The secret of living well...
This month my newsletter is devoted to being a song of praise for two interconnected blessings: the joy of crafting questions, and the treasure of exceptional people with whom to live into the answering of them.
The famous quote from German poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s letter to a young poet has for a very long time been both a mantra and balm for me, especially in liminal times:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything.”
Sometimes in life we either choose or are obliged by life’s unforeseen turns of events to let go.
Some of us are more agile in our response, whilst I imagine that there are others, like myself, who will hang in there for dear life, until compelled to cross over from the comfort zone of the known into that no-man’s land territory that exists between the familiar and the as-yet unfurled future.
Finding myself, in the last year, dwelling in the marginal outlying in-between terrain that appears to have its own timing, and does not submit itself to my impatience, I have been held steady by friends and colleagues who have offered their heart-full ears to my grappling with questions the answers to which have not been given, but which have been meaningful companions to contend with.
How can I grant myself permission to feel pleasure when people I love are suffering?
What would enable me to be here, now and let go of worrying about what’s next?
If there is nowhere to get to, why does my mind spend so much time in the future?
What would let me feel comfortable with blank spaces?
If I were to be more generous towards myself, what would I give myself more of?
How can I stay close and true to my heart whilst it breaks?
What am I being shown?
How can I befriend the unknown?
When I don’t want to understand your lived experience, what am I assuming that stops me from being able to listen?
How can I make peace with the paradox of feeling separate inside the truth of connection?
I am deeply grateful to all the people who come to learn about and become accredited in the Thinking Environment with me for the courageous inquiry they undertake and for the generous field of learning to listen that we cultivate together.
I am buoyed by my thinking partners who not only lend me their ears, but who witness with open hearts and impeccable, loving, gentle encouragement as I learn to be patient with all that is unsolved in my heart.
If you knew that you could pursue unanswerable questions with courage and fortitude and grace, what questions would you allow yourself to love and live into?