Listening to the Longing
“Whatever difficulty you face, there are time-tried ways you can listen your way through. Because listening is the doorway to everything that matters. It enlivens the heart the way breathing enlivens the lungs. We listen to awaken our heart. We do this to stay vital and alive.”
– Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen
My work is about holding space for difficult emotions, for all emotions really. It is about listening deeply and guiding clients to listen deeply to Nature and to themselves. I often say that Listening is at the core of my work. It is my greatest skill, along with my ability to reflect back what I hear in a mythopoetic way that connects the person to their greater truth and to the larger wisdom of humanity. I call this Listening to the Longing. By “longing,” I mean heartfelt desires that each soul has, that are often ignored for the mundane tasks of life that seem to consume so much of our life energy and time.
When we don't listen, we can stay stuck in emotions, like grief, anger and resentment. We can stay in an unsatisfying job or relationship too long, we can be too afraid to speak up for what we want or need, we can be confused about our life decisions and become indecisive. And before you know it, we can get to the end of our lives full of regret, without really living the life that we wanted.
But when we learn to truly listen, and then act on what we hear, our life changes. We are willing to take risks that make sense, and once in a while, risks that don't make a lot of sense, but we know on a deep level it is the right thing to do. When we learn to listen to the longings, we find ourselves speaking up and making changes, and feeling so much happier and fulfilled in our lives. It is not always easy; in fact in the beginning, the listening can be uncomfortable and bring up feelings that we may not want to face, like grief or sadness. But soon we learn that the sages are correct when they say the only way out is through.
With a compassionate soul wisdom guide by your side, going through is not as scary. And once you are on the other side of your challenges, the rewards are great, and the pathway to happiness becomes clearer.