The Art of Listening

November 21, 2023

The Art of Listening

We live in a time of a great unfolding. You may have been feeling a shift in the collective healing over these past few months or even years. There is so much going on in the world as a whole and also in our own personal experiences. It can be heavy and overwhelming to process and/or carry the weight of all that is happening in the world right now, while also trying to address our own need for healing. There is a way, and it is through the art of listening. 

We also live in a time where the seasons mean something different than they used to. Instead of  the traditional ways of resting and realigning ourselves during winter months, we experience seasons that call on us to keep expending our energy. It can be hard to slow down from the energetic highs of summer especially as we look toward this season of gathering unfolding before us. Whether you are a big Holiday person or not, this season is a time of coming together, activity, and possibly even indulgence. We may tend to get off track with our healthy eating habits or we may even get triggered by a certain family member. What if we change the narrative and make it about healing, about thriving, and about peace? There is a way, and it is through the alignment of healing.


Lets Talk about Healing

 Healing to me is a process of returning to balance within the body, mind, and spirit. Where there is disruption in one area, there is imbalance in the whole being. We can maintain a level of health within each area for some time, but it is the breakdown of one of these areas that contributes to being unwell as a whole person. When we can recognize where we need to peel back the layers of our own internal onion and get curious about those places of discomfort then the healing process can begin.

Once we begin our healing process others can help ease the burdens along the way, but only if we are clear about what may need to shift. In the end it is our own response-ability to take our healing into our own hands. Sometimes it is a road that we must courageously walk alone, or that is, it has to start with us. I’ll be the first to admit that somedays it is difficult to put one foot in front of the other but we must carry our own load. We must be able to see road blocks and areas of congestion and bring the light of acceptance into those places

 Once we begin to love the parts of ourselves that are the hardest to love, we will find a great freedom.


Getting into the Alignment of Healing

This Holiday season can be the perfect opportunity to see the areas we may have been neglecting. People and relationships can be wonderful mirrors reflecting back to us what needs loving attention. If we become triggered by a comment or interaction we can ask ourselves why we had such a reaction? It can inspire us to take a deep breath and get in touch with parts of ourselves we may have just glossed over or tried to avoid in the past. I feel like we subconsciously create these opportunities for healing in our close relationships and in our surroundings. It’s as if a deeper part of ourselves knows what we need to heal and will bring up “opportunities” for realignment.

When we are healed we can effectively manage our own well-being. We are in balance and have peace inside our-selves and our cells. Being healed is a state of being that is fluid and ever changing though; healing is a journey. We must continue to take care of ourselves throughout the remainder of our lives. Thankfully this life offers us endless opportunities to heal and be healed.

We will return to health when we accept the healing that needs to happen with as little resistance as possible and by being willing to carry the torch throughout the entire journey.


Let’s Talk About Listening

Many people come into Kauai Farmacy with the same questions: What herb should I take for this ailment? How much should I take? How long do I take it? I believe the answer to these questions lies in how well you can listen. I have always believed that a great Herbalist is someone who is a good listener. Not only of plants but also of people. Herbalists are the great matchmakers of the plant world. Being able to listen to a persons concerns and hear what they are really saying (and even not saying) requires a certain amount of presence and practice.

 While it is recommended to go to a specific practitioner that is familiar with herbs and natural healing, I do believe that you can ask your body what it needs and receive an accurate answer. Whether you find a guide or become your own, you can get answers by asking loving and hard questions and by shining a light into difficult and/or dark places.

By practicing the art of listening, staying open to the answers without judgment, and implementing a health plan, you can achieve a state of well-being.


Practicing the Art of Listening

We don’t just become a good listener overnight. It must become a practice and you must not give up if the voice of your body is hard to hear at first. It takes practice to develop a certain sense and intuition about what you are feeling and observing. Everything has a language and a way of communicating. How things are communicated can be unique to you as you may perceive things differently than someone else. If you are acquainted with meditation practices then you are familiar with this concept.

