A Time to Listen in a New Way


By Dr. Tom Cowan

This week we celebrated the Winter Solstice, the darkest day of the year. Many of us have undoubtedly felt this absence of light in our lives. We have experienced lots of trying news, relationship challenges and hard decisions, probably more so than usual at this solstice. This sense of the constriction of the light and outer warmth is also mirrored in the fact that we have less fresh food to eat during this time of the year. It's harder to get out and play, to go to the beach, to even go for walks. Everything just seems a bit heavier and more challenging.   

However, it is this very time of year that all great spiritual traditions have spoken about the coming of the light into the world. This is not only a metaphor and a spiritual truth, but also a mirroring of what is to come in our outer world. Spring will come, the days do start to get longer, and warmth will return. We can keep this kind of resurrection image in our hearts. If we can deeply listen to the stirrings in our heart, maybe, just maybe, these difficulties and breaches we all experience in our lives can be warmed through and healed. Maybe, just maybe, we can commit ourselves to listening to others, even — maybe most importantly — to those with whom we disagree. Maybe we can find a way to listen in a new way, a way that attempts to understand the struggles, challenges and pains the other is feeling. Maybe, if we do this, we will learn something about ourselves.  

This is a difficult request. It's difficult to ask of others, it's hard to ask of myself. But whoever put on their gravestone the words, "I avoided all the difficult challenges in my life"? Our company, Dr. Cowan's Garden, has been graced this year with continued success and prosperity because of the support and encouragement of our wonderful friends and customers. We are trying to add light — vibrant food, connection with the land and organic farmers — to all our lives.  I am blessed to be part of this venture, and I have you all to thank. So, thank you from the deep well of my being for all your support and encouragement. Together we can do this.  

With gratitude,


  • Timothy

    Thank you for this solstice message, Tom. In addition to listening more openly to others, I’m trying to listen more attentively to my Self, not the persona running about like a rabbit, but the part(s) of me that would guide me to greater health, deeper truth, and more love. This doesn’t come easily to me, but these slower, darker days provide more opportunities to listen. The world speaks to us all the time. I hope to listen (and act!) more often. Continued blessings on the beautiful work you all are doing there. Timothy

  • Isa

    Dear Tom, you have become a very important person in my life. All what you have explored and shared so generously finds a deep echo in my heart and mind. I take time and look forward to
    listen to another episode of your talking with friends and your very informative webinars.. I find them eyeopening, refreshing and inspirational. Your search for truth and goodness in life is infectious, and I consider it a most needed ethical way of being in the world, The world needs you and I am grateful and I feel blessed you have created this platform where we can be nourished and uplifted! You show ways to penetrate the confusion of the “bizarre world scenario” with clarity of thought and relentless itch to test the validity of popular theories. Mahalo nui, may you be blessed with great health and graced in the coming years with more joyful gifts of your adventurous spirit!

  • Cynthia Bretheim

    Yes! Listening and hearing to understand in relationship. I aspire to listening better. Love your sharings and products.

  • carlene

    Thank you for this divine message :)
    Happy Holidays to you and your family and a Blessed New Year/ C

  • Linda Jones

    Thank you, Tom, for your words of wisdom and bringing awareness of a new perspective to our lives. I know that by listening to your podcasts and consuming your wonderful products, I will achieve my health goals. We appreciate you, your family and company. I’m looking forward to sharing life, great health and wellness with you into the next year and beyond. A blessed Christmas and New Year to you and yours! Love y’all, Linda

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