January 2, 2019



At first glance, 2018 seemed like a strange, frustrating year in many ways.  A year I couldn’t quite put into words until I received my birthday poem in mid-November.  This is a gift I look forward to each year and something that my adoptive father has been writing for me since I was 13.  This year’s poem, which you can read below, described what I was feeling in a way that I was not yet able to fully express or understand.  

Finding your voice

You think you are free, but there probably isn’t a gesture, a thought, an emotion, an attitude, a belief in you that isn’t coming from someone else. Isn’t that horrible? You feel pretty strongly about certain things, and you think it is you who are feeling strongly about them, but are you really? It’s going to take a lot of awareness for you to understand that perhaps this thing you call “I” is simply a conglomeration of your past experiences, of your conditioning and programming… Anthony de Mello, Awareness,

 

It’s a Herculean effort, to be sure—

not the finding of right words

(let alone right thoughts and actions),

but rather the separating

of those planted by others

from the ones that are unmistakably your own…

For a writer,

It is the most constant

and compelling challenge.

Getting beyond the conditioning

to the core—

and discovering the voice

that is uniquely yours—

is a lifelong journey.

What the great writers eventually discover

is that the secret comes

only to those who listen.

This has been a year

of clearing the way,

diving deep, with courage,

dissolving and re-membering.

You step forth now

in the space between

“no longer and not yet”

perhaps less sure

but certainly more open.

Engage the Earth’s wisdom.

Allow its energy to lead you

into the stillness

that precedes thought,

movement,

speech—

and in that place,

free from ingrained attitudes, emotions, and habits,

let the words come

as they will.

And they will.

 

Upon reflection, I would take three key phrases from my birthday poem that helped define 2018.

  1. Clearing the way: I have changed my schedule so I can clear the way for my vision.  I have cleared the mental thoughts and stories that are holding me back from this vision.
  2. The “space between no longer and not yet”: this has been a constant theme in my classes this year as I have fought with and finally accepted that I did not know the next steps in my life—and I had to be ok with that.  For a Type-A controlling personality like me, acknowledging that a shift is taking place and not knowing what that means and where it will lead is pretty damn scary.
  3. Stillness: “sit with the question and the answer will come” is an approach I strongly believe in.  This year, my soul was restless and I was often uncomfortable in my own skin; I was doing a poor job of honoring the space between no longer and not yet.  After returning from a recent trip to Sayulita, I feel as if my heart found the stillness and understood the necessary steps and action needed to get there.  Hello 2019!

 

So I ask you: What are your three power words or phrases for 2018?  What did you learn that you would like to take into 2019?  What past conditioning is holding you back from your vision?   Has your vision for your life changed?  What action plan will you create?

-Ella

 

Comments
  • Lynn Becker January 5, 2019

    As a writer, I find this poem particularly meaningful and thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing it.

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