The threshold of 2017
I’m writing to you from a space of not really knowing what to write. The last few weeks have been a jumble of joy, laughter, fun, anticipation, fear, doubt and worry. In other words, it’s been real life over here. And now we’re at the start of a new year, at the threshold of something altogether unknown and again I find myself tossed between excitement and fear.
The Irish poet John O’Donohue speaks of thresholds in this way,
“If you go back to the etymology of the word “threshold”, it comes from “threshing”, to separate the grain from the husk. So the threshold, in a way, is a place where you move into more critical and challenging and worthy fullness.”
For the last few months I’ve been feeling anxious. Anxious on a micro level about the baby, our changing family configuration and what this massive transition will mean for my work as a teacher, writer and coach. I’ve also been anxious on a macro level about our country, Syria, Russia and what this all means for our collective future.
And though it’s imperative to acknowledge our anxiety and offer it love and understanding, I’d inadvertently let this worry cloud my deeper intentions and resolve.
O’Donohue’s definition of threshold, this “challenging and worthy fullness”, speaks to the heart of what I want to live into for 2017.
I want to be engaged and spurred on by what inspires, challenges and frightens me rather than hiding out in the covert ways that I do. I want to be present and awake for the reality that currently is and for the one I’m courageously crafting.
2016 brought events that many of us never thought were possible. Yet here we are, at the threshold, at a Great Turning as Joanna Macy calls it, and I find myself naming what I must separate out to live into this challenging and worthy fullness.
May I separate out hate from my heart, resistance from my awareness and fear from my big dreams. May I separate out criticism from my creativity, skepticism from my hope, and lethargy from my purpose.
May I separate out judgment from my compassion, guilt from my kindness and doubt from my innate wisdom.
And may this threshing leave me clear, clean and ready to inhabit the love, commitment, strength and resolve that this worthy fullness requires.
Now I ask you dearest, while standing together on this mighty threshold of 2017, what do you want to separate out to live into your most challenging and worthy fullness?
What must be threshed to clear the way for a present and connected 2017?
And know that when the road to our most challenging and worthy fullness gets hard, I’m right there with you on the same path.
All my love,
P.S. Here’s a poem of John O’Donohue’s that feels particularly pertinent and look upon the coming year and all that we want to stand for, love and create.