As I stood before a room full of beautiful, apprehensive women, I had a moment of doubt as to my presence here. What can I conceivably share that will guide them in this journey of discovery? What was it so many years ago that prompted me to jump head first into the deep end of the pool -though I could not swim- to retrieve the “brass ring”? Or be willing to walk barefoot over a bed of scorching, red hot coals? Or spend all night alone in the desert fasting and sweating? Or upon reading a simple book, be reduced to sobbing, shaking and screaming about who god really is? Why would anyone do seemingly bizarre, possibly dangerous things? What made me do it?
Even now, I cannot answer coherently, or unscramble what drove me. I can only say that an inner knowing hungered within, urging me, no compelling me to hunt……seeking what! Answers, solutions, questions, or something even more elusive….the meaning and purpose of life? What can be more inherent than that?
I believe I can respond to that. What is of the utmost importance after years of study, searching, questioning, grieving, surrendering, posturing, and ego dancing? It is that the wisdom I seek is within me, and within me is all I need to know. When I feel who truly lives inside of me only then can I serve as guide, mentor, or wise counselor.
These days, I am blessed with a loving, nurturing inner guidance system. Fine tuned over the years through listening, listening, listening. Then sifting, sharing and savoring. It began slowly, the feeling of knowingness. Moving from busyness and talking to silence and stillness. More quiet, contemplation in my yard-garden and woods. Recognizing the importance of serenity, calm and aloneness. Choosing whom to spend time with, and where my energy goes. Focusing on physical health and nutrition, and turning inward more often than not.
One of the integral pieces of the puzzle, for me, is that in every moment, I am wholly existent. Conscious of the breath of me, the heart beat of me, the thoughts of me–the touch of my words; enabling consciousness to be my guiding light. I think khalil gibran speaks eloquently to this: “The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” And in that is true wisdom!
Lolly O’Dea Polvinale is a writer/editor, and a massage therapist; both for over 20 years. She has spent the last number of years creating and presenting seminars and “playshops” for Stress Management, Energetic Body Healing, Breathwork, Spirit and Creativity, Croning, StoryTelling and Labyrinth Design and Building.