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Compassionate Listening Begins in Childhood

By Lynne Harley, Author of the Children's book What If You Could?

“What If You Could?” Would you listen to your heart? Would you ignore the critical voice of

internal judgment? I’ve written a children’s story about a caterpillar who desires more in his

life. He looks at his longing and discontent while munching leaves. Soon he imagines a big

dream that stirs him from his boredom. To believe in his dream, the caterpillar must decide

which inner voice to listen to – the critical voice that warns him against change, or the kind and loving voice that encourages him to believe in his dreams. This inspirational story of transformation is everyone’s story. It brings awareness to the internal self-talk that we all hear when we prepare to leave our comfort zone, spread our wings, and fly.

Compassionate listening begins within each one of us.

My book, “What If You Could?” was inspired by the work I do as Life Coach, and it provided me

the opportunity to celebrate my younger brother’s life. Craig was so intelligent. He was

articulate, sensitive, interested in others, and had a dry wit about him. He also struggled most of his adult life to live into his mental wellness. Craig died almost six years ago.

Reflecting on his life and death has fueled my passion to advocate for youth mental health.

Sadly 25% of all youth deaths in North America are attributed to suicide. This is a sobering

statistic! What if this could change?

What if the message inside my book was shared with children and youth world-wide? What if each child came to understand that there is a voice within them, that is not kind. It is driven by fear. Fear of failure and fear of rejection. This inner critic lives within all of us. AND there is another voice, a voice that can over-ride this. This is the voice of LOVE. It is kind and true and comes from deep within our hearts. This voice encourages us to believe in ourselves, our potential and our dreams. “This voice is as loud as our willingness to listen.” (Gandhi). Compassionate listening on our part.

We know that a caterpillar will become a butterfly. This is just the way nature works!

But for our “thinking,” this “becoming” is within us too.

What if every child understood this? Imagine a world driven by LOVE rather than fear; a world

where everyone lived into their potential and mental wellness. This is my vision and I am gifting a portion of each book sold to support youth mental health-world wide. To learn more and access resources to support someone you love, visit


Lynne Harley currently resides in Camrose, Alberta, CANADA.

Her life work, spanning 40 years as a Social Worker and as a Transformational Life Coach, has

been to empower individuals to believe in themselves and to give credence to the still, small voice of truth that is within all of us. Her award-winning children’s book “What If You Could?”

was inspired by the work she does and shares a universal message. One that she evisions will be embraced by readers of all ages. Everyone, from children to teens to graduates to seniors, must navigate change. This book speaks to the power of listening deeply to our inner voice.

About the book- Reviews

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