Below is a practice that I hold near and dear to my heart. It has helped me grow on my path of healing not only as a person but also as an Herbalist. I do believe that you can become your own Herbalist and be able to listen and respond to the needs of your own body. I have laid out this practice step by step for you. Approach it with an open heart and an open mind. Release any sort judgement for how your body speaks to you and what it says it needs (it may just shout at you or give you a big release if you’ve been ignoring it for quite some time).

My hope is that you find a refuge in your own journey of healing.

Combining Listening with Healing; The Body Scan

This practice was taught to me by my Mentor Rosemary Gladstar, and I have adapted it over the years to meet the needs of my own body. Feel free to use it or your own personal variation as a key component to your own healing journey.

The Body Scan integrates the art of listening by aligning you with your body’s innate awareness and wisdom. Your body has been waiting for you to “drop in” and say hi. You might be shocked, scared, or sad about what it has to say.  Do not be impatient. Speak kindly and do not get angry if you receive nothing but silence. Just listen in the spirit of love and acceptance.

Our bodies want to be healthy and often hold the answers and instructions, telling us what we need to be vibrant and whole.


The Body Scan:

  1. Begin seated in a warm, comfortable, and private place. Get yourself centered by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  2. Set an intention for this practice. It can simply be to get to know yourself better or to take time for yourself. Remember you are building trust with your body.
  3. Rub your palms together vigorously while letting the heat build between them.
  4. Take your hands and place them directly over each energy center (the groin, stomach, heart, throat, point between the eyes and the top of the head) one at a time. You don't need to place your hands directly on your body. Leave a bit of space between your hands and your body. It is a great practice to just FEEL the energy at each center.
  5. Feel free to recharge (rub hands together) periodically as you move through your energy centers.
  6. As you do this, try and identify the overall feeling in your body and also the specific energy you felt from each center. Did it feel calm and smooth or chaotic and jumbled?Sometimes the energy can feel static or unclear. Be patient and allow it to be whatever it is. Just try to listen. With this practice you may be able to identify areas that need more love and attention.


Going a step deeper…

 Once you get familiar with this practice you can take it a step deeper by asking your body what it might want or need to help re-establish balance.

  1. Once again prepare your mind by sitting quietly and comfortably. Set your intention and take a few deep breaths. Rub your hands together. (Your hands are an extension of your heart and you are literally loving yourself by doing this practice).
  2. Place your hands directly over the area that feels blocked, chaotic, stagnant, or in need of healing. Try and keep them a little extended from your body.
  3. Speaking kindly to yourself, begin a conversation. Ask yourself “what is the problem?” and wait for an answer. Some good follow up questions could be, “what can you do for it to find healing? what do you need to feel better, whole, or healed?” Take note of the answers. Then my favorite question, “What herbs could you use to help bring that area into alignment? “
  4. Thank your body for sharing and trusting you. Send the area loving energy and open your eyes gently.
  5. Journal your answers.


This exercise might seem simply or silly. You may be wondering, does it really work? You should just try it for yourself. It has helped me and so many others get clear and direct messages about what our bodies need. I have heard my body speak out asking for certain herbs and guiding me in what to use. I get clear messages if I need to take something internally or just apply it topically. I receive clear answers on how often to do it and how much to use. All I need to do is ask and listen.

*For a more in-depth conversation on dosage see Calvins Drop Dosage Meditation in the Blue Vervain article.


Living, Listening and Healing

Listening with love is a great practice to guide you through any season as well as throughout life. It can be the torch to guide you back to yourself as a healthy and whole person. As you learn to listen without judgement, it can help you in your interactions with others and in relationships. What you do has a ripple effect into all areas of your life and in the lives of others. Share your healthy self with the world!

When you learn how to respond attentively and commit to a health care plan set out by your own body you can learn to trust, love and heal yourself again. I hope you use it in reverence for the wisdom with which you were joyously made. Be well.


Sonya Yamaguchi

Kauai Farmacy

Certified Herbalist and Author of “Super Noni and Friends

Also in Kauai Farmacy Blog

A Guide to Tinctures
A Guide to Tinctures

April 04, 2024

Read More

Fall into Balance
Fall into Balance

October 12, 2023

Read More

Moringa - Plant Muscle
Moringa - Plant Muscle

September 26, 2023

Read More