The knowledge gained by listening frequently moves contrary to the dictates of the dominant culture, drawing more on a form of knowing that is often associated with indigenous and genderqueer people. For most people, proper listening involves a humbling of the ego and often an acceptance of what is considered “woo woo” or “witchy” to patriarchal white supremacy. Indeed, learning to listen may even involve leaning into divination practices like astrology, the Tarot, or the I Ching, or similar spiritual or religious rituals. It may mean developing a greater relationship to land, animals, and plants. Learning to [listen] will likely be supported by journaling, dreamwork, active imagination, meditation, or simply time alone. It often requires paring back on external noise: socializing less, disengaging from technology, sleeping more, and healing from trauma and addictions that cloud one’s consciousness and alter the ability to hear or express one’s needs. Whatever one’s method, I think of this practice as putting up antennae to gather information on one’s life that wouldn’t have been easily heard before.

Satya Doyle Byock, Quarterlife: The Search for Self in Early Adulthood