Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

The Heart of February: Listen


Welcome to my monthly collection of interesting articles, books, and resources plus a mini-monthly review.

Outstanding Articles and Books

I read voraciously in February, motivated in particular by a wish to heal my back.

The Heart of February:  Listen

Writing a brief monthly review helps me to celebrate my accomplishments and stay focused on what really counts.  Sharing my review may inspire you to be more intentional too.

I couldn’t help but listen when my back “went out” and disabled me for several days.  Indeed, I began to appreciate what listening truly means.

You can use your will to keep going despite being ill.  It might work for awhile, even for years.  But, in the end, you will just be depleted and suffer more.  I know; pushing myself was my forté.  Taking time to listen to your body will help you stay in balance and keep you from falling into unnecessary health traps like I did.

At the same time, the body is listening to you.  What are you communicating to your body?  Impatience?  Disrespect?  Love?  Care?

We express our love and affection for others through listening and making them the center of our attention as they orbit through our day and our life.  Are you present and tuned in to others or distracted by your own litany of thoughts and emotions?  If you feel lacking in love, experiment with being present to yourself and others.

The Earth Element in Chinese Medicine represents the nurturing and receptive qualities of life, which, in my mind, connect to listening as well.  This took me to reflecting upon listening to the Earth.  In Oceans of Sorrow, Islands of Grief, we see the impact of not listening on a global scale.

Listening requires centering within oneself – open, receptive, and seeing clearly.  These qualities are often neglected in the forceful, active, busy doing that dominates modern life.

Listening!  It has so many profound ramifications, don’t you think?

From a work perspective, February wins as a perfect month.  Two new writing and editing clients magically appeared on my landscape.  All the more reason to listen at all levels and learn how to better pace myself.

The heart of February arrived in March because I slowed down!

Flavor of the Month:  Under the weather, over the top.

How was February for you?  What did you learn this past month?  How does listening or not listening impact your life? Let us know in the comments.

I’m so glad you are here!  If you liked this article, please consider subscribing for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra


How to Cope with the Suffering of This World


Be Careful!


  1. Love this post- listening to your body is so important. I use something called tummy and muscle testing and this does give me more clarity on what is happening. Sounds like you did listen and yes Listening does have profound ramifications. wonder post and thanks for sharing my 21 day love Challenge I love this The heart of February arrived in March because I slowed down! I know onlt too well how important slowing down is
    Namaste xo

    • Hi Suzie,

      It’s interesting because you’re link has received the most clicks so far even though it’s at the end of the lists. People seem to really resonate with the need to discover self-love and be drawn to your journey!

      I’m glad you liked this post. I did listen. And, I realize how much more I could listen and how subtle listening can be!


  2. February was life-changing for me–writing the 28 day series opened my heart space in unexpected ways, and dancing in the one billion rising flash mob on Valentine’s day was a huge catalyst for this creative surge I am now in. So much life is in that one sentence, but words cannot quite convey that.

    Each line in your “Heart of February-Listen” speaks to me. Some of what you have expressed is so beautiful, the wording and the feel, that my eyes teared up. I listen, actively and attentively, with full presence, now–but for many years I did not. I ignored my self, and I would clutter the moment when with others, so in essence was ignoring them as well. In my practice, all of that is disconnect from source. So, yes, each line speaks to me, because when we do listen, *magic* happens, infinite possibility becomes real, we heal and grow and thrive and live. And, we don’t need external anything to do so, just an open heart and the willingness to vest presence.

    I am glad you chose to listen…and I am glad you chose to share. Simply beautiful. Thank you!

    • Joy,

      I think your 28-day series on love was life changing for me too! The article on love as a current spoke to me in particular. I don’t know what the one billion rising flash mob was. Sounds intense to me, but happy it was a catalyst for a creative surge for you.

      I’m so touched that my article touched you so deeply. You really understand the depth of these words because you have lived and integrated them. You are really supreme when it comes to listening and I always learn so much from you. Let the magic happen!

  3. Ah, February. I’m often relieved to see it pass, and this time was no exception. Intensity, deep work, facing fear, remembering loss. Whew. Glad it’s March!

