Listening Deeply


Following my inner calling to share my love for creativity and beauty, this week’s journal theme is sacred listening. The photograph above invites me inward to a place of listening, and then lifts me upward towards reflection and higher perspective.

I lived many years of my life trying to prove myself worthy, often staying so busy trying to “get somewhere” I was convinced was so important at the time. A few years back I came into a realization that one of the greatest pleasures in my life is simply listening to and honoring what is present in the moment. For me, it is a consciousness of curiosity and discovery — of allowing myself to me stirred by something new; of being gentle with myself as I discover and feel my feelings, whatever they may be; most of all, simply treasuring how things are flowing just as they are…….like the joy I feel in my heart in this moment enjoying sharing with you through these words.

One of my favorite things about the winter season is that it has an inner gravity field, one that naturally draws me to slow down more than usual, to light and enjoy more warm fires, to enjoy the warmth and softness of a favorite shirt against my skin as I go out in the cool air, to enjoy casual reading, spending nourishing time with family, taking more spacious walks in nature, etc.

This excerpt of an interview with author Nan Merrill speaks to the power of connecting more deeply with ourselves in solitude and silence:

“I believe a creative life asks that we commit ourselves completely to clearing the conduit so spirit can flow, therefore Art, therefore Love can flow. Our Soul is the receptacle — the rich dense place where the creative life is born, and born again daily. I have an image that I’ve been playing with lately. The soul of each of us is like a garden and it starts out as fertile soil. We either keep it fertile or it gets filled with weeds or stones or sometimes rocks and brush. And so we’re called — and it’s usually in the later part of life — to start noticing that garden within us. All that soil has been planted with seeds by the Spirit. I call them spirit seeds. To nourish them, we need to water it. You have to nourish the Soul within and weed it. It’s not going to happen without personal attention. That comes with being with yourself in solitude and silence. Then those seeds that are your true potential have the room and the nourishment to grow. Finally there is action in the world, where you offer your gifts to the world.”

Then…….there is the deeply healing experience of being listened to, one of the richest gifts we can give to one another — as captured in this poem:


by John Fox

When someone deeply listens to you

it is like holding out a dented cup

you’ve had since childhood

and watching it fill up with

cold, fresh water.

When it balances on top of the brim,

you are understood.

When it overflows and touches your skin,

you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you,

the room where you stay

starts a new life

and the place where you wrote

your first poem

begins to glow in your mind’s eye.

It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you,

your bare feet are on the earth

and a beloved land that seemed distant

is now at home within you.

With blessings of peace your way, Gavin

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