On Listening…

This week, I lost my dear friend and mentor, Brent Cameron. He was 64 and an astonishingly beautiful human being on all levels.  I am grieving and thinking about the tremendous legacy he left us when he created SelfDesign Learning Community- a place where parents, children, and educators could come together, learn from each other within their communities.  Freedom to grow, love and learn on our own terms instead of in the boxes school and society would like us to stay in.  Over the years as a Learning Consultant working with this organization and its heart FULL people, I’ve been honoured to witness true healing as people learn and follow their passions and gifts in life.  I am not sure what better thing I can offer as a tribute to Brent than to share his vision of inner/outer peace and love and his vehement advocacy of children and their rights to learn in ways authentic to them than to post this here. Brent was a deep listener; this man had made it an art.  He knew how to slow himself down and stop everything he was doing to pay attention to another when it was needed.  I  share this to honour his gift and to also inspire deeper listening in your own heart/mind/body/soul…….

“In my work my title is Chief Listening Officer. I think of listening as a very active and also very passive thing. To listen deeply I begin by emptying myself out, by putting my feet on the floor, by breathing deeply, and clearing space to hear, to allow someone else to come into my being, whatever it is they have to say. The space you clear must be very big and have very little furniture in it. Your spirit is there to comfort the other spirit as they go on their journey of listening to themselves. It is almost like their voice, and their experience, is pouring into you. You hear them into being, you bear witness to their experience of their own divinity.

I see that happen again and again. It is the only thing I know that really creates change, and it is the only thing that has ever really healed me.

The thing I find intriguing about this is that it is all about practice. This isn’t something you can read about or study. You have to do it, again and again. You have to find ways to be quiet enough, and non-struggling enough, and non-agenda-ed enough, so that this kind of loving journeying can happen with other spirits. You also have to notice when you’re not doing it, when you’re thinking about your next meeting or what else is coming today or how what the person is saying is freaking you out. It’s a noticing practice, and you have to practice and practice, and notice and notice, and not judge yourself when you’re all crazy. But just try again next time with an intention to improve your practice. ” (Kirsten Olsen)

Love and gratitude to you, dear friend.

Joyful travels onto the next leg of your journey through the light……


for more information on SelfDesign, go to:


to listen to Brent’s TEDx talk go to:



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Ann
    May 29, 2012 @ 19:49:36

    Ah, Jennifer, that is a great loss. Care for yourself in your grieving. Love and hugs. Ann


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