By Lisa Meade
I remember having a professor who said to be the most effective in a client’s intake one must “mindfully” listen, pose questions and have them at the ready as the client delves into their story of pain, loss or suffering.
And so I developed a very skilled and detailed manner of extracting from the client the details I felt would be most helpful in my offering them a new solution to their problem. That time feels very long ago, and, fortunately, it actually is.
My sessions were far too clinical for my heart and soul. I felt as though there was something missing from my work, something quite big. Once I adjusted the balance in my work and brought more of my soul to my sessions, once I began listening from the heart, everything about my work shifted.
And my clients noticed the difference as well.
Over time this has become the only way I can do this work. I struggle to recall doing it any other way and cringe at the thought of how many times I truly was not bringing my best service to those clients of old.
Where my mind once sought to bring structure, order and definition to my intake my heart now brings a deeper level of listening, a softer place of holding and a openness to the dialogue.
Some may call it soul mentoring while others, heart listening. But whatever it can be labeled as, I know that when I listen with my heart the interconnectedness between my client and I becomes deeper and more compassion weaves its way in.
It is in the sitting with a client and allowing them the time to share, to go deeper, to cry or laugh, to pause, hesitate and then move forward that I find the soul voice is allowed to be expressed. Without my leading questions or affirming quips, the soul voice may whisper what has been unspoken for years, or rage out in the stuffed and buried anger that has percolated beneath the neat and tidy persona for far too long.
When I hold that sacred space between each shaky breath, the longing soon is shared and the dreams are revealed with bravery and courage.
Far too many are rarely, truly listened to; not on this deep level. Silence often causes awkward discomfort for some, but when held with compassion and integrity the silence softens into a gentle landing place for the pain and suffering. It creates a safe haven for the fears and terrors to peer out from the dark abyss they have been hiding in.
It allows the awakening to begin from what may have been a life long slumber of hiding authentic truth.
Listening with heart and soul opens doors that one may have thought the key had been lost. It generates a healing energy. It welcomes the ugly and the shameful to step forward and be embraced. It encourages the timid and holds the suffering.
What some may call miracles come from this type of work. Healing happens on levels so deep that lives are transformed in ways never believed possible. A restoration of wrongs into rights, possibilities from hopelessness, wonder and vibrancy from apathy and bleakness all can become a reality.
And the most amazing aspect of this type of listening is that my heart and soul grow and are transformed with each interaction.
My blessings are bountiful. My compassion is deeper than I knew possible. My service to others now aligns with Spirit and what unfolds brings beautiful peace to the client, bridges chasms of pain to healing and validates what has for so long be denied.
Thankfully—I believe for both myself and my clients—I have long forgotten the teachings of that professor. I can barely recall the format and structure he insisted upon. Fortunately, I leaned into my soul’s urgings and allowed the natural energetic healing flow to lead me to a new way of listening and being.
There will never be a turning back.
Editor: Dana Gornall