I have noticed that we have two distinct things happening virtually across the board with folks involved in personal growth.
Why is it that people are getting deeper, and more real, yet getting poorer, or not becoming more successful? Why is that? That doesn’t make sense on some level. But when we look historically, it does, on another level.
If you think of the experience of being in a retreat is like being in the hot tub. Here you are hanging out, and you get out of the hot tub and it’s cold and you can’t find your towel. And at that moment the hot tub was like this memory of an experience that was really important while you were in the hot tub. And now that you can’t find your towel, the only thing that matters is finding your towel. It’s like these two separate worlds. That they’re both separate, is, I think, an unfortunate misunderstanding.
If we in fact come from a different place in making money, in running our business, in showing up for our work, in all the things we do that allow us to create the house with all the furniture, and all the things we do that allow us to have that moment with somebody, that if we’re coming from a different place contextually in order to get all that stuff around so that we can have that moment, we’re making a distinction that may actually not be there. I think that has profound consequences on our lives.
By fully being myself, being unapologetically real in the world, stepping into it, being willing to put myself on the line and take risks just like I do in intimacy with my partner and with my friends, when I’m being that fully with my whole being, that context is the same context that sits in that chair and looks at you in the eye. Those two things coming together is a self-referential loop that just opens and opens and opens. But very few of us actually have that experience.
And I want us all to have that experience. I want that experience to be people that are kicking ass, doing what they want to do. I want us to support you in being yourself all the way down.
One thing that draws people to Circling is that when they’re there everything is on the line for them. When people are getting circled, they are fully risking themselves. Everything is on the line for them in such a concentrated way that it allows the deepest, most real aspects of what it is to be a human being to come out and to blossom.
In one of my favorite poems, Rilke says it’s really great that we survived our childhood, and it’s really great that we got to this point. But then he says, “It’s only in the great and fully granted achievement that we realize the wonder. And to be swept along is not enough.”
He says, “Take your practice powers, and carry them over the chasm between two contradictions. Because the God wants to know himself through you.”
In essence, what he’s saying, to me, is that the wonder only becomes the wonder-ful when we can take that depth and blossom it into reality. And something that we can see and point to, and something we can actually look at it, and when we look at it, it may be a thing, but when we look at it, it becomes a living activity that I can feel, because it’s a symbol of a blossom of the fruit of a deeply rooted tree that I am. And we can do that anywhere with anything. Because ultimately, who is that up to?
Rilke challenges you. He says, you can be swept along, and that’s cool, but it’s only in the great and granted achievement that we real-ize the wonder. And to me, you are all the wonder. And I want you all to be wonder-full.
“As once the winged energy of delight
carried you over childhood’s dark abysses,
now beyond your own life build the great
arch of unimagined bridges.
Wonders happen if we can succeed
in passing through the harshest danger;
but only in a bright and purely granted
achievement can we realize the wonder.
To work with Things in the indescribable
relationship is not too hard for us;
the pattern grows more intricate and subtle,
and being swept along is not enough.
Take your practiced powers and stretch them out
until they span the chasm between two
contradictions…For the god
wants to know himself in you.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke