The only way through is through
Not around or over or so fast you can’t feel it
Portals might seem to be the most direct route
a short cut, perhaps, of sensation
They are thresholds, crossings, liminal space
where pure presence is required
Sometimes, they are vortices
all spinny and dark and confusing
where time no longer ticks predictably
Other times, the shot through is
clear and spacious
suffused with color and light
Always, the journey expands the traveller
beyond boundaries previously perceived
Leave your map and compass behind
Instead, feel with all your senses
where the next opening lies
Many things have happened since I posted about taking up a new practice.
One of them is that two friends and readers of Vital Signs reached out with the great idea that we form a small group to support our individual writing practices, which is one instigator behind the “Portals” poem above. We shaped the practice as we went along…but what has emerged is the agreement to upload a piece of writing into our shared folder every Monday, and add a note to the top requesting what kind of feedback (if any) we’d like. By mid-weekish, we’ve written comments to one another in separate copies, to preserve the author’s original thinking. It’s been lovely, supportive, connected and rich. It reminds me of the power of a collective.
Which brings me to an invitation.
The other practice I committed to was posting photos + haiku on Instagram (@onlytogrow) 3x/week - a practice I call Vital Haiku. I’ve met that goal, but had to narrow my intentions. Yes, I’m noticing the world around me, building my poetry muscle, and experimenting…. but the cold has kept me out of the She Shed, so the typewriter-oriented intentions had to go. Smithy and I are taking a hiatus.
It’s playful, and I invite you to join! All you have to do is pair a photo with a haiku and tag it #vitalhaiku. Together, we will create a collective feed!
My dear and talented husband Bruce Gueswel built the studio you see in the photo above. We call it Skyspace, a tribute to James Turrell’s Skyspaces. Though he originally built this space for his own sculpting work, he has invited me to use it for gatherings. His generous offer makes it possible for me to launch three offerings related to the Enneagram, some in person and some virtual.
Introduction to the Enneagram, with Panels for Types 5, 6, 7
Sunday, November 17, 1-3 pm • Skyspace in Loveland, CO • FREE
I’ll give an overview of what the Enneagram is and why it matters, focusing on the three centers of intelligence: head, heart, and body. Then, I’ll interview representatives of types 5, 6, and 7—the “Head” types, to hear directly from them about life from their perspective. If you live in the area and are interested, or if you know someone who is, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Virtual • Series of 4 Discussions • $125
Type groups are fascinating. You meet with 4-5 people who lead with the same type you do for 4 sessions over an 8-week period. Each meeting, there is a short bit of new learning, then a discussion about a different facet of life, such as:
Where your focus of attention and energy habitually goes
Strengths and struggles
Paths of development
Type groups result in greater self-awareness and compassion. Once I have interest from enough people of one type, we’ll set dates to meet once every 2 weeks for 60-70 minutes.
Mini Enneagram-Related Coaching Cycle
Virtual or in person @ Lonetree Reservoir in Loveland, CO • 3 Sessions • $300
If you would like a companion to walk along the trail with you for a few miles of your Enneagram journey, consider this option. Three 45-minute sessions would be tailored to wherever you are in your journey with the Enneagram. Possible outcomes include:
Determining or confirming your dominant Enneagram type
Engaging in self-observation and reflection to deepen your self-awareness, perhaps with a particular goal in mind
Exploring what it means to have a head, heart, or body center of intelligence, and learning how to balance and integrate all three centers
Learning about your resources—the connecting points and wings (numbers on either side of yours)—that offer fodder for growth
Bonus Portal Beauty
I have been inspired for years now by the extraordinary portals of glassblower/sculptor Nick Leonoff. Enjoy!