One of the ways I’m stretching myself these days is to get back into prime running condition. My goal is to once again be able to run a 5 minute-mile. Something I haven’t been able to get to since having children and then recovering after an ACL-tear. So, as I work towards this, I’ve been running a lot of circles around the lakes on the Notre Dame campus – and the beauty of the fall makes the runs so much sweeter.
What I’m letting myself love -and own, totally unapologetically- this Friday are the following lines from Rilke AND….(something else you’ll have to keep reading to see!):
Take your well-disciplined strengths
and stretch them between two
opposing poles. Because inside human beings
is where God learns.
(from “Just as the Winged Energy of Delight,” by Ranier Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly)
WHOA. Wait a minute – what?!?! How could I have lived my whole life without hearing this line before: “Because inside human beings/is where God learns.”?!
That should be taught to children as soon as they can talk! (Working on it with my boys now!)
I first read this poem sitting on an airplane in Chicago’s O’Hare, waiting to take-off for Paris on September 27, 2014. I will never forget that moment. I think Emily Dickinson said something like “reading really good poetry can make it feel like the top of your head is going to come off.”
YES. That’s EXACTLY what it feels like.
And that’s exactly what reading this poem feels like to me.
Nowadays we are little more crude and just toss around the word “mind-blowing” without really thinking about it, but this is definitely a mind-blowing poem, in all the most amazing, miraculous ways. Read properly, this poem is a spiritual experience…every single time. So many of Rilke’s shorter poems are like this.
There are these beautiful words, energy, imagery and yet I also feel like someone just pulverized me, gutted me, cleaned me out- in a very good way :). These poems feel earth-shattering- again in a very good way. Afterwards it’s like the scales have dropped from my eyes, mind, heart and I just want to sit for awhile in my stunned silence and new found cleaned-outedness (yep) and let the truth ring through, settle in, take hold, and begin to change me, again, from the inside-out.
“Just as the Winged Energy of Delight” is one I’m learning by heart – not memorizing, mind you – but learning BY HEART. I try to take the poem in, digest it, let it become part of me, so that it can grow up through me, so that I can feel it from the inside-out every time I need it.
I cannot tell you how often I’ve referred to these lines in just the past few weeks since learning them to help me gain a better orientation to all the ways in which I’m trying to learn, grow, and be who I am meant to be…. “Because inside human beings/is where God learns.”
This brings me to the second thing I’m letting myself love these days – and that is my next coaching program – EPIC!
These lines from Rilke are very relevant to EPIC. I will be very honest with you and admit that I had some hesitation about naming it EPIC, even though it felt like an intuitive decision and my gut and my heart were definitely all-in.
I was concerned that EPIC sounded too cool and flashy, too coachy, too much like all the flamboyant jargon/marketing noise that is crowding the interwebs. I was concerned that it would evoke manic, desperate goal-chasing, feelings of “not-enoughness” and FOMO, and attract people who are not really aligned with their deepest truths and who have no interest in becoming aligned, but who are just chasing the next biggest thing as a way of shoring up insecurities and “getting ahead.”
These were the concerns, I should say, of the nay-saying voices in my head.
Then I went back to the deep, quiet, calm voice that gave me the idea in the first place. It told me that EPIC will be defined by the grounded yet powerful intention that I give it.
What is that intention?
Before I tell you that, consider first an earlier stanza of “Just as the Winged Energy of Delight”…
Miracle doesn’t lie only in the amazing
living through and defeat of danger;
miracles become miracles in the clear
achievement that is earned.
My intention is that the experience of my EPIC coaching program will create for my clients the miracle of becoming their true selves. Of NO LONGER WAITING to be who they already are and thus no longer waiting to live the lives they are meant to live.
I am absolutely convinced that the people we dream of becoming and the lives we dream of living, are so, so, SO much closer than we lead ourselves to believe. I’ve proven this to be true for myself – several dreams that I thought were years and years out, I actually achieved and experienced this year – from painting to travel to family-life to business and physical health – and so many things in between. To do this, you have to get a stronger and stronger sense of who you really are – and then you begin to really, truly “get” that you are not your limitations.
To have had this be the case definitely felt miraculous, but not in some fairy godmother waving her magic wand and hocus-pocus, presto-chango, POOF! suddenly life is all rainbows and unicorns (though I do love those things) – kind-of-way.
But miracles in the way Rilke describes- miracles that become miracles in the clear/achievement that is earned.
I definitely did not do these things on my own: I joined a high-level mastermind, I worked with the best coaches out there, my husband and family were incredibly supportive, and all the time I was working my behind off, I was also constantly deepening my invitation to the Divine. I was constantly reminding myself to surrender my small self, align with my sacred call, and allow What Wants to Happen.
This is the kind of coaching work I am going to be doing with clients this next year. I made the decision to tighten up my roster, am taking fewer clients at a time, and I’m requiring a greater commitment of time (a minimum of 6 months) and a greater financial investment. I made these decisions after it became clear to me over the last several months that I want to focus my coaching work with individuals who are dedicated to doing the great work of their lives and who are ready to not only dream, but to dare, and to follow through…and who are also wanting to have the time of their lives! This is deep, intense work and, frankly, I don’t think you can get through it if you aren’t someone whose willing to have a lot of fun and find the beauty and joy in things along the way!
So, whether your dream is to write your book, quit your day job to stay home with your kids or start your company, move across the country, fall in love, get in the best shape of your life, complete a Ironman, win an Ironman, make (a lot) more money, travel the world, learn to love being in your own head, no matter where you are and no matter what you’re doing…and learn to be a better human being along the way…let this be your year.
Decide what would be epic for you and dare for this next year to be that epic year, commit to it being the time of your life.
Whether or not you are interested in having the best support imaginable (that’d be me;) along your epic journey, I would love to hear in the comments below or on my Facebook page what an EPIC year would look like for you! Don’t hold back – there is nothing too big, nothing too small; nothing too outrageous, nothing too “ordinary.” I can’t wait to hear what epic means to you!
Thank YOU for being here and for reading – I’m so glad you’re here!
Here’s to all of us on our epic journeys – and the good company we keep along the way!
P.S. If you are interested in being one of my EPIC coaching clients, I have 3 spots available for coaching beginning at the end of October. I’ll have 3 more spots opening up January 1, though my rates will be increasing at that time. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and I will send you the info sheet with details, including investment, benefits, and more. Thank you!