Stacked In Balance

The image above is from a beach on Whidbey Island. From my recent trip, two weeks ago. It is looking north and west into the Puget Sound near Bush Point. One of the things I love to do on such a beach is stack stones and shells. Simple moments of balance and spaciousness. Impermanence given temporary form.

Words of balance and spaciousness often come to me. One time said a particular way. Another time changed by the tide and reconfigured with difference yet repeating theme. I love the feeling of simple words to dwell in, and to connect a wee bit of continued life and of continued intention.

This morning, these simple words stacked for me. A mix of what I sometimes share to guide others, and what I inevitably return to in myself, to also guide.

For inspiration.

Just be. 
Dwell in self.
Inhabit self.
Breathe fully in
and and fully out.

What if
there were
and to prove.

Big Courage For Small Steps — Creating Connection in Groups

I am in several conversations these days about purpose and meaning. With teams that I’m working with. With colleagues old and new. With family. With participants in the programs I get to be a part of offering.

It’s not new to be in these conversations. However, it is renewing.

One of those conversations is about what it takes to bring circle — deliberate process for turning to one another rather that away — in hierarchical circumstances where the pattern of circle is foreign or even disparaged.

It occurs to me that these conversations require rather immense courage to invoke seemingly small things. It takes courage to interrupt a pattern with the suggestion akin to, “…perhaps there are other ways that we could share our learning together here that brings more wisdom and clarity…” It takes courage to name form that contributes to a relational path — “…let’s begin with a check-in that invites a bit of presence; let’s close with a check-out that invokes a bit of witness…” Courage for seemingly small things that in the bigger story are about growing a culture of connection.

In these conversations, I enjoy them most when they are oriented to learning. Learning practice. Learning orientations. Learning granular steps that have impact. Learning refreshed pictures of the broader view.

It is learning, and sharing, and integrating — with kindness, with consciousness, and with flow — that have a way of restoring lot of purpose and meaning in groups.

A David Whyte Poem

I meandered and wondered on the weekend. Into old friendships and old companionships. Into food and scotch, and night-time dreams shared over coffee. Into an island that has meant so much to me over the last 25 years.

I love so many of David Whyte’s poems, who resides on Whidbey. So today, I pull one of his forward that honors that quiet of listening and encountering that he writes of and that so many of us wish for.


It Happens To Those Who Live Alone
David Whyte

It happens to those
who live alone
that they feel sure
of visitors
when no one else
is there,

until the one day
and one particular
working in the
quiet garden,

when they realize
at once,
that all along
they have been
an invitation
to everything
and every kind of trouble

and that life
happens by
to those who

like the bees
the tall mallow
on their legs of gold,
or the wasps
going from door to door
in the tall forest
of the daisies.

I have my freedom
nothing really happened

and nobody came
to see me.
Only the slow
growing of the garden
in the summer heat

and the silence of that
unborn life
making itself
known at my desk,

my hands
dark with the
crumbling soil
as I write
and watch

the first lines
of a new poem,
like flowers
of scarlet fire,
coming to fullness
in a new light.

Low Tide Walk

I’ve just enjoyed the weekend on Whidbey Island, celebrating life with a few friends. Walks in forest and along beaches. Foods that were yummy, salty, sweet, and sometimes all at the same time. Stories of times recalled and of current adventures . Music that settled and soared the spirit. I’m grateful to Charles and Sarah in particular.

A highlight today to cap such weekend Whidbey time was a walk with my friend Sarah (who’s 80th birthday was a big part of the weekend) along this low tide beach this morning. Seeing things most often covered by water. Telling stories, also sometimes covered by water. Lifting imagination together, and joy, in a 6:30 start to the day.

I’m grateful for many solo walks, needed. I’m also grateful for friends, to join and be joined by, at low tide.