I didn't trust it for a moment
but I drank it anyway,
the wine of my own poetry.
It gave me the daring to take hold
of the darkness and tear it down
and cut it into little pieces.
- Lalla, translated by Coleman Barks
Have you ever come across an amazing poem, read it once or twice and then returned to life as normal?
Yep, me too.
Maybe you have sensed that a poem can offer you a much deeper transformation.
But perhaps you’re not sure how to fully enter the invitation, the delicious promise, it holds. Or feel you don’t have time to go deeper.
But what if it was simple?
What if it was a practice that didn’t take any extra time?
The right poem at the right time can be a powerful catalyst for change.
When you work deeply with a poem over an extended period, you begin to call in the new story that poem offers you.
In the beginning, the invitation the poem offers feels like a stretch.
Over time, you speak the poem into being through yourself.
And you speak yourself into...
I sat by the hospital bed, his hand in mine, morning ‘til evening, day after day. (It was a different era!)
When not camping out in the hospital, I dealt with my CEO responsibilities, cooked healthy food to bring him, and dealt with my stress by decluttering cupboards.
I received daily messages of support from family and friends.
And I was still running around like a headless chicken. Doing everything myself.
After a few months, I reached the edge of burnout.
When people asked, I said ‘I’m fine’ and focused on my husband’s recovery instead.
I didn’t know how to ask for support.
I didn’t even know what to ask for.
I couldn’t think of anyone to ask.
It felt weak to ask for help. Vulnerable. Helpless.
My beloved was my main source of support. I was appalled to realise just how little I had invested in building my own support network.
Fast forward 6 years. I’ve so many wonderful support structures in my life now.
I’m so grateful...
To be human
is to become visible,
what is hidden
as a gift to others.
the other world
in this world
is to live in your
- David Whyte, from What to Remember When Waking
So often I see coaches, facilitators and those who are at home in the invisible realms, struggle with conventional forms of becoming visible.
I get it. I’ve been there. For decades.
How about you?
Do you love facilitating deep transformational work, but find it hard to get in the zone when it comes to sharing your message?
Perhaps you love holding an intuitive or healing space for others, and just wish people would find you so you could avoid the icky marketing stuff.
Do you ever find yourself wishing that your messaging was as in flow for you as the transformation you bring to your clients or groups?
How would it be to infuse your posts, stories, videos, blogs, emails, webinars, interviews with the deep wisdom that comes through when...
How’s your inner critic? It can be the toughest critic of all.
The fault-finder, the nit-picker, the nasty attacker that lives in our heads and automatically pops up to put us down.
The one that shows up hour after hour, to tell us how little we know or have achieved.
The one that sabotages our dreams and postpones our inspired actions.
The one whose harsh voice tells us, ‘Who do you think you are to dare to do such things?’
This is a deep one.
So I’m bringing the magical vibrational medicine of poetry to offer a powerful antidote to your inner tyrant.
Did you know that poetry can actually rewire our brain?
'Neuroplasticity' means that our brain is adaptable. We can literally rewire our brains with our thoughts.
Our brains love novelty (which is why online browsing is so addictive ;-). Novelty fires brain chemicals that create new neural pathways.
Research shows that the language of poetry...
It is not the critic who counts:
not the one who points out
how the strong woman stumbles
or where the doer of deeds
could have done better.
The credit belongs to the woman
who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood,
who strives valiantly,
and comes up short
again and again,
because there is no effort
without error or shortcoming,
but who knows
the great enthusiasms,
the great devotions,
who spends herself
for a worthy cause;
who, at the best,
knows, in the end,
the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at the worst,
if she fails,
at least she fails
while daring greatly,
so that her place shall never be
with those cold and timid souls
who knew neither victory nor defeat.
- Theodore Roosevelt (gender changed ;-)
Have you ever put yourself out there, felt the harsh sting of critical words, and thought ‘I’m not doing that again’?
