An image has been having its with me, haunting me in a good way for months.
Like so many beautiful images, it comes from Rilke.
“Take your well-disciplined strengths,
stretch them between the two great opposing poles,
because inside human beings is where God learns.”
The great poles.
Gratitude and grief.
Stinging and healing.
Gravity and levity.
That queer space of the stretch in the middle of a binary – not only is that where God learns but where I want to live and learn.
When we’re with paradox, we can be sure we’re on the shoreline of something important.
I’ve found that in recent years, when I find a book, a website, a person who asks to be interviewed on our podcast, really anyone at all who is holding only one pole – whether it’s the pole of “Life is awesome! You too can be awesome! Yay!” while ignoring the other end of the spectrum, or whether it’s the pole of “We’re screwed. Life sucks. Why bother?” I can’t stomach it.
I crave the honest ground of the stretch.
That’s where I live and how I teach. It stings and it heals. It can feel confusing and clarifying. We cry and so we’re authentically joyful. Ah, life.
This weekend I’m driving to a quiet Airbnb in my beloved New Mexico where I’ll be in deep quiet and visioning mode, listening for what wants to come next. I’ll be writing into my book and planning some new offerings and ways to share our work in the world. I’ll also be hosting the first gatherings of Embodying the Great Turning, my newest live online course, where we’ll practice leaning into the stretch. Looking at the climate crisis and the systems of oppression that give rise to it while simultaneously deepening our own capacity for presence, compassion, generosity, beauty and joy. I couldn’t be more excited about it!
I have 3 spots left on Monday evenings and 5 left on Tuesday mornings. If you’d like to join in an intimate group of wonderful humans to experience how these practices come to life in community, and how beautifully they can help us learn to breathe underwater, alchemizing our grief into wisdom and courage, check out this link. I’d love to have your company on the journey. If a live course isn’t possible for you right now, I also have a free, self-paced course on my website that gives you an intro to the foundations of the work as I share it. (It’s called Root & Rise.) Thanks to a generous past participant, I also have one ½ price scholarship spot available. Let me know if you think it might be for you.
Friends, however you find it, please do find ways and beings to help you lean into your love for the world, into trusting your heartbreak as a source of wisdom, and into the profound resources available to support you in playing your part in the Great Turning toward a life-sustaining way of being human on Earth.
Never letting go of the thread of lovingkindness, and leaning into the vast immensity of our hearts, we will find our way together through this great unknown, even if we’re crawling on our knees in the dark and learning to breathe underwater. We can do it.
With so much love from my underwater heart to yours,