Deep Listening


We visited the ocean last month. It is my favorite place – my soul longs to be close to the water, to hear the crashing water and feel the breeze and smell the salt air. I keep returning to our pictures of that time, for the waves seem to capture so much of what I am experiencing this month.

There are waves of joy as I anticipate bringing my book into the world, and as I celebrate its availability for pre-order (THANK YOU if you’ve already ordered a copy!). And there are waves of grief as I continue to mourn the loss of my friend, Tim, and grieve what life now looks like for his wife and children.

Within these waves of highs and lows, I am craving peace and quiet and rest. I am feeling tender. I am wanting to curl into myself and into God. It doesn’t feel like the right season to start a new venture. I’ve discerned, then, to wait to launch the Life As Spiritual Practice podcast. As my husband accurately described, “Launching now would be extending out into the world, when we’re needing to pull in.”

Although I feel peace about the decision, it is painful. I have recorded several episodes already, and I can’t wait to share them with you. I am trying to trust that they will be just as powerful and inspiring in January as they would have been in October. When I put things on hold, I tend to worry that they will die. There is part of me that is afraid that if I don’t launch now, I’ll never launch. As I discussed this with a spiritual companion, she said, “Could you see this as a deepening of your work, instead of a stopping? I am excited for how this deep listening will shape your interviews in the future.”

I hear in her words an invitation to trust, to let this season be the quiet that I am needing, to notice where ideas and projects are deepening instead of dying. And I share these words with you, in case they speak to the season you are in. Are there places you are being invited to rest? To wait? To allow things to lay dormant and deepen? Or maybe you are hearing the opposite invitation: maybe, after a long wait, it is time to risk and to release.

I pray for you, wherever you are, that you may have space for deep listening. That you may have companions to help you discern. That you may hear your own deepest invitations, and that you may respond with trust.

May it be so.