Yesterday a colleague and I were in conversation about a workshop series we are offering. We revisited a question that we first started with months ago. “What do you want people to get out of this? What do you hope they leave with?” One of our responses was that they, and all of us, would feel awakened.

Awakening lies beneath specific skills. It’s not separate from, but often gives them wholly new context. Awakening is not the tasked recipe part that is often inherent in some good learning. Rather, it points to an ongoing imagination of possibility. Awakening is not the blindness to options that all of us are from time to time. It is instead, a reclaimed ability to refresh ourselves in seeing choices. The awakening is what creates partners and co-creators rather than dependents.

A friend recently shared this John O’Donohue poem with me, the Irish poet and priest, that further inspires awakening.

Once you start to awaken,
no one can ever claim you again for the old patterns.
Now you realise how precious your time here is.

You are no longer willing to squander your essence
on undertakings that do not nourish your true self;
your patience grows thin with tired talk and dead language.

You see through the rosters of expectation which promise you safety
and the confirmation of your outer identity.

Now you are impatient for growth,
willing to put yourself in the way of change.

You want your work to become an expression of your gift.
You want your relationship to voyage beyond the pallid frontiers
to where the danger of transformation dwells.

Getting even a grain or two of this awakening is massive. I hope that it is so, for all of us.


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