So today on the bus...
visual: The chestnut brown UGG boots were made for walkin, and that's just what they did in my lululemon turquoise Feel Good Pants (fancy name for our old school sweatpants), light blue long sleeve with comments like: "Sweat Once A Day" and "Breathe Deeply" all over, hidden only slightly beneath my knit salmon colored scarf and matching knit ivory arm warmers. Lastly, my bright purple backpack clinks with change and sustainalbe cups, as my bright green 'stunner shades' look West down Wilshire Boulevard for bus 720...
A beautiful, crisp LA morning. The sun was shining after a rainy day yesterday with a bright blue sky that almost perfectly matches my long sleeve. I enjoy a delicious brunch this morning w/ a friend discussing goal setting and communication before heading to the bus for work today. Perfect start!
I arrive at the bus stop, in a daze contemplating my to do list, work schedule, and mulling over my moments ago lunch conversation. The bus arrives almost one (1) minute after my arrival to the stop. That never happens! I step up with a smile and a mess of quarters, dimes and nickels - I had used the majority of my quarter roll for laundry yester-eve and had to break into my ELVIS bank for some much needed silver. I see that on my bus today, there are not one, but two (2) greeters for me! The bus driver himself, as well as a gentleman standing behind him. I count every coin until I see the meter hit $1.25. The man in the place of power behind the driver shouts hooray! I smile and high five him on the way to my seat. Funny.
I must note that in first seeing the two (2) Metro gentlemen, my thoughts race and I inquire to myself, "Is this a new bus protocol? Have these men been reading my Snob blog? Are they going to ask me questions about how to better the bus? Is this MY day?". Oh ya, I said all that ... in my head. Alas, the men did not seek me out for Metro advice or flag me down as I reached my stop. One day soon, LA Metro. I know it, one day soon you will come find me!
Anyways, so I find my seat in the very middle of the bus. That one seat with the accordion-like walls and moving floor. The bus is half full with sleepy passengers and many others busy with some type of hand-held device. I always wonder why the bus is so quiet? We are not at a library or in church? We are on our way to embark upon something great and make something happen, where my party people at? Not on this bus.
There is a young man sitting across from me in a black hooded sweatshirt, spiked black hair that could withstand the most powerful Texas hurricane, glasses and braces. He is avoiding contact and convrersation; lucky for him, his phone rings.
He is somewhat projecting with a deeper voice, so I take this as an invitation and eavesdrop to my heart's desire. As I am listening, I realize that the glaze-haired gentleman has to repeat himself numerous time. Thus, I am actually getting his story thrice over and somewhat annoyed with his friend on the other end. So of course, this gets me to thinking...
Are we getting the message? Are you even going to get this message? Or, is it that we are too distracted? Caught up in our to-do lists, those crazy careers, the concern about the tight fitting pants due to that golden Belgian Waffle with whip cream and strawberries we had to order while saying "oh c'mon self, its the holidays, right?", or that laundry weeks overdue that we keep walking away from but it somehow follows us out...?
So, I am trying on a new form of listening. Just like trying on a new pair of boots or an all black outfit, I am trying on listening. I am now listening for commitments. Listening with presence and for intentions. When listening to someone, if I have not learned something new, then I was not truly listening.
If I have not learned something new, then I am not truly listening.
I repeat for emphasis. And, I do this because everyone speaks with intention. Yes, yes they do. Even if they speak to hear themselves talk, or solely to entertain another human being, to share something important, or to tell you a life goal - everyone speaks with intention. The questions is, are we listening for it? Or, are we choosing what we want to hear? Listening on a personal level? Shutting down when you disagree or if there is no benefit for you?
As I ride across from the young man, I am more into the conversation than the friend on the other line. I catch him at one point, he blatantly asks the caller, "Ay man, what are you doing over there? Are you eating or something? Watching TV? You even payin' attention?".
Thus, I call you out and ask you, in your life conversations, "Ay you, what are you doing over there? You paying attention? You even listening?"
Listen for the intention. Listen for the commitment.
Always, always learn something new.