Monday, August 13, 2007

Once the Soul Awakens

Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loathe to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment. When this spiritual path opens, you can bring an incredible generosity to the world and to the lives of others. Sometimes, it is easy to be generous outward, to give and give and yet remain ungenerous to yourself. You lose the balance of your soul if you do not learn to take care of yourself. You need to be generous to yourself in order to receive the love that surrounds you. You can suffer from a desperate hunger to be loved. You can search for long years in lonely places, far outside yourself. Yet, the whole time, this love is but a few inches away from you. It is at the edge of your soul, but you have been blind to its presence. Through some hurt, a door has slammed shut within the heart, and you are powerless to unlock it and receive the love. We must remain attentive in order to be able to receive. Boris Pasternak said, "When a great moment knocks on the door of your life, it is often no louder than the beating of your heart, and it is very easy to miss it."

~ John O'Donohue, from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What is Your Truth?

What is your truth? Ask your heart, your back, your bones, and your dreams. Listen to that truth with your whole body. Understand that this truth will destroy no one and that you're too old to be sent to your room.

Move into your truth as though it were an old house. Walk through each room. See, hear, and feel what it is to live there. Try to love what you find, and remember the words that come to you as you explore.

If you embrace it, if you are faithful to it, your truth will reward you with unimaginable freedom and intimacy with yourself and others. You won't land in a world made to order; some people in your life may not like what you write. But those who remain will be allies, people who breathe deeply and listen. It will feel good to be seen completely and loved as you are. As Natalie Goldberg said after her friend found and read a piece of work-in-progress that she had left out from the day's writing, "I feel good because I don't care that she sees how I really am. I'm glad. I want someone to know me."

~ John Lee, from Writing from the Body, excerpted from Art as a Way of Life.