[Even some] lovely people feel that their real identity is working on themselves, and some work on themselves with such harshness. Like a demented gardener who won’t let the soil settle for anything to grow, they keep raking, tearing away the nurturing clay from their own heart, then they’re surprised that they feel so empty and vacant. Self-compassion is paramount. When you are compassionate with yourself, you trust in your soul, which you let guide your life. Your soul knows the geography of your destiny better than you do.
John O’Donoghue, Anam Chara
For to know nothing is nothing,
not to want to know anything likewise,
but to be beyond knowing anything, to know you are beyond knowing anything,
that is when peace enters in.
Samuel Beckett, Molloy
The Celtic stories suggest that time as the rhythm of soul has an eternal dimension where everything is gathered and minded. Here nothing is lost. This is a great consolation. The Happenings in your life do not disappear. Nothing is ever lost or forgotten. Everything is stored within your soul in the temple of memory. Integration is a vital part of coming home to yourself. Camus said aptly that after one day in the world you could spend the rest of your life in solitary confinement and you would still have dimensions of that day’s experience left to decipher. Every human heart seeks meaning; for it is in meaning that our deepest shelter lies. Meaning is the sister of experience, and to discern the meaning of what has happened to you is one of the essential ways of finding your inner belonging and discovering the sheltering presence of your soul.
John O’Donohue, Anam Chara
Take your busy heart to the art museum and the
chamber of commerce
but take it also to the forest.
The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.
Mary Oliver, What Can I Say
The shape of each soul is different.
There is a secret destiny for each person.
We need to return to the solitude within, to find again the dream that lies at the hearth of the soul. We need to feel the dream with the wonder of a child approaching a threshold of discovery. The false burdens fall away. We come into rhythm with ourselves. If you live the life you love, you will receive shelter and blessings. The divine has such passionate creativity and instinct for the fully inhabited life. Our clay shape gradually learns to walk beautifully on this magnificent earth.
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara
It has been a very slow transition this year….
One of the beautiful transitions in nature is the transition from winter to springtime. An old Zen mystic said, when one flower blooms it is spring everywhere. When the first innocent, infant-like flower appears on the earth, one senses nature stirring beneath the frozen surface. There is a lovely phrase in Gaelic, ‘ag borradh’, meaning that there is a quivering life about to break forth. The wonderful colours and the new life the earth receives makes spring a time of great exuberance and hope. In a certain sense, spring is the youngest season. Winter is the oldest season. Winter was there form the very beginning. It reigned amidst the silence and bleakness of nature for hundreds of millions of years before vegetation. Spring is a youthful season; it comes forth in a rush of life and promise, hope and possibility. At the heart of the spring there is a great inner longing. It is the time when desire and memory stir towards each other. Consequently, springtime in your soul is a wonderful time to undertake some new adventure, some new project, or to make some important changes in your life. If you undertake this, when it is springtime in your soul, then the rhythm, the energy and the hidden light of your own clay works with you. You are in the flow of your own growth and potential. Springtime in the soul can be beautiful, hopeful and strenghtening. You can make difficult transitions very naturally in an unforced and spontaneous way.
John O’Donohue, Anam Cara