01 Apr April: Phenomenal You
God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me.
Flare up like a flame and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
From Rilke’s Book of Hours
The weather has shifted and the trees are blooming. People are outside wearing shorts like it’s June rather than the end of March. It’s dizzying how quickly we’ve transitioned from the snowy cold of winter to the blazing bright and blooming spring. It speaks to me of a deeper urgency in the world today, a quickening of the collective pulse. How many of us are unsettled and unsure of what happens next? How difficult is it to stay present in intensity when intensity seems to be the name of the game?
The logical side of us likes steadiness and predictability, it has a plan to follow, and and agenda full of things to keep us ticking along. Without some predictability, life would be incredibly challenging, even traumatizing. But too much and we begin to lose sight of our pulse, the pulse that reminds us that we are alive; the great source that moves us in great swells of emotion.
This untameable force doesn’t care about your well made plans and schedule, but will grab you and shake you more deeply into the vividness of your experience. We can’t control when or if we fall in love or when someone beloved passes away. We can’t plan getting fired or winning the lottery. All of the big happenings of our life are likely a surprise or shock, something we could not predict.
We cant choose the moments that take our breath away, otherwise awe wouldn’t exist.
April has a bit of this intensity to it and is also asking us to slow down and pay attention. The word that came up for this month is Phenomenal. A biggie, I know. It’s expansive and over the top, it exceptional and excellent.
Rather than getting concerned about a month long firework, (or super excited about it!) we are guided to slow down and savour this time as if eating the most incredible meal. If you are in sorrow, be in sorrow. If you are in joy, be in joy.
Taste all the ways your humanity is rising to the surface, breathe like you’ve been underwater for too long and are coming up for air. Let your eyes see the vivid colours around you and try not to look away, even if it’s painful.
“ To feel without getting out of the way of the feeling, no matter how joyful or painful, is to be in touch with the pulse of life. Even a broken heart is an open heart.”
If you are afraid to slow down and smell the proverbial flowers, ask yourself why.
What are you afraid of? What are you risking when you stop and give the world your attention? What must you accept about yourself?
We know we can be strongly affected and altered through pain, but we can also have our hearts broken open through beauty, through awe and the transformational fire of love.
Spring is shaking us awake out of our winter sleep, and as it does the old will continue to fall away. Life is happing right in front of our eyes, it’s not asking us to be ready, it’s asking for our attention.
We can step more fully into our phenomenal experience by softening more, by stepping gently upon the earth, by quieting our minds enough to hear whats inviting us deeper in.
As I write these last words the sun is setting behind me, the cherry blossoms are bathing in orange light, and the chickadees are singing their closing song, the one that reminds you the day is almost spent. To know something is to love it, and to love is a phenomenal thing indeed.
Jenn KoshPosted at 07:54h, 02 April
What I’d like to do is take the many lines you’ve blessed us with and write about how much I loved each one for its richness in imagery, inquiry and truth. I feel as if the great poets channelled through you–poetry flows in these words. Intensity–these times do feel intense. At least that’s the story I’ve been telling. I’ve been working with what stops me from moving forward completely surrendered to love–resistance to that love has been the answer I continue to hear and heal. The parts that think it might be too painful to let love heal it all. Love you, Jacqui Willcocks for many reasons–one is the space of watery love you create for us whether it’s in your yoga class, your retreats or your writing.
Jen S.Posted at 08:22h, 02 April
Thank you Jacqui for being your phenomenal self and guiding us all along that path. My heart grew 10x bigger as I read this, it left me feeling bright like the sun. So very grateful for you!
jacqui willcocksPosted at 14:28h, 03 June
I can imagine you shining! Thank you Jen x
Shelley E R PelechPosted at 23:42h, 13 April
“Phenomenal” is an accurate adjective for these first weeks after the Spring Equinox. I caught myself being surprised again by how surprising this time of rising life is. The grass seems to grow an inch a day. Trees are slow, soft explosions of white, pink and yellow.. All is tender innocence, which somehow lets us see terrifying black holes, fearlessly. Phenomena are ours for the exploration, in this time of guaranteed light.
jacqui willcocksPosted at 14:28h, 03 June
“All is tender innocence…” Beautifully expressed!