Posted on Saturday, August 21, 2010 in Leadership
Imagine you were born in a stream. Your stream is uniquely your own. No one else has been born who has the same gifts and talents as you. Your stream is a place where you’re authentic. You’re vibrant and alive when you’re in your stream and things flow for you in it.
Being in your stream is linked to finding meaning in life. The closer you are to your stream the more you’ll feel you’re living a meaningful life.
But now, as an adult, you have a sense that something has gone wrong in your life. There’s a quality of aliveness that’s missing. You feel lost.
And you look to things and other people to show you the way. Perhaps you seek a big thumb’s up sign from an authority figure.
At some point we need to choose to be adults. Others can support us, but we alone can claim our adult life by finding the way to our stream.
Poetry can lead you to your stream.
Although a single poem read at the right time can be an awakening, expecting a panacea is as unrealistic as expecting to win the lottery. Your wounds are part of you.
Reading poetry as a daily meditation can be alchemical and soften the scars. The transformative power of words comes from the slow medicine of poetry. Over time it works on you to accept yourself and hear what your soul is calling you to do.
Reading poetry can open space in a person for the inner voice to be heard. The nature of reading poetry is to slow one’s breathing and quiet the monkey brain that is constantly racing from one thought to another. In this calmer state, one can feel and hear what is quietly clamoring to be felt and heard. There may be a private conversation with the self waiting to be had.
And these big conversations about what matters to a person can often only be heard when one listens to the heart and senses the genius of intuition.
For there is more than the rational, efficient, and practical. Reading poetry takes you to the heart’s province. When you have hard times from depression, health, or family problems it can be the heart’s way of reminding you that maybe you are not in your stream.
A stream is yours. The water is not-perfect, maybe a bit chilly. It may not warm up for a long time, if ever. There is no good reason to wait for better conditions than these. When will you start swimming?
There is a stream you were born in.
You didn’t know you were in it. You sang,
rhymed wild sounds, drew pictures
of a grinning boy with flames shooting from his hair.
Then over the slow accumulation of days
people tugged at you, fished you out
into unfamiliar streams, their murky waters.
At first you fought. But their tackle
was too powerful, led to slow deadening.
You didn’t even know you were out, or when.
Still you survived. Got older. Matured.
Memory of your stream tugs at you, an adult.
Always there, a stream is yours.
Always buoyant, it will bear you up.
No one can dam it any more,
except you. Listen to its good voice
as it rushes over rocks.
— David Markwardt