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When Someone Deeply Listens to You

John Fox wrote this beautiful poem. He is part of an organization called The Institute for Poetic Medicine. When people feel deeply listened to they feel cared for, cradled lovingly, and able to speak their truth. When we listen to each other this it is magical and peaceful. I know I feel wanted.

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

When someone deeply listens to you
the room where you stay
starts a new life
and the place where you wrote
your first poem
begins to glow in your mind’s eye.
It is as if gold has been discovered!

When someone deeply listens to you
your barefeet are on the earth
and a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

41 responses »

  1. It’s a gift or maybe it’s a discipline, to have the ability to truly listen.

  2. A perfect example of why we say “sweet dreams” to our friends and loved ones before they go to sleep.

  3. Yes,… it is magical and peaceful.

  4. how amazing there are so many blogs right now that are about listening…:Dwhich was just my last theme…:D thanks and can i link it to mine…:D

  5. Pingback: A Whisper in the Wind | Miranda's Inkblot

  6. What a beautiful and powerful poetic message. Thank you for sharing it, Ivon!

  7. Reblogged this on A Grateful Man and commented:
    What a beautiful and powerful poetic message. I like it so much that I’m reblogging it! Thank you for sharing it, Ivon!

  8. This is beautiful.

    Active listening is something we all should learn I think. It helps us to arrive at our own answers.


  9. It’s only through deep listening that lives willl be transformed.

  10. melanietoulouse

    Wonderful poem, Yvon! I’m supposed to be a good listener… 🙂 It seems that c’est une qualité de plus en plus rare de nos jours… Bon après-midi et amitiés toulousaines… 🙂

  11. This gave me heart flutters. Thank you ❤

  12. A very lovely poem, with an excellent message…thanks for sharing!

  13. Wonderful poem, Ivon. many thanks for sharing it.

  14. Excellent. Profound poem. Thank you for sharing please.

  15. Great poem. Listening is one of the best gifts we can offer!

  16. “a beloved land that seemed distant
    is now at home within you”

    Just beautiful 🙂

    • Margaret Wheatley’s new book is entitled So Far From Home, but the message in the book is we are never far from home if we just pause and listen in this moment.

      • That is very sound advice – “pause and listen in this moment”. It seems to get easier the more I do so, and the benefits increase.
        I’ll be sure to check out the book!

  17. Really hits home with me right now, especially after just reading an other bloggers writing of listening to elderly folks. The filling of the cup with the the cool water was a perfect image.

    • We need to welcome people into our conversations. Elderly people, and most of us will be that one day, process information more slowly, repeat themselves, and get confused easily. But, they have such wonderful stories to tell if we invite them into our conversations.

      I am glad the post was meaningful.

      • I also want to add that many people with developmental disabilities have much to teach us, and we need to include them in our conversations as well. As with elderly people, they normally have a harder time articulating their thoughts, but we can “listen” to them by tuning in to their expressions and body language along with their words. And they almost always comprehend more than they are able to express.

        The skill of listening seems to be in short supply these days — even broadcasters interrupt each other and talk over each other continually — but perhaps blogging, where each speaks in turn without interruption, will help bring back the art of listening.

      • I agree. Welcoming each person into the conversation and providing a space for them to speak at their pace is essential. Perhaps, you are right and social media can provide some bridges to mindful conversations where we are present for each other fully. Thank you for a wonderful comment.

  18. Pingback: When Someone Deeply Listens to You | Photography by Kathleen

  19. burnettfreelanceimagery

    Beautiful truth. Thanks for sharing – and for your continued support through your liking of ‘Morning Light’ 🙂


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