The Experience of Time as Listeners

Have you noticed any differences in how you experience time during your listening sessions vs time in your ordinary life? I’m asking because time is on my mind. And because I recall several occasion when we, as listeners, have talked about how we...

What Contributes to Your Way of Listening?

Per usual, I began this letter today by combing through free stock photos for blogs. With no idea in mind… simply waiting to be taken by an image… I stumbled across this Pantone 578 mug. I spent many years operating an offset printing press and Pantone was...

Still and Quiet

Today I want to thank you all for that moment, that still and quiet moment, just before you put your name on the calendar and commit to a shift. Choosing to take a shift – choosing to take a moment out of our full and busy lives in order to make ourselves...

The Impact of Presence

At our meeting last month, Linda mentioned how our listening impacts people beyond the guests we serve. That we choose to listen, influences people peripheral to the LP. Linda spoke about how she was at dinner with friends and was asked something along the lines of,...

More Than You Can Imagine

The quotation above is simple and sweet. For any of us who have mentioned to others that we volunteer as listeners and received the puzzled response, “What? You just listen?” the poster is a welcomed acknowledgment of listening’s value. Still, the...

The Gift of Being Neutral

The Gift of Being Neutral In our ongoing training and honing of our listening skills, one of the things that we can be reminded of is remaining neutral in our role as listener. In the service of listening to another we are mindful of our facial expressions, body...

You Make Me Not Homeless

As I sat down to write this week’s letter a reminder flashed on my phone. The same reminder flashes every day at 10am AK time and has done so for many years. I leave the reminder there not because it is still hanging around waiting to be completed and checked...

The Gift of Being With What Is

Last week we shown a light on how, no matter our preferences in life, ‘it is what it is’ and that is key to our service of listening – compassionate listening. What comes up for you when you think about ‘compassion?’ When I think of our...

The Little Things

“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” (Andy Worhol) As the years of our commitment to listening approach a decade, this little thing we do – listen – is a perfect example of Worhol’s insight....

Each Step

Some of you may recognize the artwork above – the artist is Alex Grey. Alex and Alison Grey are both intensely creative and community oriented contemporary artists. I will admit to you that the first time I saw Alex’s work it didn’t appeal to me. A glossy print...

Look Me in the Eye

Today I had intended to write about the impact of modern devices, cellphone and tablets, on young people today (I know, that makes me feel very old) but as I wrote using the modern technology in front of me it not only seemed hypocritical, it is a topic far bigger...

Happy Are Those…

Julie F. handed a sheet of paper to me a week ago after we served a shift at BFS. On that sheet of paper was the quotation in the photo above. It reminded her of the volunteers at the LP – a generally happy and grateful bunch, if our recent annual retreat is any...

Don’t Forget Everything You Don’t Know

There is a song by John Prine called One Red Rose. The chorus repeats, What I never knew I never will forget. It is a song of love and the softening of grief. I have been listening to a cover of this song recently. Its simplicity touches me. Have you ever lost...

The Carnival

Most weeks as I prepare to send out our newsletter, I start by looking through picture after picture on the internet – often for a very long period of time. I may or may not have a sense of what I will be sharing, I just look at pictures. Even when I do have a...

As Seen and Heard from the Downtown Transit Center…

On Thurs I was sitting on one of the benches in the DTC and noticed this fellow looking into the bus station. I have seen him before. He stands out to me. I have not yet had the honor of being his listener. As it turned out, last Thurs I sat in the DTC for pop-up...

New Year, Renewed Perspective

When I first came across this picture I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I stared and stared. It just seemed wrong. The interesting thing about that is I have been talking with a friend about how I feel called to write a book on The Way of Failure, as I...

Holding delicate things…

Listening is delicate. Yet it is paradoxical because listening is also quite powerful. The value of being heard (empowered) is sometimes most noticeable when the opposite has taken place – when one hasn’t been heard at all. We are seeing the impact of what...

LISTENING BEYOND OUR DEFENSES

Early on in the first year of the Listening Post, a woman came to the door with some hesitancy, so I rose to greet her. With a quizzical look on her face, she asked what a Listening Post was. Eager to tell her about our unique offering, I explained we offered a quiet...