Devotion…a words that rolls, plump with deliciousness, off my tongue. Not devotion in a religious sense, but devotion in its origins, to formally vow my attention to something.
Vow my attention to something…? What is that something? Is it the daily urge to stay buried in social media? The reflex of needing to check my inbox? Is this devotion? Or is this my animal brain that has been hijacked, taking me away from my devotion? I sense the later.
How easy is it to skate the surface. To remain in superficial conversations, to read the newsfeed, skim the headlines, half listen to your beloved? Or not listen at all. How easy is it to fail to listen to our most beloved or beloveds, the calling of our own soul?
For our brains to flicker from moment to moment, stepping right over the call of attention. The need to stop and be fully present to that thing. The very thing that is asking for your full attention? Later, later. I’ll get to that later. Meanwhile, life speeds by, and suddenly, it is Christmas again.
Devotion lives in the silent spaces. The pause. It is attention. Exquisite attention. To the pool of the in-between. The liminal space. But a thousand times a day we step right over it, filling every corner of our existence with the noise of non attention.
Its the conversation at a party that I loath. Distracted. Competing with noise, and a thousand other voices. Who are you? How are you? Tell me the story of your heart and soul? This. I want this? I want to be intimate with your being, I want to listen. To share. To show up human together. To drop below the mask and walls. To get deep into the weeds of your full and beautiful whole humanity.
This is my devotion. To have a dialogue. To dance together in conversation. To be fully with another human. Not to solve, fix, heal, or do. To be. Present. To then be able to sit in silence, where words drop away, and the felt sense of each other is all there is.
To be in dialogue with life. With the call of the dark hours, to listen in the spaces when distraction is low. The call of those 2:23AM moments when all that is there is the persistence of what can no longer be ignored. And to stay with that conversation. The one we often fear the most, yet in its persistence it offers us the life we long for. That road less traveled. But first we have to be willing to stop, to drop into the depths of the whispers, like echo’s of a forgotten memory, tugging to gain our attention. To not turn away, but to drop deeper. And deeper still.
To be devoted to business that serves humanity. Where the ground of beginning, continuing and ending…is that no one or no thing loses in our endeavours. If we can get a human to the moon, then surely we can build enterprise that does no harm to anyone? Surely we can build beautiful business that promotes whole of human and earth flourishing?
To be devoted to truth? In a world where post-truth is a word and now accepted as an era of humanity. We live in a post-truth world. How the hell did we allow that to happen? Maybe some part of it was through the absence of our own devotion.
To question everything, and know that almost all of the time, our perspective is partial and incomplete. That righteousness is a response that lives in fear and lack.
I look at my own life. I know my truth is calling me from the depths. There is no mystery there, no lack of clarity, only my absence of listening, of pausing long enough to pay attention. To vow my attention to the one thing that requires the deepest form of attending.
Listen, listen, that whisper…so so soft…maybe I am crazy, hearing things? Or maybe not. Maybe, just maybe, the whisper is the most important thing I can focus on now.
Maybe, just maybe, this whisper has never failed me, if I had the courage and devotion to pause and give this whisper the attention it eventually, and often too late, demands.
Perhaps now. Now, I will be devoted to sit and listen. And in the hearing, build a life, foundations steady with devotional listening to my own truth.
This. At the least this…gift this to yourself this holiday season.