    • Sounds intense, Galen! Fortunately, life is always cycling and the dark moments always change into light. At least for awhile, until the challenges strike again. What a feast! I’m so glad March is here for you.

  4. I love being reminded to listen! I do it so naturally for others and don’t always give myself the same gift. February was intense and I’m glad to be done with it. Partly work related, partly weather related (it’s so wet and dreary here in February!) it felt like I was under a storm cloud for most of the month. Happy to see the sun today and beginning to look forward to spring.

    • Sandi,

      It’s beautiful to have the capacity to truly listen to others. That is a special gift, indeed! I’m happy the sun is shining through today and that stormy February has passed. Weather can really affect our moods! Wishing you a beautiful spring.

  5. We are on the same page about February, Sandra. Gosh. I seemed to take forever to heal. And heal I did in many delightful ways. I simply took time off work and tried to do the things I enjoy most and have almost succeeded. Offline looked very glorious and that is where I was – right on my settee.

    I am pretty sure I was communicating Impatience to my body – and so – even though the serious wound on my arm healed, my foot wound, which was not so bad took its own sweet time. Refused to let me wear footwear. 😀 In fact, it is not even totally healed yet. Talk about a punch-in-the-face message!

    My biggest feeling is one of gratitude. Listening has its advantages, yes. 🙂

    I hope your back is much much better! Love, Vidya

    (so nice to see your header back)

    • Interesting, Vidya! February didn’t seem to be a very popular month among my visitors. Maybe the stars were all lined up to produce challenges. Well, of course, I am guilty of all these things I bring up like impatience with the body. I can write about them because I know them so well. But I hope I’ve learned a bit in this life and will actually start applying it.

      Yes, I did feel a huge stream of gratitude pouring forth from you. What a blessing! My back is normal, but that incident was followed by a long-lingering cold that has even crept into March. I just had a good long nap, reminding me how perfect your settee is for just such relaxation.

      The header was only gone for a day. In fact, I gave up on that theme cause I couldn’t get the header to work! Thanks for your advice.

  6. hey Sandra – I”m on a political campaign again so January, Feb were blurs. But I purposefully quit that high stress, fast-paced job because I was listening to my life which said – life’s short, if you want to enjoy it, stop doing the kind of work you are (fast-pace, high-stress) Now I’m transitioning something which is in tune with my heart and really going to be enjoying it.

    Listening to others and ourselves is really the key to success. People are identified for great talkers but who is really praised for being a good listener. I’m trying to be a better listener this year not only to myself, my body but to my friends, family and all.

    Hope you feel better soon Sandra. And thanks for sharing your favorite links.

    • Hi Vishnu,

      I am so happy for you! I spent many years in a high stress job and it really does wear you done over time. It’s exciting to hear you are transitioning to something which in more in tune with your heart.

      There truly is an art to listening and I think it’s rare to find someone who has accomplished the art. By the end of the year, I have no doubt that you will bring the art to a new level of perfection!

      Thanks for your kind words. I hope to feel better soon!

  7. I feel so honored to be on your list. Thank you, Sandra. And I think stopping to listen is one of the hardest of all things, whether it is to our bodies or our own inner voices, or the current energy. As an example of the last, this morning I was experiencing all kinds of frustration. What I really needed was to step away from the computer and breathe for awhile, which I resisted doing. Until my daughter called and insisted I do just that. And once I did, my whole attitude changed. Thanks for the timely reminder.

    • Your article on Finding Truth North really spoke to me, Charlotte! I’m happy you have found yours.

      What a great example of how listening gets overpowered by will in small and big and constant ways. It’s nice to have support from others to remind us it’s OK to step back.

  8. Sandra,

    I’m glad you do these end of month reviews. It helps us all reflect and realign.
    Listening to your body paid off in many ways. Thanks for honoring the call to attention and for doing the work/nonwork necessary.

    During February I listened to my body (cough/congestion) and got more rest than usual. At the same time, I got clearer on the direction I need to go in my business.

    One of my goals is to get more help, so I brought on an illustrator/graphic designer to give input and help me get some stalled products to market. Trying to do everything myself is not fun, and definitely not productive.

