Regina is a Certified Integrative Health and Wellness Coach (IHWC) with the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine where she also received a Wellness & Lifestyle Series certification. Regina earned her bachelor degrees in Anthropology and Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh where she also minored in Religious Studies and Chemistry. Additionally, she has completed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction training and studied abroad in Uttarakhand, India.
Regina is interested in questions of wholeness, care, and insight. Her goal is to find resonance, to live experiences that are deep, full, and reverberating. She has a gift for building bridges and navigating complexity. She is interested in the connections between inner and outer worlds and what it means to live well; questions of spiritual care (encouraging the vital and sacred) are close to her center. Currently, she is using these skills to help people create meaningful behavior change, aligning their lives and their values, for grounded wellbeing. Her current offerings include one on one coaching sessions, wellness articles, and social media content. You can find her on Instagram @wellspring_coaching or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Connection is a Deep Need
“Here’s the deal. The human soul doesn’t want to be advised or fixed or saved. It simply wants to be witnessed – to be seen, heard, and companioned exactly as it is.” Parker Palmer
Brené Brown defines connection as, “the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.” Being seen, heard, and valued is fundamental to our wellbeing as social creatures. The question is: how do we grow our skills to see and hear and value ourselves and others? Reflective listening is an opportunity; it is a skill (being capable of connection), a practice (love through listening), and a posture (a reverence of approach) that holds space for deep connection. The goal of reflective listening is to listen in such a way that the people we are with are better able to see themselves through us, and we are better able to see ourselves through them. We are mirrors for each other’s true selves to be reflected.
Being Capable of Connection
“Your scarcest resource is not your time, it’s your attention.” Adam Grant
The English word listen comes from the Old English hlysnan, meaning ‘pay attention to.’ When we listen, we channel our most valuable resource (our attention) and use it to extend care to those we are in relation with, and most importantly, to ourselves. Don Miguel Ruiz Jr & Heatherash Amara talk about how we rarely think of listening as the most important step for connection, but really “our commitment is only as good as our willingness to listen.”
Being capable of connection starts on the inside: when we pursue self-inquiry, self-awareness, innervism, and insight we are able to see who we are, hear our purpose and direction, and live our values. When we pay attention to our inner world, we are listening to who we are: we can understand our own hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits. When we know who our authentic self is, we can show up authentically and not performatively. When you have committed to yourself, you can hold space for and commit to others. You are capable of offering the gift of connection with a clear mind and open heart.
According to Brené Brown, you become someone capable of care and connection when you are fully planted in yourself (grounded confidence), when you can hold space for others (practice the courage to walk alongside), and when you take really good care of people’s stories (story stewardship).
The Possibility of Song: Reflective Listening
“The point of learning to speak together differently is learning to live together differently. It’s a dance of words with arts of living.” Krista Tippett
How we listen has a huge impact on the shape of our relationships. Stories make worlds. Anthropologist Lisa Stevenson talks about how, similar to how speaking and telling certain stories can fix people in place, listening also has the ability to lock a person in a particular subject position. This position is impacted by stereotypes, discrimination, and projection. She asks: can we imagine listening or speaking to someone without fixing their identity in advance?
This new way of listening is what she wants to call song: “seeing someone, calling someone, singing to someone… as company, as a presence. Seeing a human before you (instead of seeing someone as a human) means recognizing their potential as company, recognizing them as lovable kinds of beings, capable of showing up regardless of any subject positions they may have been asked to occupy.”
Song is seeing, hearing, and valuing the human in front of you (and within you) as company, as lovable, as a fully formed and complex world. A song is the instrument of the human voice, our most intimate signature of human individuality. Reflective listening is a song. It is about recognizing the sacred, wild, and precious life embodied in each and every human being. The Heart Math Institute uses the term “coherent communication” to refer to the type of speaking and listening that results from the heart being engaged. In coherent communication, our minds and emotions are aligned with our heart’s care, which sets the tone for true connection. It is a song.
In order to have song, we have to practice a reverence of approach: we have to come nearer while holding deep respect. We have to know how to see a human before us, how to hear their soul, and value their story. This is a skill we can learn and practice.
“At the heart of things is a secret law of balance and when our approach is respectful, sensitive, and worthy, gifts of healing, challenge, and creativity open to us… A reverence of approach awakens depth and enables us to be truly present where we are.” John O’Donohue
Stay tuned for a guide to reflective listening!
Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
The Seven Secrets to Healthy, Happy Relationships by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr & Heatherash Amara
Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser
The Art of Holding Space by Heather
Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett
Life Beside Itself by Lisa Stevenson
A Hidden Wholeness by Parker Palmer
Clarity & Connection by Yung Pueblo
The Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine