As we move into December, I feel myself yearning for the silence of winter. In the old way, winter was a time of sitting around the fire and listening to each other. The elders would tell the old stories, passing along their wisdom to the young.

Everyone knew this was a time of deep listening, which is one of the guiding principles of peacemaking.

Listening deeply with a quiet mind allows you to be open, connect to the person speaking, and look for understanding.

This type of respectful communication is sorely missing in our media driven world filled with battling for attention, talking over others, or interrupting to insert an opinion. The energetic of this form of communication is ego driven. Instead of hearing what the other is really saying, we spend our time waiting for the split second of pause so we can give our reaction.  We’re so busy stewing over what we’ll say next, we aren’t even listening to what the other person is saying.

True deep listening is more than just being silent. It’s about holding the energy open for all possibilities in the conversation.  When we stop listening, we literally build a wall between us and the other which doesn’t allow for true expression to come through.

Deep listening requires all of our senses. What am I feeling, seeing, smelling, or touching? What is my body listening to? What is my soul listening to?

Deep listening includes holding our initial reaction and allowing time to respond from our heart instead of our ego.

When we truly listen, we begin to see the path of what is wanting to come forth. The door opens to healing for ourselves and for those speaking.

The silence of winter also beckons us to experience deep listening with nature. What is the tree dreaming? What messages are waiting in the still night?

I’m envisioning sitting by a warm fire under a star-lit sky, listening to spirit moving through us as we sit in sacred circle and share our dreams and wisdom. 

I invite you to join me this season in an exploration of deep listening.  Find time to sit with a friend over a cup of tea and hear her story.  Give the gift of deep listening to an elder this season and feel how their wisdom can help you navigate your own path.

Give yourself the gift of listening through meditation, contemplation, or dreaming. What is your inner self yearning to express?

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