Between action and inaction is listening. At its best, listening involves stillness noticing the flow of movement in mind, body, relationships and the surroundings. When I allow the stillness in me to simply notice the chattering in my head, the sensations in my muscles, and the interactions around me, I realize how little I listen and how much is happening when I do.
What happens when I listen or feel listened to? My mind opens, my breathing flows, interactions with others and the world come alive. Points of resistance and ways to move through them are more easily seen. Opportunities for growth that nourishes others as well as myself are a bit clearer.
Listening in this way is one of the key skills in creating architecture attuned to the sustainable processes of nature. Our preconceived ideas are powered by great intentions, but those helpful beliefs can blind us to genuine, vital connections that are crying out to be included in repairing a polluted environment. If we ignore the way water actually flows, assuming we know everything about it without listening to its ways, our roofs will leak. If we ignore the qualities of the ground upon which we build, our foundations may sink.
The biggest obstacle to healing the planet and ourselves may not be that we aren't trying enough. It may be that we are trying too hard. All the helpful speeches, rallies, movements, organizations, and individuals may be more effective, if their passion to "Do something!" was proceeded by a feel moments of listening. Like wise gardeners waiting for the right moment to plant their seeds, we can listen for the auspicious moments when the gathering of forces of nature will support our endeavors.