Words of WonderStubborn-Resistance-Chelan-Harkin

It’s okay if you’re scared
when you’re opening.

The seed,
she was scared too.
Do you think the coal
wanted to become
a diamond?

She was scared
out of her wits
of change!
It took her 10,000 years
to even be able
to pray for it.

And what about
our favourite cliché, that caterpillar?
You must have heard
his shrieks of resistance
as some bigger force
unwelcomely impelled it
to eat its own form
while disclosing nothing
of those secret wings.

The acorn
was so stodgy,
the far-right
of the plant kingdom
100% closed in by the hard walls
of his staunch beliefs.
My-oh-my did he resist
becoming the regal, generous oak.

The only thing different in us
from them
is we have an even more
stubborn resistance
but ultimately
we are impelled

by the same irresistible force
to completely self-destruct
into a New and Improved
Yet to be Discovered Marvel.

Do your best to allow this —
you too were made for wings.

by Chelan Harkin


Does this feel recognisable to you in any way? That sense you’re changing, opening, growing, but then the discomfort of being present with your edge and the fear of what may or may not come next? When choosing a picture with this poem, I was tempted by the many glorious butterflies – and instead landed with this half-formed, curious looking creature which is somewhere midway in the transformation, crumpled and a bit awkward. I can empathise!

I recently heard someone say that it’s better to risk disappointment than to guarantee it. It encouraged me to try doing something new and different even though I don’t know if and how that will work out – for not even trying it won’t protect me from the disappointment I’d want to avoid, on the contrary…

And this poem by the self-described ‘modern mystic poet’ Chelan Harkin, from her first book of poetry Susceptible to Light, is reminding me that growth and change is not always easy, and that if there’s fear and resistance along the way, we may not be alone in that… but we can always come back to our intention of being present with what is, meeting ourselves and others with kindness and whenever possible, resting in the heart of Being that always welcomes with open arms. And perhaps remembering that ‘you too were made for wings’…


from ‘Susceptible to Light’


PS There are many opportunities for growing and changing alongside others in one of our many courses, starting with the indepth mindfulness and then compassion courses. Or maybe join us for a taste of it in one of the free daily practice sessions

Photo by Bankim Desai on Unsplash