“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.” --Howard Thurman
Listening is a core value at WholeHeart. Deep listening, or generous listening is a way of being that takes practice and dedication. When we listen to others in this way we are able to hear more deeply the essence of what they are saying. When we give the gift of listening generously to ourselves, we bring our precious presence and attention to what really matters in our lives. What happens when we make that commitment to ourselves and others, to listen wholeheartedly? For two WholeHeart participants, developing the skill was not only a game-changer, but a life changer, and the many lives they touch in their communities are forever affected as a result as well.
When Julie Brooks shared her writing with us two summers ago, she was beginning a listening journey that brought her into a deep communion with the natural world. Julie’s listening experience in community with the natural world helped her be more present to the people in her life as well. As part of her greater exploration with the Vermont Courage Cohort, Julie found her path to seminary at One Spirit Learning Alliance. Two years later, she was asked to give the commencement address where she spoke about the path of ministry service rooted in love. This call, she shared, includes all sorts of things: “"…listening, leading, and lifting up, including those we may not like all the time.”
Marybeth Redmond also found through her own WholeHeart practice in listening that ‘roadblocks fell away’ and the path forward toward her own call to ministry at One Spirit Learning Alliance, and call to service as a Vermont State Legislature were validated. Last fall, Marybeth shared her story of The Surprise of Following What Calls and what led her to run for office (and win!) In a recent interview she shared how she is encouraged by her first legislative session and how she sees the values of self-clarity and engaging in community as a mirror to WholeHeart’s way of creating intentional space. “It’s less about who gets the credit.”
We hope these stories of listening to the sound of the genuine from leaders we love and admire inspire you too—to step away from the noise of the world and attune to your own inner voice, the voice that knows the truth of your whole heart. We know you will be astounded with the outcomes.
May it be so!