While concrete questions help us to feel in control and stable, they do not necessarily prepare us, except for in the most practical ways. They also tend to invite us to shrink and keep our heads down (perhaps in an effort to make us smaller in the face of a threat).
If you think of this in an embodied way, you can imagine contraction - shoulders hunched, chin to chest, our breath constricts and we can’t see much past our feet. This is not a stance that offers us power or gives us the opportunity to explore, seek or access the bigger picture.
David Whyte has a line in his poem Mameen,
“Remember the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons…”
Looking toward the horizon offers us a sense of spaciousness. It becomes easier to be with the complexity of the feelings; there is suddenly space for it all - for the loss and the appreciation, for the fearful, what if questions, for the gratitude for small moments.
What happens if you turn your head toward the horizon, aware that the path ahead is not clear? Perhaps you will begin to sense the threads of continuity, the presence of unfolding and the journey towards renewal.
How do I want to be shaped by this moment?
What expectations do I need to release?
What invitation is here for me?
Just in the asking, I feel myself putting down a weight I didn’t know I was carrying. My senses feel more alive, and I feel ready to soak up what is in front of me: sunshine on a small cherry tree, the voices of teenage girls on a sixteenth birthday, the play of light through a half-opened blind.
“And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke, in Letters to a Young Poet
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.