It’s been another amazing trip. I met with a lot of interesting people, attended a workshop that is closely aligned with the work that most excites me, lined up some new work (which may result in another trip to Toronto soon), was treated to a reiki session by an amazing husband and wife team with gifted hands, built a website for a dear friend and mentor, walked a labyrinth, drove through the beautiful countryside alive with Fall colour, did some advance planning for an upcoming women’s gathering, sat in circle with some of the passionate people at Occupy Toronto, laughed harder than I have in a long time, and heard a lot of personal stories.
That last part is what fills me with the greatest happiness. Hearing the stories of what wants to emerge from people is at the heart of everything I do, whether it’s teaching people to write, helping them step into personal leadership, facilitating workshops, coaching individuals in transition, or writing for non-profits. That’s what brought me to Toronto and why I spent two days learning about narrative coaching with David Drake.
The stories that emerged this week were amazing, as they always are. I heard a story of escape from China and immigration to Canada. Another story of what it’s like to break new ground in a community as an inter-racial couple. A story of being a pioneer and doing work nobody has dreamed of before. A story of building a healing room and creating a labyrinth in the backyard to bring more spirituality into the world. Several stories of anger, frustration, and restlessness over faltering systems that no longer serve the people at the heart of them. More than one story full of the pain of shattered relationships. A story of what it’s like to leave a priestly calling for the emerging truth of a same sex relationship. A story of feeling the pull of the land and a calling to build a unique farm/spiritual centre/learning space. A story of the deep desire to bring a child into the world knowing what challenge that child will face having two fathers. A story of performing comedy in Barbados and emerging into a career in film. A story of the power of dream analysis. Several stories of the dreams and fears of building new businesses while following the longing of one’s heart. Many stories about the challenges of letting go of old limiting stories that don’t serve anymore. A story of a near-death experience in India and the resulting life change that’s emerging. Stories, stories, and more stories.
Each and every story enriched my story-gathering heart.
Sharing stories. Hosting stories. Sitting in circle and letting the stories weave into each other. THIS is my work in the world.
I am a listener. A harvester. A weaver. A host. A wanderer with a basket full of story threads that weave themselves into colourful tapestry.
It is that calling that has led me to something new and exciting. Together with my dear friend Desiree Adaway, another story-gatherer, I am launching something brand new called Global Listeners.
Desiree and I want to build a community of people who will be listeners for the stories emerging in this world. We want to help people learn to listen more effectively so that the stories can transform us. We want to help people become better leaders and change-makers through the power of listening. We want to invite people to join us on listening journeys to hear stories of other cultures.
Our mission is to enrich the world through listening.
To launch this new dream, we are hosting a free learning call on The Power of Deep and Soulful Listening. We invite you to join us next week for the call. Please sign up at the new site.
Whatever work you do in the world, whether you’re sweeping floors in a hospital, leading a large technology firm, teaching schoolchildren how to write, or driving a city bus, your work can be enriched by the power of listening.
Please join us in the circle.