The winter holidays were strange for me this year.
After a year of what felt like sprinting, non-stop, in my work at this site, I stepped off the track. After a year of feeling the universe leaning toward me, whispering, “Go! That’s right, do this. Go!” I felt utter silence. And after a year of so many emails each day, my inbox dwindled to empty. It was surreal.
And then there was Christmas day, when my family enjoyed a feast with grandparents and great-grandparents, and then later got a call that Great-Grandpa – the one who had sat at our table and eaten and joked with us all – had had a stroke that he wouldn’t ever wake up from. The rest of the week was full of hospital visits and the work on all our parts – young and old – to process death and mortality and the passage of time.
When New Year’s Day arrived and the Rose Parade that I’d watched every New Year since childhood wasn’t being aired, and I’d forgotten to buy the oil to make our traditional New Year’s cookies, and I went alone to the grocery store and the streets were bare and the market a silent hush of two bleary-eyed workers and the background music neglected to be turned on, I felt like I was dreaming. Like all color and warmth and connection had vanished to the moon.
The day wore on, and the next, and as I imagined returning to routine, stepping back into the kids’ schedules and my work at this site, I felt shaken. Full of thoughts and emotions I didn’t understand, let alone know how to untangle, and the feeling like I was alone in the world and the party – every party – utterly elsewhere.
Once the kids were in bed that second day of the year, I approached my husband. “Can we talk?” The plan had been for both of us to work; the events of the previous week had left our work time startlingly eroded. “I need to hear how you’re doing and talk about how I’m doing, too. Everything feels dark and strange and disconnected.”
So we talked. And as I listened and my husband listened to me, the knots inside me loosened. The chill I’d been feeling started to thaw. And the world felt so different. So much kinder and gentler and the murky fears I’d been feeling so much more possible to name and move through.
I look back on my life and see the places where this has happened, this thawing out and loosening and the consequent growth of trust and hope and clarity, and recognize that in each case, listening happened. Someone listened to me deeply.
I see this pattern as a thread around which my life’s richest periods of growth and healing and trust-nourishment have been woven. Even my darkest seasons – the ones in which I couldn’t see warmth and light for the life me – I see now were sustained and shifted by the souls who looked on me kindly and listened with love.
In so many ways, the beauty of my life has been, to this day, held and sustained and made possible by conversations where I’m deeply heard.
I’ve been listening for ways to connect my work at Trust Tending more deeply with the lives of those who read here – with the specific places of fear you find yourself in and the moves you want to make to help trust grow.
I’m thrilled, therefore, to offer you Deep Listening.
Not therapy. Not traditional coaching. Not consultation. It’s me listening deeply to you by phone and then creating a piece of art for you in response to what I’ve heard. Art that’s a talisman of what’s been spoken, and of shifts that are to come. Art that’s like a little altar, reminding you that you’ve been heard and that the conversations that sustain us all are woven into your present-day life.
I hope you’ll come learn more about it!