2019 brought me my most challenging year yet, and perhaps the best year of my life thus far. 2019 asked me to stop, to utterly stop all outward movement, and to go deeply within in profound, meaningful and very active interior ways.
Many questions rose up.
Who are you? What do you perceive, when you look at yourself? When you look in the mirror, do you see someone worthy of love, compassion and acceptance? Do you recognize yourself as a friend?
With two most profound:
Do you believe you can turn to your own inner wisdom? Can you be your own apprentice?
An apprentice is one who is learning from another who is skilled, from one who possesses mastery.
As I say to my clients in near every call we have, there comes a time when we must turn within, to find and get to know our Inner Guide, our Inner Teacher. There comes a time when we must apprentice ourselves. What does she want to teach us? What does he want us to know?
HOW can we ever hope to BE our best Selves, if we’re continuously responding to the onslaught of noise from the outside world? From others who are also trying to find their way, albeit imperfectly too? HOW can we ever hope to do our greatest work, if we’re disconnected from ourselves on a heart and Soul level?
My time away
I’ve learned so much from “The Summer of 2019,” which I’ll share about in big and little ways from this day forward. But for this post, I want to share with you a poem I’ve read many times over from my bed these past many months, from David Whyte, with the hopes that it inspires in you, as it has me.
Read it once. Read it twice. Read it many times, for it’s gifts are many-layered. Yes, can you apprentice yourself?
May it offer you all the gifts you need to hear from You, the eternal You within, now, and always.
Make a nesting now, a place to which
the birds can come, think of Kevin’s
prayerful palm holding the blackbird’s egg
and be the one, looking out from this place
who warms interior forms into light.
Feel the way the cliff at your back
gives shelter to your outward view
and then bring in from those horizons
all discordant elements that seek a home.
Be taught now, among the trees and rocks,
how the discarded is woven into shelter,
learn the way things hidden and unspoken
slowly proclaim their voice in the world.
Find that far inward symmetry
to all outward appearances, apprentice
yourself to yourself, begin to welcome back
all you sent away, be a new annunciation,
make yourself a door through which
to be hospitable, even to the stranger in you.
See with every turning day,
how each season makes a child
of you again, wants you to become
a seeker after rainfall and birdsong,
watch now, how it weathers you
to a testing in the tried and true,
admonishes you with each falling leaf,
to be courageous, to be something
that has come through, to be the last thing
you want to see before you leave the world.
Above all, be alone with it all,
a hiving off, a corner of silence
amidst the noise, refuse to talk,
even to yourself, and stay in this place
until the current of the story
is strong enough to float you out.
Ghost then, to where others
in this place have come before,
under the hazel, by the ruined chapel,
below the cave where Coleman slept,
become the source that makes
the river flow, and then the sea
beyond. Live in this place
as you were meant to and then,
surprised by your abilities,
become the ancestor of it all,
the quiet, robust and blessed Saint
that your future happiness
will always remember.