Listening to the Inner and the Outer

Posted by Amanda Moreno

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

After five days in a small town helping souls to navigate past-life memories and the afterlife, Amanda Moreno finds herself in bustling New York City. Both experiences carry a beautiful reminder: everyone has a story and is carrying around so much under the surface; once in a while, we are privileged to hear those stories.

By Amanda Moreno

Lately, my soul has been longing for quiet. I consider myself to be a city girl in so many ways and for so many reasons, but the fact of the matter is that cities are loud. For someone who is growing into her sensitivities, the constant sounds of planes, trains, automobiles, humans, dogs and so on can become abrasive, even maddening.

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

Photo by graywacke/A Landing a Day

I often imagine living in the middle of nowhere, with nothing but the noise of birds, winds and water to accompany me.

In the middle of a two-week trip to the East Coast, I have found myself unexpectedly spending some time in Brooklyn and New York City. At first I was anxious about it. There’s so much to do, so many decisions to be made and so much humanity to navigate in the city. On the heels of five days in a tiny town where I was helping souls to navigate past-life memories and the afterlife, I wasn’t sure coming to the city was the right decision, as I usually need quiet integration time.

Today, however, I found myself wandering through the city quite mindlessly and enjoying the hell out of it. Getting on trains, taking them uptown, then downtown, and leaning into the sea of humanity that is this big, beautiful city. I found myself asking the people in each establishment I visited where to go next and then following the routes they laid out. I noticed the feeling of being completely alone and yet entirely engulfed in a complex web of intertwining realities and dreams.

I experienced an interesting combination of feeling completely free and yet totally bound up in the rhythms of the city. New York City truly is a dimension all its own. Everyone is a stranger, and yet the awareness is there — everyone has a story and is carrying around so much under the surface.

At the training, I was honored to witness the incredible bravery of the 12 students as they plunged into some of their deepest traumas and compulsions in order to embrace the opportunity to heal. Looking around the opening circle on the first day, everyone seemed bright and cheery with an undertone of anxiety and fear. Then, as their stories began to come out, I remembered — people seeking deep soul work very rarely tell stories of ordinary lives. The places we can go to hear these stories, and the places they can go to tell these stories, are very limited.

The power of storytelling is quite profound. Sitting in silence and listening as the students told their stories in the circle, or even participating in shared storytelling around the dinner table, I was taken by the awareness of a simple truth that is so obvious and yet understated: you really can’t tell what someone is carrying around just by looking at them. You often can’t even tell by spending a little bit of time with them. I was also taken by the knowledge that we are so very lucky to have the container of the training to experience that opening and witnessing.

I met someone at the training who came over from Australia. We launched into an intense, personal story-telling conversation on the first night that lasted a few hours. During the course of the conversation she told me that she knows of 12 men between the ages of 19-25 who have committed suicide in the past few years in her hometown. I was shocked to hear the number, and shocked to learn that the Australian government apparently has a rule that suicide stories can’t be covered in the news.

We talked a bit about her thoughts as to why these boys had chosen to end their lives. She spoke of their isolation, or a lack of meaning, and we later related it to the lack of outlets for witnessing and storytelling and the alienation of the modern world. Surely each of them had their own story and own complex reasons for doing what they did, but still — there is a pervasive loneliness attached to being in the world today.

Context is everything. We don’t know the experiences people are carrying around that have led them to be who they are or to behave how they are behaving. As this Mercury retrograde period comes to a close and we head into a Libra Moon cycle, I’m called to reflect on how often I tend to forget this simple truth.

I’m also called to remind myself about the importance of authentic interactions — with an eye on what my intuition is telling me about the interaction, at the same time as I make a point of listening to what the other is saying and holding space for their story to come forward. Sometimes that balance is hard to find, as it can be when I am feeling over-stimulated or overwhelmed.

That is part of my own story, however. And it is up to me own that and do what I need to do to decompress and come back into myself. I do so with a blessed recognition that there are so many other people out there right now aiming to work through their hurts and pains, and embracing joy and love in spite of — or because of — their own complex and rich stories.

