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Deep Listening Can Lead to Deep Change

The idea is to create a safe space for a person to explore personal issues, concerns and matters related to who they are and what their calling is. 

This past Sunday, my niece, who was visiting from California, and I sat in front of a fire reading the paper. It was a lovely, lazy morning. I had a particular question on my mind and when I asked her to discuss it with me, she suggested using a technique of deep listening taught in Circles of Trust, developed by author, educator and workshop leader Parker Palmer.

The idea is to create a safe space for a person to explore personal issues, concerns and matters related to who they are and what their calling is.  

The exercise was powerful. And it got me to thinking: Circles of Trust aside, when do we really listen to each other, go deeper than dinnertime conversation? So often we’re thinking of our response to the person, trying to help or fix them, or argue and debate with them. Deep listening honors the person who’s talking by not reacting or judging. One just receives the person’s hopes, desires, concerns, fears. The experience of being heard frees the person to get in touch with who they truly are.  

If you’re struggling with your calling in life, if you want to sync up your faith with what you’re doing, if you want to learn more about deep listening or Circles of Trust, I highly recommend A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life by Parker Palmer. You might also want to follow Palmer’s Facebook page.

By discovering your hidden wholeness, you are bound to change your life.

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