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I had not heard of the poet, Clarissa Pinkola Estés, until a couple of days ago. I found her work and it is inspiring.

Expanding horizons is part of life. We cannot experience or know what is outside the horizons. Moving towards new horizons is an act of faith drawing people towards something in life. Life, in this sense, is a constant prayer, a listening event about what is important and seeking it out.

A Prayer
Refuse to fall down
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from lifting your heart
toward heaven
only you.
It is in the middle of misery
that so much becomes clear.
The one who says nothing good
came of this,
is not yet listening.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

26 responses »

  1. I love the sentiment that life is a constant prayer, a listening event. Thank you also for sharing the wonderful, inspiring poem.

  2. Love Clarissa’s work. Great stuff.

  3. Great post, and thank you for the reblog. Ann

  4. Excellent. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  5. Thank you for this introduction Ivon – and the final words to be heeded “the one who says nothing good came of this, is not yet listening”. I heard.

  6. Lead Our Lives

    Lovely, Ivon. Her work is powerful. Glad you have found her. I read one of her books years ago. Wonderful.

  7. She is a wonderful writer, poet, and voice for many. Glad you discovered her, she is a gem. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Wow! I had not heard of her either. Amazing poem and it relates directly to the theme of my blog. I will reblog this. Thanks for sharing your discovery.

  9. Reblogged this on What a Heart Can Hold – visit my website at and commented:
    Since my blog’s name is inspired by all that a heart can hold, it is not surprising that I was awestruck by this beautiful poem.

  10. oooOOOO. wonderful echo of where my mind is at–just said a hundred times more beautifully. 🙂 Gorgeous, and thank you for sharing, I am going to follow this lady’s blog. 🙂


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