Poetry & Encounter
A cadence of experience, a rhythm of expression formed by graceful attentiveness.
At first, my thinking faltered and paused at great length as I tried to mentally grasp the true meaning of everything belongs. To say that everything belongs is not to say that “everything” is okay. That is clearly not a truth. Evil is still a contradiction to good, and hate is still a contradiction to love; and true contradictions are part of reality just as paradoxes−two seemingly opposing sides of one truth−are part of reality.
Many years ago, while still in the corporate world, I sat down to compose, for the first time, a life mission statement. While there is more to it than this, the short version is, To Love, Serve, and Understand. It is not to understand first. There is for me an order and a rhythm.
Stephen Covey wrote about seeking first to understand before being understood. I agree, and for me this occurs in love. But when I move understand to the first note, by a controlling need, I break the rhythm, and understanding is no longer an outcome of my intent. I will no longer be drawn toward my purpose, and as such I become distracted from the beautiful movement of expectation to graceful anticipation.
My inherent need to understand is not in itself bad, for it is a gift. When this need gets in the way it is because I allow the gift to be misplaced in the rhythm, thus converting it from gift to a want of control. Attaching mind and/or heart to any false expectation begins to distort the possibilities available within a present, graceful attentiveness. False expectations give way to unnecessary judgment and assessment that distracts attention away from our steps.
It has taken me quite a long time to open my thinking and understand the damage dualistic thinking can inflict, and it’s been a journey to reduce the times I think and act from such a divisive way of seeing anything. To acknowledge and accept the totality of experience, including one’s own shadow, and to learn to hold it all without the need to judge, is to know the spirit of everything belongs. Everything belongs on your path, in the context where learning and experience combine to make us better at our art.
Remaining in the flow connected by your own rhythm is how you sustain the influence of your impact. Your impact is the story of your reach into the world, your art.
I have written about Priya before. She is a person who is energized by external focus, drawn to do then be in the action, validated by her results-oriented intent. As is so easy to do, she gets locked into the mode of a key strength, like getting things done, overusing the strength and therefore opening herself up to the lie of limitation that opposes the strength.
She was capitulating to the lie when she stated that she was not creative. In listening to such, she could not see the art given her, deep within, since the beginning. So from what I know of her Trueness, and hearing the truth in her words, I assembled definitions for her.
Priya’s creativity, in her own words: “I’m looking for people who are thinking about the strategy of it, creating collaboration, and then executing.”
Priya’s art is opening the path to Fullness (from her voice of Integrity) – slowing down, looking at the colors on the palette available in the moment, then influencing others to both see and paint with what they have, while also creating the confidence to go after what is yet needed to complete the picture.
Spoken or unspoken, you’ve been given a voice, with its own unique expression. This voice calls you out and pulls you forward as you walk your path. Your voice is rhythmically freed in the mission you’ve been given for both personal purpose and impact in this world.
A danger found within the lie of expectation is when we create the need to know the full course of the path. The danger is real and present in the knowing. As David Whyte puts it, if you see such a path laid out clearly before you, it’s probably someone else’s. We deform true experience along the way by judging, assessing, separating, or trying to control anything (or anyone). All are dualistic distractions created by expectation.
You may have heard it said, when the student is ready the teacher will appear. But as the ready student, how often is the teacher appearing from within? More often than we realize, the teacher we need resides within and is one in the same as our true, creative, artistic self.
Encouraged first from inside or first from outside, in the balance of both we have courage to walk into the beauty of everything−all that is reality. To continue a steady walk takes internal focus and external validation, not one or the other, but both. Those energized first by internal focus are driven to be and then do what is good and right and aligned, or validated, by their desire. Those energized first by external focus are drawn to do then be in the action in a way that is good and right and aligned, or validated, by their intent.
We know by experience the power of our own Trueness, and we know through experience the Trueness of another; but only as we know both, present since the beginning.
The View from Here
It is what it is,
a reality, that can only be
And in the forgiving
one is delivered,
into one’s own walk.
A desire inherent, deep within,
seeded with purpose
in the ground of Trueness,
must be encouraged
toward its intention, steadily.
And in the steadiness
internally and externally,
one can hold, together
what is good, what is right,
and release voice
into the experience
Now, one knows
Now, one sees
And at the pinnacle
of what is,