Safe places for the soul – Jeanette Rigley

Safe places for the soul – Jeanette Rigley

“To know me
is to breathe with me

To breathe with me 
is to listen deeply

To listen deeply 
is to connect

It’s the sound, 
the sound of deep calling to deep”.

Excerpt from Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr

I recently found myself yearning for safe places where my soul can speak, be known, listen, and reflect. 

I am blessed with a wonderful community of friends with whom I live my life in loving connection, fun, challenge, and acceptance. And yet, I still found myself yearning for something more–something different.  

A place where the inner journey of my soul can be held in the company of others. A place where I can speak and be heard without the intrusion of dialogue. 

I realised that even in my best listening, and the best listening of others, it’s usually followed by a dialogue. A dialogue that may be friendly, encouraging, and challenging. Sometimes judgemental, misunderstood, instructional, or fixing. 

It can be any of these things or even all of them at once. At times, this dialogue can result in either engagement in battle, or retreat of my soul back to its safe hidden place in my heart. 

I have recently had the privilege of participating in a ‘Circle of Trust’*. A place where I have been able to reflect contemplatively, to speak and be heard, and have been able to listen deeply to myself and others. 

As I speak from my soul in the presence of others, who listen deeply without dialogue or demand, and simply offer honest, open questions, I find that I hear myself into ‘deeper speech’*. This is for me a place of safety, stillness, and warmth of soul. 

I continue to yearn for more of these places, and to foster them for others. Whether they be in Circles of Trust, the companionship of Spiritual Direction, Reflective Supervision, or in the quiet conversations I have with my nearest and dearest. 

I also suspect that as you read this, there are some who are also drawn to similar yearnings within. 

As I share my ponderings, my yearnings, and my hopes, I also invite you to join in the challenge of creating safe places where our souls can flourish in the presence of each other. 


*Parker J. Palmer. 2004. A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life. Jossey-Bass, CA.