A Quiet Week

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I just finished up a very quiet week, and not for a very fun reason.

I have very tiny ear canals. Throughout my life various ENT doctors have told me they are only the size of a 5-year olds. Well, it turns out both of my ears became wildly inflamed after a rather rigorous cleaning to remove built up wax (OMG, it was like having a Dyson vacuum inside my ear—ouch).

The inflammation led to infection; which led to more inflammation. My ear canals literally closed up and blocked a huge chunk of my hearing. To help with the inflammation and infection, my doctor inserted ear wicks into my ears  – a sponge-like material that helps the drops get to where they need to go. That’s great, right? Well, the not so great part is that the wicks blocked about 99% of my hearing.

And I had to keep them in my ears for 5 days. Five very long days!

During this whole ordeal I went to dinner with my dear friend and colleague, Leza Danly, who reminded me to look into the tunnel of deeper learning from what was happening with my ears. She looked right at me and said, “What is it that you need to hear that you’re not hearing?”

Talk about a mic drop moment. And oh-my-gosh, why didn’t I think to look there?!

Throughout the week, I really sat with that question, and I came up with several, very different answers. While they might not be all that profound, my “quiet” week really allowed me the luxury to reflect on:

My body. Nothing like a health crisis to really slow down and figure out what’s working and what’s not. I used to do cross fit classes all the time, and lately it’s been too easy to simply say I’m too busy. “I’ve overscheduled my day and therefore I have no time for cross-fit.” I’m now re-energized to treat my body more like the temple that it is.

My relationships. Especially with my sometimes-hectic travel schedule, relationships that are important to me get compromised. Seems like I keep missing important events with important people in my life. Thanks to my quiet week, I’m finally ready to figure this one out.

My relationship with doubt. I’ve always had a healthy relationship with doubt. Throughout the week, I had moments of doubting that I would ever regain my hearing. This was a totally made up doubt, which is having me examine why it’s easy for me to allow doubt and fear and dread into my thoughts. I mean, I teach that our thoughts create our reality, and yet at times I’m really the one that needs to hear this the most.

The good news is that my week ended really well. The wicks have been removed, my ears are healing nicely, and my hearing is practically back to normal. I’m grateful for the deeper looking that Leza offered; it’s why I believe we all need good coaches/mentors and “soul waker uppers” in our lives.

What is that you need to hear that you’re not hearing?



  • Suparna Malhotra Reply

    Rick, so happy to hear that your ears are alright. Being placed in such vulnerable and seemingly hopeless situations can be such a gift.

    I”m under the umbrella (quite literally as storm Dennis passes through the UK today) of paying too much attention to the distracting and the negative voices in my head. The powerful, beautiful, strong, kind and gentle voice is the one that is left mostly unheard.

    Thank you for the reminder. Lots of love to you,

    Suparna xoxo

  • Penelope Gardner Reply

    Rick, Your story brings tears to my eyes. While I keep being told that coaching is a profession and it certainly is, it is such a joy when our best listening and questioning skills are put to use so successfully–Leza’s question led to power insight and action for you–and she did this without being in the “paid” coach role. Honestly my tears came from the recognition that what you reflected on is so similar to my own needs–my health, friends and family and self-love and compassion to know that overcoming fear and doubt are like the other areas of or life–always going to require our focus and sometimes more than others! Thank you for sharing.

  • Carolyn M. Reply

    Rick, you asked bout what it is that I am not hearing. I don’t know. I have had noisy tinnitus in my right ear since an accident at 8 years old, also a tilted pelvis since that accident, up until age 40 when a chiropractor helped me by correcting my pelvis.
    In more recent years I suddenly developed a roaring tinnitus in my left ear. I have often wondered what I am not hearing, or paying attention to. Also why I have had a dodgy hip all my life because of the accident at age 8. I am 75 now, not found any answers despite regressive hypnotherapy, spiritual healing, etc. What’s your guess? (Apart form karma.)

  • Dean Regan Reply

    How unusual that you would not only experience the issue with your ears and post about AND my sister was told just yesterday that she has to go to an ENT to get the wax taken out of her ear (and the pictures they showed were gross!). We will proceed with healthy caution not only because of your situation, but because of the synchronicity of the issue.

    I do so appreciate that “V-8” moment of your friend’s inquiry: “What is it that you need to hear that you’re not hearing?” The inquiry was gently brilliant, but your ability to pivot and use the inquiry to help turn this “situation” into an “opportunity” was inspiring.

  • Anne-Marie Reply

    Rick, so happy you’re on the mend. I keep hearing you when I “loose” my hearing about the wisdom behind the story. You were/are instrumental in the process I’m in since you spoke those words to me a couple of weeks ago on your call. Thank you for being my ears and then letting me hear it too. ?

  • Elizabeth Gay Lannon Reply

    Ok Honey. You are supposed to make it all up, but next time only make up something good! Not thoughts that are distressing! You are a beautiful person, and give so much to the world, let the world give you some quiet down time once in a while. Enjoy spending some time doing nothing, or doing something with your husband. Please. ❤️????⭐️?

  • Lynn Abate-Johnson Reply

    Happy that all is well now, Rick. What a relief!
    I remember back in 2008, i had bought a home in New Zealand and I flew back there to prep it as a vacation rental with a full-blown ear infection which led me to temporarily lose hearing in one ear.
    I kept asking myself that same question as I got the ok from my ENT in Sonoma County to make the long flight.
    I determined that I was not listening to my inner voice/intuition, and I was so stressed out during that time with all the “to-dos” that I ignored myself, mostly.
    Bam! The universe provided some lessons I needed.
    After a month in New Zealand, the ear infection cleared up, my hearing returned, and I practiced better listening to my own intuition…to this day.
    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s much needed in our world today. Listen – really listen. I’m still practicing.

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