For those of you familiar with the Christian Bible,
Matthew, in Chapter 17, describes what it was like
for the disciples to watch Jesus have a discussion with Moses and Elijah.
Yesterday for couple of hours I was in a deep discussion with Oriah Mountain Dreamer,
instead of the Canadian she is. Okay, so I confess to having a good imagination.
Are you old enough to remember reading Oriah’s book when it first came out? My conversation focused on the poem that became the centerpiece for the book. She wrote it late one night after coming home from a disappointing party experiencing unmet needs for connection, intimacy, and authenticity. Sound familiar?
As we seek what we most want our lives to be, do, and have; connection, intimacy, and authenticity are likely big-ticket items for us too. So here is our dialogue; Oriah speaking as one who facilitates empowerment of women, and me thinking like a Life Coach, building a long-term relationship assisting you build every area of the life you want. Oriah and I share a deep want to get to know you, and an even deeper desire for you to get to know you.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer: It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
Bob: What you do for a living, and what you ache for as part of your daily vocation matter a lot. Do you have permission to dream of meeting your heart’s longing for a way to express your passion?
Oriah: It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
Bob: How old are you? How old you feel? What’s it like being the age you are? Is it okay loving being alive so much that showing it may look foolish to those ruled by safety; even the socialized you?
Oriah: It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
Bob: How do you feel about the art and science of astrology, and would to like an introduction to Dr. Manya Arond-Thomas? Have you experienced the full banquet of life’s contrast? What sorrows, betrayals, and other pain have you courageously let go? What pain do you carry? How comfortable are you sitting with that pain or with mine?
Oriah: I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
Bob: Is it easier being seen when suffering or celebrating? Do you have permission to dance with wildness, letting ecstasy fill you? How intense is the battle between you who would dance and explore, and you who lives by caution, should’s, and have to’s?
Oriah: It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another being true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
Bob: How aware are you of being a powerful storyteller? How do you define “being true to yourself?” What experiences do you carry of breaking promises because you came to know better what fit for you? What experiences do you carry of attacking another who broke promises because they no longer fit him or her? What value do you place on being trustworthy?
Oriah: I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.
Bob: What does it take to remove the filters of judgment and labeling to see what’s actually before you? Remember the feeling of deep connection. Where is it in your body? What’s it like?
Oriah: I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
Bob: When you get a result that you don’t want, are you curious; curious even about the shame or failure that engulfs you, if it does? How skilled are you in saying, “Next?” Are you really willing for life to “bring it on”?
Oriah: It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
Bob: How much do you love living in the spaces of your home? What level of skill have you learned in managing your financial resources? How likely are you to let how you feel in the moment define if you’ll keep your commitments? What feelings arise when you think about being a parent?
Oriah: It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
Bob: Who are those with whom you celebrate or grieve? Who looks to you for that connection and support? What’s it been like to deal with conflict with parents, bosses, and others to whom you give authority?
Oriah: It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
Bob: What subjects and teachers most connect with the values you hold? To whom or to where do you go to hear again the song of your heart when you forget how it sounds? What charges your batteries; what restores your soul?
Oriah: I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Bob: How comfortable are you with silence? How accurate would it be to say, “I deeply and completely accept myself”?
As traveling companions on this journey, I hope we will get to know one another well. Please share your responses with me.
See you Monday.