Greetings! I know I’ve been on a sabbatical for a few weeks, and its time to get back in the saddle. There have been such huge changes taking place in our family these last few weeks that it’s been hard to keep up with it all. A brief summary:
-After 6 years of homeschooling in our home, both Johnny and Christian have moved in some new directions. Johnny has chosen into an advanced academic program at Newbury Park High School. He’s in honors-level classes, is quite a dedicated scholar, and is just thriving. Christian, with his passionate love for acting and all things Shakespeare, has joined a full-time homeschooling co-op in Malibu that is tutored by a master acting teacher — a perfect fit — and he is thrilled.
-As you can imagine, this is a powerful sea change for the boys and our family. Susan and I not only have a lot more time and space for ourselves and our respective new creative projects, but also a chance to renew our courtship — as we’ve been primarily centered on parenting and homeschooling for many, many years. Rich, new territory……
-I’ve been immersed in studying with an additional spiritual teacher, an Indian mystic and compassionate guide, Sadhguru. Extraordinary new growth and learning for me, inwardly and outwardly. I’ve recently been asked to design and facilitate a leadership training in Bali, and will also be launching a newly designed year-long Sacred Passages workshop series starting in January here in Southern California. More details to come……
What do all of our family’s recent changes have in common? To me, they’re all examples of following love’s lead. Our intention all along in homeschooling the boys was to optimally support them in keeping alive their love for learning as they naturally discovered their heart’s gifts and authentic expression in life. Johnny and Christian are certainly on their way, which is a joy to witness.
As the above photograph of the boat and rower symbolizes, we each have our own unique way of listening to and following our heart’s call in this life. It’s quite an awesome responsibility, an on-going process of discovery that takes place each day we’re alive, and there are certainly no easy recipes for how to do it. Reflecting upon the metaphor of rowing a boat in the water, I just received this prose poem that speaks to the importance of listening carefully to what we follow with our life choices:
WEST WIND #2
by Mary Oliver
You are young. So you know everything. You leap into the boat and begin rowing. But listen to me. Without fanfare, without embarrassment, without any doubt, I talk directly to your soul. Listen to me. Lift the oars from the water, let your arms rest, and your heart, and heart’s little intelligence, and listen to me:
There is life without love. It is not worth a bent penny, or a scuffed shoe. It is not worth the body of a dead dog nine days unburied. When you hear, a mile away and still out of sight, the churn of the water as it begins to swirl and roil, fretting around the sharp rocks — when you hear that unmistakable pounding — when you feel the mist on your mouth and sense ahead the embattlement, the long falls plunging and steaming — then row, row for your life toward it.
Water has always been one of my most powerful teachers, and one reason for this is that water knows how to surrender. That’s its nature. Flowing water knows how to discover the river, without conditions, moment-to-moment as it flows itself to the sea.
This theme of living life being awake, of choosing into love, and being courageously open to the new reminds me of a poem written by a young Russian poet when he was only 17 years old:
Today, as many times before,
the sun has lit a streak of fire in the sky.
But in the morning of the new day,
I am pushed from the hastening trolley bus
like a cork from a bottle.
Men and women love the dawn for its freshness,
for its promise of new beginnings.
In the morning, therefore,
I am not frightened
that I have chosen to live a life unlike that of
other young men.
It’s nice to be back in the flow of sharing and passing along these poems, reflections and gorgeous nature photographs your way.
With much Love & Peace, Gavin