January, as a liminal month of nothingness, is a time for deep rest. Many creatures in the animal world are in hibernation right now, and that’s where we need to be both psychically and physically. We often keep saying yes as a way to ward off the nothingness of this time, as we don’t know that we can handle the difficult feelings that may arise when we slow down into silence. Loneliness, vulnerability, and sadness may appear at your doorstep; invite them in. In saying no to the outside world, you will be saying yes to your inner world. ~ Sheryl Paul
Make peace with your lack of knowing…
and trust that place fiercely – Bill Plotkin
Soul don’t know deadlines
So called late bloomers get a bad rap.
Sometimes the people with the greatest potential take the longest to find their path
Because their sensitivity is a double edged sword –it lives at the heart of their brilliance, but it makes them more susceptible to lifes pains. Good thing we aren’t being penalized for handing out purpose in late.
The soul doesn’t know a thing about deadlines…
So many people I encounter beat themselves up because they haven’t achieved “enough” by a certain age. And yet I know so many who achieved so much in the outer world, but have spent so little time communing with their souls, contemplating the deeper mysteries of life. Perhaps the real question is- am I walking the path that is truly my own, no matter how it looks to others? The soul doesn’t know a thing about deadlines…
~ Jeff Brown
There is unique and unusual personal power available during times of major life transition.
Typically, in our society, we feel weak, empty, and vulnerable when confronted by change.
But ritual can help us draw apon the power inherent in being neither here nor there, neither this nor that, dead to the old life and not yet born to the new.
Times of transition are, in fact, the best opportunities to renew the search for meaning.
As our old stories fall away, we begin to see new possibilities.
When most empty, we’re most able to be filled anew.
Our eyes open wide to the vastness of life’s horizon.
Then, our world having become as spare and clear as the open desert,
we can, at long last, behold that one feathered gift
settling down softly before us. – Bill Plotkin, from ‘Soulcraft’
It is the universal statement of a star,
The message orion
Through the ages
It is the dark
Which illuminates – Lyn Dalebout
You, darkness, of whom I am born –
I love you more than the flame
that limits the world
to the circle it illumines
and excludes all the rest.
But the dark embraces everything:
shapes and shadows, creatures and me,
people, nations – just as they are.
It lets me imagine
a great presence stirring beside me.
I believe in the night. ~Rilke~
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves.
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. Live your questions.” ~ Rilke
The death lodge is a symbolic and/or literal place, separate from the ongoing life of the community,
to which the wanderer (an apprentice to the unknown) retires to say goodbye to what her life has been.
In the death lodge, she will say goodbye to her accustomed ways of loving and hating,
to the places that have felt most like home,
to the social roles that gave her pleasure and self-definition,
to the organizations and institutions that both shaped and limited her growth.
In her death lodge, the wanderer also mourns.
Not only does she cease to push painful memories away,
she invites them into her lodge and looks them in the eye.
She grieves in order to let her heart fully open again.
She knows at the bottom of those grief waters lies a treasure – the source of her greater life.
David Whyte writes,
Those who will not slip beneath the still surface on the well of grief
turning downward through its black water to the place we cannot breathe
will never know the source from which we drink
the secret water, cold and clear,
nor find in the darkness glimmering
the small round coins
thrown by those who wished for something else. – from Soulcraft, by Bill Plotkin – page 105/6
The Winter of Listening
No one but me by the fire,
my hands burning
red in the palms while
the night wind carries
everything away outside.
All this petty worry
while the great cloak
of the sky grows dark
round every living thing.
What is precious
inside us does not
care to be known
by the mind
in ways that diminish
What we strive for
is not what turns us
into the lit angel
and then nourishes
What we hate
is what we cannot know
in ourselves but
what is true to the pattern
does not need
to be explained.
is a great shout of joy
waiting to be born.
Even with the summer
so far off
I feel it grown in me
now and ready
to arrive in the world.
All those years
listening to those
nothing to say.
All those years
has its own voice
All those years
you can belong
simply by listening.
And the slow
is born from
Silence and winter
has led me to that
So let this winter
for the new life
I must call my own ~ David Whyte
Life is Mostly Quiet
Believe me, you don’t have to know.
Not so much that you render yourself helpless.
Helpless in the face of what Life brings next.
So make peace with knowing very little.
About how life should be.
Make amends with how things are.
Not knowing a thing,
walk with gentle knees,
ready to drop them at any moment
that Life dictates.
Keep an empty hand
so that it can be brought to your heart
when a grief arrives.
Make up a bed that you can fall into
as your own comforting arms.
We come to find that Life is mostly quiet –
it asks us to live by our Knowing,
while surrendering that very same thing.
It vibrates easily around us,
candid and benevolent.
You see, it’s only when we root ourselves
solid in some Knowing again
that Life seems to have to shout –
from Its whisper. ~Em Claire
In the pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.
True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can’t be gained by interfering.
~ Tao te Ching v.48 (translation by Stephen Mitchell)
Let the apple ripen
on the branch
beyond your need
to take it down.
Let the coolness
and the breathing,
test its adherence
let the others fall.
than you would,
go against yourself,
find the pale nobility
of quiet that ripening
watch with patience
as the silhouette emerges
and the leaves fall;
see it become
a solitary roundness
against a greying sky,
let winter come
and the first
and then wake
to see the breath
So that a full
taken the apple
you hold it in
your closed hand
at last and bite
into the cool
of a pale
So that you taste
on that cold,
the after reward
of a patience
of a postponed
but the sweet
of the wait itself.
From Pilgrim: Poems by David Whyte
©2012 David Whyte