    Another goal is to balance my life by playing more. During February I said yes to an invitation to a Valentine dance, movies with friends and a walking food tour in a nearby quaint town. There’s more fun to come.

    Thanks for nudging us along as you explore and grow.

    • Hi Flora,

      I’m in the throes of a linger cold so, like you, I too am getting more rest. And it feels so good!

      I’m so impressed with how you are moving along and taking new steps for your busy while, at the same time, integrating fun in your life. You are a great role model for me in these ways. Thanks for sharing the highlights of your month. You are waking me up too!

  9. jean sampson

    Well, I am just grateful that our snow is coming at a time when it will fall and be pretty and then it will melt fast! 🙂 And I am grateful that it didn’t come in January and February and stay until March! 🙂
    Listening—–well, I am trained to do that through Re-evaluation Counseling, and I am really good at it in that situation. But sometimes I wonder if I am as good as applying my listening skills to other situations. I am learning to listen to my body, and that is really good! I want to get better and better at listening to other people and not interrupting ( I get so aggravated with myself for doing that and always try to apologize). We all need to be REALLY listened to. If someone really listens to me, I usually can figure out whatever it is that I need to understand or answer. I think it is that way for most of us. We have the answers, we just need to be listened to in order to reveal them to ourselves. And non-judgmental listening seems to be a very loving act, at least to me.

    • Hi Jean,

      So happy the snow is cooperating with your wishes!

      I love the points you’ve made in your comment, especially how we have our own answers and be listened to non-judgmentally can allow them to emerge. With all your training, I’m sure you are an above average listener! You’ve inspired me.

  10. Mona

    Dear Sandra,

    I read your blog post called “What makes you feel better?” (July 2011). I tried Dr. Wilson’s activity. I’ve thought about some of the things that make me feel good. I enjoy walking in the cedar forests near my home. I love playing with my son. I don’t like being busy.

    Thanks for your lovely post.

    • That’s a terrific exercise, Mona. It looks like it’s really helping you to hone in on what you love in your life. I’m glad.

  11. Dear Sandra,
    I can’t say February has ever been my favorite month of the year but in a way this February was a breakthrough month for me. I surfaced from a year grieving and began to take good care care of myself again in December. I took more steps towards my goal of restoring my health in January. And in February I worked hard to restore more of the good habits I had let slip slide away in 2012.

    Without doubt, February was a listening month for me too. I was focused on listening to what my body was telling me and encouraging myself to keep up the good work, as I worked through pain.

    February was a month when I practiced Tonglen to embrace painful aspects of the experience of being in relationship with difficult people. It was a month when I considered deeply, whether or not I was also a difficult person to be in relationship with. It was a month when I recognized that I too am a difficult person to be in relationship with. In February I began to develop greater empathy for myself and others.

    Now I stand on my February foundation prepared to move forward and learn form the experiences that the month of March holds for me.

    Thanks so much for the honor of including my post among your February selections. I have bookmarked this post and I will read the selections I haven’t previously read soon.

    May you be healed of your cold very soon and may you be happy.

    • What an amazing month, timethief! I’m so happy for your profound breakthrough. It seems like you are really pulling it together in so many positive ways after a very difficult year. Your focus and success is such an inspiration to me. Who knows what might unfold in March!

      This has been one nasty bug. I’m better but not fully recovered. But, I know, this too shall pass.

  12. Another really insightful post. I especially liked this part:
    “At the same time, the body is listening to you. What are you communicating to your body? Impatience? Disrespect? Love? Care?”
    It is an eye-opening sentence that draws upon the possibilities that our bodies, just like children or even pets, are molded by our personalities, thoughts and feelings. It almost suggests at a two-way communication that most probably don’t even know exists. Listening is important; hearing what you are indeed listening to is even greater.

    • I like the way you said this Sufian: “…that our bodies…are molded by our personalities.” I think that’s so true, but often we don’t see the impact of our personality-based choices until many years later when they manifest as serious health problems. Life is so much about waking up and really seeing and hearing! Thanks for your thoughts.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén