Give yourself to the Listening

Tash waiting for listeners by Tamara Magnitsky
Tash waiting for listeners by Tamara Magnitsky


Welcome to Listening Week!

This habit could easily be considered the cornerstone of all our habits. So many aspects and considerations come up when considering this word.  In her photo, Tamara’s daughter is waiting for people to listen to her story. Of course these people will hear what she has to say, but even more importantly they will give their listening to Natasha. The true gift of listening comes when you come prepared to listen for only what the speaker, or story teller, is saying and leave your own preconceptions and judgement at the door.

Stephen Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” It is is the rare soul who can give themselves fully over to the listening.

January invites us to listen.


by January Handl


The thing is

We come to these amazing machines…these bodies of flesh and birth and death and rebirth by choice,

From micro to macro, each part whole unto itself, each part flawed and wounded and limited. Each part

perfect, and healthy, and infinite

And we strive toward a perfection that can’t be, and has always been.

And then we add the feelings that make it all worthwhile,

Make it all difficult,

Make it all unbearable,

Make it all amazing

And every choice, every circumstance, every interaction keeps leading us inevitably to the ever shifting

next step,

And there are no easy answers

And it is all so simple,

So completely hazy in its complexity

And we project our fears and wonders,

Our tears and temptations,

Or dreads and desires on the all:

The other bodies containing spirits and minds around us,

The boundaries of our skin a lie,

A lie we asked for,

A lie we must live and grow with

Until at last the truth seeps in and strips away the illusions of separateness

And the fire of our passions burns us back to the innocence that continues to remain a stable core.

A stable core despite the manic chattering of the monkey mind.

That monkey mind that is pestering, and pelting us with distractions

The monkey mind that tries to keep us believing what really isn’t.

A test of focus, a test of the mundane mechanics of life,

A savoring of the miracles that our relativity and connected nature keeps us from being utterly

alone, adrift and away…


We are here, now

We are one, now

Give in to that

Be that

I will too.

Yes! Give in to that now.

This week’s Bliss Initiative is to listen, really listen. Consider how you listen and what you listen. This week you are invited to receive all the miracles, focus on what is inherently there, hear the messages, and know that we share it all.



Tamara and January are here each Monday to help set the mood for the week!

Tamara Magnitsky

My mission is fulfilling a lifelong desire to be a creative professional making a positive difference in the lives of those I encounter. Photographing unique personalities in a fun and relaxed environment. To challenge myself creatively, listen deeply and take a damn good picture.
See Tamara’s photography on her Facebook Page.



January Handl

January Handl is first and always a mother, has been a preschool teacher and parent educator for 25 years. She is currently lives in Aptos California AND simply in awe of existence.

She calls her photo “hot tub bliss”  🙂

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