The journey of embodying a poem, engaged with fully, is a transformative act.
It gives you a visceral experience, like a physical memory, of inhabiting your desired future self - now.
This enables you to step into your new story, beyond your current patterns and habits, and live into the vision that’s calling you home to your deepest self.
In this video I share a powerful and moving interview with my sister, Liadain Aiken, where she shares her inspiring story of embodying a poem.
She tells you how she brought the poem into her daily life to embody it deeply, the heart-opening, magical moment she stepped into visibility to share her poem with a group and what happened in her life as a result.
You can also read her story below in her own words.
"The journey of embodying a poem with Rionach is a beautiful one. The poems she suggested all hit a cord, but one pulled on my heart strings.
I stumbled over the words initially. The words felt foreign. I wasn’t sure how to connect with them.
Rionach helped me to feel into the words - their essence and any blocks I had around them. She picked up on the bits that gave me strength, and encouraged me to embody that energy.
I wrote the poem out many times, as my memory likes to hook into a visual connection. I eventually got to know the poem intimately, so I could step into the comforting world I created around each verse.
I recited the poem while cycling to work, when I needed to centre and ground myself. I knew it by heart.
I first recited it for my friend while on a long road trip. It felt empowering to say it out loud.
I had a desire to share it with a group of people. I didn’t know who or when.
Then the day arrived.
It was my birthday. I was at a five-day gathering called Heart Space. The aim of the gathering was to deepen our connection with ourselves, each other and nature whilst living in community on the land.
There were a few birthdays in the days before mine. Each morning we gathered in circle to connect with the whole camp (about 50 people). Whosever’s birthday it was that day would get sung to and hugged by the whole group.
I decided the night before that I wanted to share the poem. I walked to an outdoor altar circle and asked for support. I recited the poem aloud to the altar. I felt ready.
That morning, we sat in the big tent waiting for the ceremony to start. Six men in the group walked in singing and playing instruments.
They stood in front of me. A circle formed and I was in the centre. The song was for my birthday and I stood to receive it.
This was overwhelming enough. But when they stopped, I thanked them and said that I would also like to share a poem.
My voice was already shaking. My palms clammy.
I told the tribe how this was my 36th birthday. How I realised that I'd now spent half my life living in one place. That I was feeling a call to transform and find a new place more connected with nature to live. That this poem was an honouring of that.
I started the poem -
I'm clearing a space
here, where the trees stand back.
It was just like the poem, except people witnessing me instead of trees. I turned as I spoke to look at each person. There was silence.
I am making a circle so open
the moon will fall in love
and strike these grasses with her silver.
They stepped in closely beside one another.
Tears were streaming down my face, but my voice held steady.
Here I will stand with my hands empty
mind empty under the moon
I took my time.
I am ready for whatever comes
My hands and body made slight movements, gestures to go with the lines.
But I think it will be
something small, an animal
padding out from the shadows
on delicate paws, or a word
spoken so softly I hear it inside
I whispered. Yet my voice gathered strength. It was clear.
There is a way to live that makes the angels cry
out in rapture. There is
a way to live that makes
each star a cell
I took my time, paused for a breath.
Come stand with me here, it is
cold I know, and silent,
nothing is happening.
The next breath, and the next, is the new life.
When I finished the last line, they all came in and stood beside me. Placing a hand on me, gathering in close, tears in their eyes too. We stood in silence, rocking as one.
This was a moment of coming home to myself. Of speaking aloud my desire to move and to live in nature. Of being witnessed.
The next year, I moved 4 hours south. Living beside the sea, nature on my doorstep. Slowly shaping my life and work to be more in line with my soul and its calling.
I've always known that poetry could take you to a place inside yourself that you didn’t know existed. The key to the soul.
Working with Rionach and poetry has shown me that we can build up an entire set of keys that enter into rooms of strength, grief, joy and empowerment any time we need that space.
A notebook of my favourite poems is my kind of amour. I now feel like I can access any poem on a deeper level and create my own world of healing.
Rionach's wisdom is held in a deep pool of compassion where you can clearly see your reflection and start to move in a way you didn't know was possible.
I know I didn’t."
Words: Liadain Aiken, Knitwear Designer, Cork, Ireland
Poem: Clearing - Morgan Farley
To hear more powerful stories about the magic of poetry and how it can help you shift the most common barriers to visibility, register now for the The Poetry Breakthrough Experience
For the first time, I’m sharing my insights and stories about the 5 biggest obstacles that keep you stuck in habits of hiding, and how poetry helps you transform them!
We start Monday 21 June.
During our free online immersion you will discover:
Each day I’ll explore a different stage where you can get stuck in your visibility. All of these pieces are essential, and yet when one or more of them are missing, you can find yourself spinning your wheels and not moving forward to put yourself out there.
And I’ll share even more incredible stories of how poetry ignited visibility for me, my clients and some truly inspiring people.