Listening Session Paintings

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I received this in an email today:

"Our greatest possession is resonance of our own true heart,
and the greatest gift you can give to anyone
is the gift of your listening, attention and love".

Unfortunately, the source was not attributed, but this beautiful statement is very much at the heart of what Imagine Learning is all about.  I awoke this morning thinking about how many of us receive wounds in our early lives. Sometimes these wounds are so deep that parts of us and sometimes most of us are immobilized from growing.  Instead of acting to find ways to heal, we actually just wait.  Sometimes we spend our whole lives waiting for someone to come along and show us how to take away the pain.

This is not a rational telling like we hear from people when we are experiencing doubt about our lives. You've heard the phrase "It's going to be all right", or, "you going to be OK, trust me".  Somehow these are momentarily comforting but they are not the type of comments that help someone who is deeply wounded get up and move forward in their lives.

In the work that Imagine Learning is doing, we are discovering that real listening is walking beside that person, leaving all judgment behind, and opening as completely as possible to their story.  This requires opening in such a way that the person telling the story actually feels your deep presence. Through this, they feel you "hear" their story and then through that, they can begin to hear their own story in a completely different light. In that listening alone, healing begins to take place and they know that they are not alone.

The Listening Sessions we are conducting around the country and the rest of the world are in some small way attempting to do that for young people.  It is our way of giving them a few moments of deep listening, in which they find hope and a sense of connection to themselves, each other and a future they can have a role in designing. It is a way for them to briefly find the "resonance of their own true heart".