple and clear wisdom packed into just a few lines written by a young boy. As I read the poem for the first time, and right away again, and then even a third time, the smile on my face kept getting bigger. Let’s walk through the poem again.

When you listen you reach
into dark corners and
pull out your wonders.

For us adults, this may not come so easily. For Nick, it sounds so natural. For me, it starts with a regular practice of emptying my thinking mind – my “output” mind – so that my “receptive” mind can come alive. We are so conditioned to “talk to” life and “tell” our situations and relationships what we want them to be. Yet so much more becomes available when we stop trying so hard to manage our lives and start to listen instead. When I move into “receptive” mode, I experience what Nick describes:

Your ideas come in and out
like they were waiting in line.

So often when I’m standing in the shower, or gazing out the window from my airplane seat, or driving down the road in silence, a picture, a thought, a word, or a phrase drifts into my awareness. And without fanfare, something that had been occupying my attention becomes crystal clear. In that moment, I had not been thinking about it. In fact, I wasn’t thinking about anything. I was just present to the stillness and being with the moment. Yet quietly, with no effort, I have clarity. I know what to do. I know my next step. I don’t know how I know. I just know. Without intending it, to use Nick’s words, I reached into dark corners and pulled out my wonders. I bet this has happened to you, too.

Nick’s next lines share a secret about how “receptive mode” actually works:

Your ears don’t always listen.
It can be your brain, your
fingers, your toes.
You can listen anywhere.

Your mind might not want to go.Listening in the way Nick is talking about is listening with all of your senses. In Transformational Presence, we call it Whole-Mind Thinking and Whole-Being Awareness. Nick explains it much more simply – your brain, your fingers, your toes. You can listen anywhere.

And yet then Nick mentions a critical understanding: Your mind might not want to go. The intellect can put up a lot of resistance to following our intuitive senses. It wants proof. It wants guarantees. Yet somewhere deep in the belly or in the heart, we know that what our intuition is telling us is right. Or at least that it’s something we need to pay attention to.

If you can listen you can find
answers to questions you didn’t know.

Part of the development process in Transformational Presence leadership is building your capacity to be in the “unknowing” – to not know the answers, and sometimes not even know the questions!

This is why it’s important to be in “receptive mode” at least as much, if not more, than in “output mode.” I’ve learned that when I can empty my intellectual mind and allow my awareness to become a blank canvas, Consciousness paints pictures, displays words, or plays a song on that canvas. Answers come to questions that I didn’t even know I needed to ask. When I listen with my body and all of my senses, it’s as if Consciousness bypasses the question and cuts straight to what I need to know. The more I trust that information and act on it, the easier it gets to stay in receptive mode. It rarely fails me.

Nick’s final lines pack a powerful punch:

If you have listened, truly
listened, you don’t find your
self alone.

When big things happen to us, sometimes it can feel like it’s up to us alone to find our way, to solve the problem, or to create something new. Yet when we can acknowledge that there are messages everywhere – that life is talking to us all the time if we will just pay attention – we start to realize that we are not so alone. We’re part of a much larger matrix of relationships and connections.

In that moment, we may not have connected with another person, yet we connect with something that is bigger than us – with Consciousness or Source or God or whatever you want to call that Creative and Sustaining Force of All. It’s hardly ever up to us alone to solve anything. It may not be another person who can help us in the moment, yet insight, help, or understanding can come in many ways and many forms if we will listen and pay attention.

Back to Nick’s first words:

When you listen you reach
into dark corners and
pull out your wonders.

Life is full of wonders, often when you least expect them. So listen. Listen with more than your ears. Pay attention with brain, your fingers, your toes. There are messages – there are wonders – everywhere.

~ ~ ~

If you enjoyed this blog post and found it helpful or inspiring, please share it with your friends on social media by clicking on the icons below. You are also welcome to make a comment below. 

You may subscribe to our free weekly newsletter by clicking here.

Related Blog Posts:

 

 

Comments

Share This