Secrets to growing yourself visible from the inside out

How shifting my visibility blocks opened up incredible support for my work

As I munched my salad, the familiar shrinking feeling came over me. A knot in my belly. A small sad voice asking: ‘What about me?’ The pain of not feeling seen.

We were having lunch with friends. They knew my husband well and I was getting to know them too.

The last time we’d met I liked them, but came away feeling invisible. They were outgoing, talkative and didn’t seem that interested in me. Or so my stories told me.

I’m generally quiet, a good listener and ask questions so I can get to know people. Others often feel very seen in my company.

These are qualities shared by many of us with an ‘I’m invisible’ pattern.

But the habits of hiding sneak in. At times I avoid revealing myself. Wait to be invited to speak rather than come forward with my opinions or the things I’m excited about.

Since our last gathering, I’d done deep work on my invisibility patterns. Now I spotted it quickly.

Without leaving the table or...

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How to overcome the pain of not being seen

As her words sunk in, I felt tears prick my eyes. I just wanted to disappear.

I felt hurt, angry and confused. What had I done to provoke such sharpness?

I got away quickly. Weeping quietly in my bedroom, I held my tender heart as I pondered our encounter.

She was a friend and precious to me.

And I was really upset by how she’d spoken to me.

I knew we’d get through it. But first I needed to start with myself. Do the deep work.

First things first. I released her energy. Her anger, her reaction, her projections. I cleared my energy from her. My expectations, control, neediness.

Yes. That felt lighter.

But I sensed there was more.

Why had this happened? What was it showing me? How was it serving me?

Often insights come easily. Other times I have to dig deeper.

I turned towards my tender self. This was a familiar pain.

I remembered harsh words exchanged at the dinner table, my 4 year-old face crumpling, too soft for my siblings’ verbal swordplay. ‘Cry baby...

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From Hiding to Shining - embodying leadership in unexpected ways


Recorded on International Women's Day 8th March

(video transcript)

Hello and welcome to Poetry Alchemy Infusions. We're celebrating International Women's Day today!

Hi, I'm Rionach Aiken, and I'm a Visibility Coach and Poetry Alchemist.

I'm delighted to be bringing you poems by women poets this week for women's day. Today is a very special poem that I want to share with you.

This is a poem that changed my life six years ago when I worked with it.

If you've been following these Infusions for a while, you'll know that there are some poems that I speak that are really deeply embodied in me, that I know really well. And others, that I read that I love, but I haven't embodied so much.

There's a process that I go through in embodying a poem. I work with it deeply over weeks or months, and it changes me. The poem I want to share with you today is one that really changed my life when I worked with it six years ago.

I've got a process of asking my intuition: 'What poem should I work with...

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When Stepping Forward Is Personal (my magical wedding)

On this day 19 years ago, it was also a full moon in February.

I’ll never forget that day.

It was the day I married my beloved.

Being with Altazar always felt like coming home to me. To a deeper home than any I could have imagined. Soul-deep and eternal.

My unconventional heart had never dreamed of a white wedding – dress, church, flowers. Or any wedding, come to that.

But then I watched the movie Rob Roy.

When Mary McGregor said to her husband: ‘Do you know how fine you are to me, Robert McGregor?’ something changed inside.

Next day I said to Altazar ‘We could get married.

He said yes.  :-D

The vision came. Go to a sacred place in nature. Create our own ceremony. Declare ourselves married.

I quickly knew where and when.

Full moon. February. Hill of Tara (an ancient sacred site in Ireland).


Now the scary bit ...

It felt intensely vulnerable to share this vision with our families.

We thought about heading off somewhere with a couple of...

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The #1 skill you need when you've been visible and it hasn't gone well!


(video transcript)

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...

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Is sharing your message a chore or a delight?

When you have to show up, speak up or share your message with others ...

... does it light you up?

... or is it a 'grit-your-teeth' job that has to be done?

Sometimes you'd rather do anything else than put yourself out there.

