Hi, I'm Rionach Aiken, visibility mentor and poetry alchemist.
I help visionaries - practitioners, coaches, creatives, change-agents to bring their voices into the world and to show up, to grow their visibility so they can share their message.
The poem I want to share with you today, I've chosen because I've spoken to so many people - clients, community members – recently who've really struggled with visibility, in terms of having a sense that they've shown up and been visible in the past and it hasn't gone well.
They've encountered criticism, projection, judgment - painful experiences - and it's easy to hide away, to retreat, to put up a shield and to think it's not safe to become visible.
Sometimes we show up and shine and are visible and vulnerable, and we still don't get the results that we might be looking for in that particular context. People don't engage in the way that we would like them to. And that's painful as well.
So this poem is for you if you've ever showed up visibly and it's been tough.
I want to share this beautiful poem called Love Sorrow by Mary Oliver especially for you.
Love sorrow. She is yours now, and you must
take care of what has been
given. Brush her hair, help her
into her little coat, hold her hand,
especially when crossing a street. For, think,
what if you should lose her? Then you would be
sorrow yourself; her drawn face, her sleeplessness
would be yours. Take care, touch
her forehead that she feel herself not so
utterly alone. And smile, that she does not
altogether forget the world before the lesson.
Have patience in abundance. And do not
ever lie or ever leave her even for a moment
by herself, which is to say, possibly, again,
abandoned. She is strange, mute, difficult,
sometimes unmanageable but, remember, she is a child.
And amazing things can happen. And you may see,
as the two of you go
walking together in the morning light, how
little by little she relaxes; she looks about her;
she begins to grow.
Now, Mary Oliver, who passed away recently, wrote this poem when she lost her own partner of 40 years, Molly.
This poem is such a great reminder that there is more than one part to us. And that when we experience sorrow, fear, despair, anxiety, anger, we have a choice to be with that part of ourselves. We can hold that part as if we were the adult and it were the child, rather than becoming that feeling completely.
This, when you're on a path of stepping into visibility, is such an essential skill to master.
So that when you do experience those challenges that visibility brings up, and you want to retreat, you find yourself procrastinating, not taking action, finding it hard to get motivated, wanting to give up …
… the ability to hold the part of yourself that's having some difficult feelings is the difference that makes the difference …
… in terms of finding your resilience, finding your mojo, rediscovering your passion and also treating yourself with such tenderness and compassion.
It's a way of becoming your own best friend, so that you can hold the space, like you would for your loved ones …
… if it was your child, your partner, your friend who was struggling with fear, with sadness, you would be there for them. You would hold a space of love and compassion for them.
This skill is about learning to do that for yourself, and with yourself, when you need it most. It doesn't mean you can't reach out to other people for support too – but this this skill of holding a space for yourself, enables you to take what life throws at you, and to become unstoppable …
… to get back up on your feet, hold the space of love and compassion, and get back out there to share your vision, your voice, your message with the world.
So this is a skill that I teach and support my clients and students to begin to master. It's a skill. It's like learning to drive a car or ride a bicycle. It can take a while.
And whenever we step up into new levels of visibility, you can be sure that there will be deeper parts of you that come forward that need holding. It's an ongoing practice.
If you would like some support with this, get in touch with me today, have a look at my programs, where I can support you to grow your visibility.
Whatever you do, take care of yourself.
Know that stepping out into visibility is for the brave. And it requires not just courage, but compassion and deep tenderness.
And really, for those of us that are visionaries, that are soul-driven and mission-driven, we are also here not just to be seen, but to heal and to overcome the suppression of our voices, that has been in the collective, in our world for a very long time. This deep healing journey is all part of the process.
Trust that, be kind to yourself, be there for yourself.
Let me know if you would like some help with this. I'd love to have a chat with you and to see how I can support you.
P.S. If you'd love to get to grips with this skill, check out my group course - Your Voice Matters: Visionaries Becoming Visible Packed full of essential learning!