“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand;
they listen with the intent to reply.”
Stephen R. Covey
I have to confess that I wasn’t entirely sure what to write about when it came to this month’s newsletter. Mostly ideas pop into my head towards the end of the preceding month, and sometimes I have themes around courses coming up that I want to talk about and so generally it is a very lowing process. This month though, nothing was bubbling up from my cauldron…
This morning though, I happened to be talking to a friend who asked what I’m putting in my newsletter this month. When I said I didn’t have a clue, she said “oh!”. Then she added “…As someone who spends so much of their time working with past lives and training others to work with past lives, you only write about it every so often.” I listened to her and thought that is a good idea. Whilst I do talk about regression and past lives a lot, I haven’t written about them for a while.
So, later I sat down and thought about typing something on past lives. All I could think about though, was listening. I am a very good listener, and I’d listened to my friend’s good idea and so that seemed to be that. So, I thought about writing something about the profundity of past life work and how it often has the power to unlock someone’s current life and help them to finally move on in their life. I couldn’t get listening out of my head though so I decided to listen some more.
As I listened, it came to me that the nights have just got longer in the Northern hemisphere and so we are entering the darker part of the year if you like. This is the time when we traditionally go inside – into our subconscious/our shadow – a time to listening to our inner most selves. Prior to the time of Halloween, we celebrated Samhain in this country, a Celtic festival that celebrated the end of the harvest, and the onset of that journey into our interior – Samhain this year is the 31st Oct-1st Nov. Add to that that we are also just about to enter Mercury being in retrograde once more in the Heavens. Whilst many people have less flattering things to say about mercury retrograde, I believe it’s a time to slow down our communication (inner and outer) and listen/observe our patterns and our motivations. Seemingly it really is a time of listening right now for all of us…
Listening really is a valuable skill. With so many potential stressors and distractions in the 21st century some speculate that the ability to focus and listen properly is becoming something of a lost art. The psychologist Carl Rogers was a big fan of listening and suggested that respect, empathy, and genuineness are the three “core conditions” that combine to make up the essential foundation on which good listening is based.
So, a question that you could ask yourself as we move into the shadow time of the year is how often do you take the time to extend those three qualities to yourself? Respect could be as simple as making the time to be with yourself – perhaps time in silence, reflection, meditation, journaling or similar. Empathy – or self-empathy – could be effectively extending compassion to yourself without judgement, perhaps replacing self-criticism with self-understanding in the process. Genuineness can be an openness within yourself, and maybe recognising those times when you are being who you think you ought to be to be rather than who you actually are, and realising what is resonant and what is dissonant within your own world.
Sometimes that’s easier said than done of course. Busy-ness is everywhere and time is such a valuable commodity for all of us that taking time out to be with ourselves is much further down the list than most would like to think it is. It is important, and perhaps the most important thing we ever do. And now is a great time to do it.
Perhaps past lives next time