Posted in Columnist on | 11 comments
Amanda Moreno

About Amanda Moreno

Amanda is an astrologer, soul worker and paradigm buster based in Seattle. Her adventures in these forms of ‘practical woo’ are geared towards helping people to heal themselves and the world. She can be found in the virtual world at

11 thoughts on “Listening to the Inner and the Outer

  1. DeborahDeborah

    Seems to me that oral history is all that’s left in the end…or maybe I just watch too much apocalyptic TV…”There are a million stories in the Naked City, and this has been one of them.”

  2. LizzyLizzy

    Thank you for this great piece, Amanda. Such a beautiful description of your experience of New York. I too am a city gal, but long for the country. I was finally really honest with myself when I got back to the city I’ve been living in for the last 30 years, at the end of the summer break – and I admitted that I’d had enough of living there. My attempts to take off for a totally new life were unsuccessful however. Funnily enough, once I’d embraced the fact that I’d had enough of the place, I stopped asking it to be what it’s not – and actually relaxed and started to enjoy it again. Though the restlessness is still there. You’re a brave and lovely soul, never afraid to ask difficult questions and plumb the depths – and helping many people along the way.

  3. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Thank you Amanda for this thoughtful piece. Recognizing one’s humanity, in all its forms and in all its moments, is sacred. That means putting down the phone when one is talking to you, acknowledging a waiter at your table, talking to the janitor cleaning around your work space, saying hello to people you pass on your neighborhood block and speaking to and most importantly giving loving expressions (big hugs) to your family and especially your children and the elderly! We get so removed from these simple gestures and wonder why we feel so alienated from each other? Its a simple answer with big rewards. Big virtual hugs to all the pw readers :-)

    1. Amanda MorenoAmanda Moreno Post author

      Yes! Just simply smiling and making eye contact with people I pass on the street feels like a huge thing sometimes…
      So does the context thing. This weekend I was staying at a house in the Virginia hills (I’m told they’re mountains, but they seem like hills to me) that did not have cell service. During a trip into town, my friend was checking in with her mom who was watching her five year old son. Because we were in a rush, she decided to do some texting while waiting in line at a convenience store, and a man went off on her for being on her phone in public, asking her if she ever put the thing down, and wondering if she would ever be able to function without her phone. Little did he know: she had limited time, no cell service, wanted to check on her five year old, and actually held off on getting a smart phone until a few months ago. That ‘context is everything’ theme came in there in a big way…
      /end random story telling

  4. Pisces SunPisces Sun

    Contextual awareness is so important, very true, Amanda. Not to condone the stranger for his outburst but clearly he was exasperated with the lack of humanness he has experience as a result of the dumb phone! When I see someone just having to get a text off and especially if they are holding someone up and if I am in the mood, just for shXXs and grins, and to humanize the moment, and if we are alone (usually its in elevators/public transportation, or something) I start a conversation with them that goes like this: “I hear that they surgically remove those from your hands when you die.” I have been saying this, believe it or not, for 10 years, it always gets a laugh, some more hearty than others but always a laugh. It helps alter their mood, lighten them up, bring the human side back to them. We all know technology’s curse but we also know how demanding others on the other end of technology can be who require us to use it incessantly! You’d think taking a stand can make a difference but often you just need to seek employment elsewhere when it comes down to quality of life issues, unfortunately.

    1. Amanda MorenoAmanda Moreno Post author

      Yeah… I was humbled because normally I would “side” with the man — but knowing the context of what my friend was experiencing changed it, reminding me that I usually have no idea what is going on in someone else’s world, prompting them to act this way or that.

  5. Biren Shah

    very beautiful, very seductive, very slippery, very dangerous space you have now access to, Amanda.
    a place of such immense power.
    not because of anything but the fact that the normal (knowing and sharing our deep feelings) has become abnormal (and so, instead, we hide them) in our human world today .

    and when you get to see what is normal, but that no one gets to show and see… it is a place of power – slippery and dangerous. for all concerned.

  6. Geoff Marsh

    It’s probable that at least some of the young men you mention who committed suicide in Australia were homosexual. That can be a tough country to grow up in if you’re gay (Rule 6: No Poofters) but it’s not so different in countries where homosexuality is legal/decriminalised: no provision is made for counselling young people about their sexual orientation. Once again, Amanda, it’s the context that gay people find themselves in that does the psychological damage, not the condition itself.

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