Or had moments where, red-faced and tongue-tied, you wished the ground would swallow you up?
I sat in my dressing gown, on my sofa, with a box of tissues, sobbing my heart out, all day. I was heartbroken - I felt like my dream of creating my own transformational business was slipping through my fingers. How could the universe give me this dream and then let me fail?
Same true story:
I was really sad. Deeply disappointed that no one signed up to my group program. I felt the universe did not support me.
Notice the difference?
We are wired for stories. Told right, they forge connection and deep empathy.
We remember how they make us feel. Because we’ve felt that way too.
If you're (or aspire to be) a coach, practitioner, facilitator or bringer of transformational change …
And you feel frustrated because people don’t ‘get’ the deep and magical work you offer …
I see you.
I see you struggling to communicate the true, life-changing value of what you offer in a way that really lands with your people.
Three years ago I really struggled to charge money for my coaching. Squirmy, sticky resistance created avoidance and procrastination.
My heart ached to devote my energies to facilitating deep transformation. My soul woke me nightly with its urgent whispers.
At the time, I was still a respectable non-profit CEO. I gave national presentations, was featured in local media, met with leaders, politicians and dignitaries. Leading my team of 100 staff and volunteers, together we supported thousands of disadvantaged people each year.
I was deeply reluctant to come out publicly as a spiritual person. I didn’t want to come across as flaky.
I was hiding. Scared of what people would think. Afraid of being judged, dismissed, ridiculed.
For years I’d been a very successful chameleon. Shape-shifting into what I thought others wanted from me. I did it brilliantly.
But something had to give.
Take an ax to the prison wall.
Walk out like...
No amount of marketing strategies or social media plans will help you find your own voice.
The one that lights you up.
The one that inspires people to lean in and listen.
The one that connects you to the impact you are here to make.
This is my growing edge.
When I share poetry it lights me up like a Christmas tree.
People tell me they could listen to me speak poetry all day.
Poetry gave me the courage to finally speak in front of audiences.
The resolve to break through my terror of being visible, so I could share this soul medicine.
It helped me find my own voice and discover my leadership destiny.
In magical ways I could not have expected.
What about you? Do you feel deeply connected to your own voice?
I'd love to invite you to join me for this experience.
Because I'm thrilled to have finally found a way to join my passion for poetry and helping you to powerfully share your message.
This beginning is scary and vulnerable for me.
I don’t see anyone else doing this.
Do you censor yourself for fear of being judged?
Do you play small because of how others might react if you expressed yourself more fully?
Do you often imagine what others might be thinking about you?
We are wired for belonging. So it’s not a huge surprise that one of our biggest fears about stepping into greater visibility is the fear of what others will think.
Fear of rejection. Fear of being judged. Fear of not being liked. Fear of criticism. Fear of being seen as crazy. Fear of isolation. Fear of negative opinions.
It feels terribly exposing. Even in your imagination.
These fears lead us to hold back, procrastinate, feel frozen, play small, not share the real stuff, stay stuck in habits of hiding, protect ourselves, stay safe.
What’s your experience around this?
Imagine a world where the heart-centred, sensitive ones, those who can imagine better ways of doing things, felt confident to share their wisdom and vision.
I felt stretched and thin, like butter scraped across too much bread.
A tight fist of tension had pushed its way under my ribs.
In place of joy when preparing for my next call, I felt a dark shadow of dread.
We are living through a trauma right now.
And many of us, myself included, are also dealing with our own private griefs.
In the past week, I’ve spoken with many in my community who are struggling.
Brilliant, conscious people who know how to self-care …
… are navigating intense inner conflict, anger, despair, disconnection, loneliness, anxiety.
It’s easy to shrink into our self-protective bubbles. To feel isolated, abandoned, constrained.
We’ve been through a long dark period.
As we move into spring, how can we honour our urge to re-emerge when our resources have been so stretched and depleted over the past year?
How do we show up for others when we are struggling ourselves?