Getting creative with the work you love. Polishing and tweaking behind the scenes. Catching up on admin.

I get it.

I remember the first video I ever made. Tongue-tied and frozen. Trying not to cry.

My inner critic had a field day. Telling me how useless I was,

... how others would judge me,

... how I could never create the difference that was in my heart to make.

That kind of fear and self-consciousness is so painful. We'd do almost anything to protect ourselves from it.

Hence the procrastination, distraction, inertia, self-sabotage, indecision, blaming our circumstances, perfectionism, playing small, etc.

Yes, we've all been there. :-)

But then I experienced a breakthrough.

I had a mentor supporting me to create this video. She knew I loved speaking poetry.


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Do you share your voice in ways that bring you alive?


(video transcript)


Start Close In


Start close in,

don’t take the second step

or the third,

start with the first


close in,

the step

you don’t want to take.


Start with

the ground

you know,

the pale ground

beneath your feet,

your own

way of starting

the conversation.


Start close in,

don’t take

the second step

or the third,

start with the first


close in,

the step

you don’t want to take.


David Whyte


This is a poem (a part of a poem) called Start Close In by David Whyte. I'm sharing this poem with you today because I want to talk to you about the strategies that you use to become visible, to become known, to get out there.

Hi, I'm Rionach Aiken, Visibility Mentor and Poetry Alchemist, and I'm here to support visionaries becoming visible. I work with coaches, practitioners, healers, change-agents, creatives, pioneers, leaders, to support you to become seen, known and valued, and overcome any visibility fears or...

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Break Through Your Visibility Ceiling This Year!


How Did The Rose?



did the rose

ever open its heart

and give to this world all of its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light against its being,

otherwise we all remain too



Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

from Love Poems from God, Daniel Ladinsky


(video transcript)

Hi, I’m Rionach Aiken, Visibility Mentor and Poetry Alchemist.

This is a poem by Hafiz and this poem really speaks to me about the support that many of us need to step into our true potential, and into visibility, into shining in the world.

I work with visionaries: with coaches, healers, practitioners, change-agents, pioneers, leaders. People who have a yearning and a calling to make a difference in the world.

And not just any difference, but a difference that is unique to them. They’re birthing something new. They have a sense of what the world needs.

But it can be a scary thing to do! To step out there with something new and become visible in the world. So...

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Poetry Alchemy Infusions - I Will Not Die An Unlived Life


(video transcript)

Hello and welcome to Poetry Alchemy Infusions, infusing you with the magic of poetry alchemy to ignite the visionary within, and to support you to bring those visions into visibility in the world.

Hi, I’m Rionach Aiken, visibility mentor and founder of Poetry Alchemy. You can connect with me online at my website, or connect with me wherever you find, where you’re listening to this right now.

The poem I want to share with you today is one that’s a big inspiration for me and has been since I first came across it. It’s called 'I Will Not Die an Unlived Life' and it’s written by Dawna Markova. It’s from her book I Will Not Die an Unlived Life. I’ll share the poem and then I’ll speak some more about it.


I Will Not Die an Unlived Life


I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear

of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days,

to allow my living to open me,

to make me...

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Poetry Alchemy Infusions - Vow


(video transcript)

Hello and welcome to Poetry Alchemy Infusions, igniting the visionary within using the magic of poetry alchemy and supporting you to bring your vision into visibility in the world.

Hi, I'm Rionach Aiken, visibility mentor and founder of Poetry Alchemy. You can find me online at

Today I want to share with you a poem that I wrote in 2015, at the beginning of 2015. It was like a New Year's poem for me.

It's a poem that's very much about listening to your inner wisdom, your inner voice and the commitment that is required to follow that through. Often a fierce commitment. It's quite a scary thing to do.

So I want to share this poem with you today to honour my commitment to bringing my vision into visibility in the world through this new Poetry Alchemy Infusions podcast.

So here's the poem. It's called Vow and it's by myself, Rionach Aiken.




What if all were changed now?

What if the world opened at the touch of my pen

and laid itself...

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