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This Being Human

Rumi and his poetry speak across the centuries and across culture. When we awake in the morning, we enter the world along with our emotions. We serve them as a host and they live within us as if our body were a guest house.

When we are mindful of how we experience emotions, we learn they unexpectedly move, replaced by another we attend to, as well. In this way, we invite them in and entertain them as grateful hosts, even when they catch us off guard. We receive each emotion honorably as we experience it and attend to it each moment as fully as humanly possible.

When we understand that emotions come and go and serve as guides in living, being human is a gift that we receive with gratitude and joy. We greet them at the door with a hearty laugh and question what meaning they bring to us in that moment.

This being human is like a quest house.

Every morning, a new arrival,

A joy, a depression, meanness . . .

Some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all,

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows

Who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture.

Still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

Meet them at the door, laughing; and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

Because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

 

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.

15 responses »

  1. Oh my goodness, I posted this poem by Rumi earlier today as well . . . hmm we are being called in the same direction. This poem just calls to my soul so very much. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  2. I’ve loved this poem, as I do several other quotes and poems by Rumi. It seems to me that in the last several years, he’s become better know in the west. Ivon, do you notice that too, or is it because I’ve been living under a rock?

    Reply
  3. Dr. Wayne Dyer was a big fan of Rumi and introduced me to him. Must say that even though all of these feelings appear in my life, I open the door wide to let in joy and happiness and they seem to chase away the negative spirits.

    Reply
  4. Love this ♥

    Reply
  5. I know this poem. And it’s a good reminder. Emotions can be tricky to navigate, especially before we recognize how automatic they can be. Mindfulness, as you so astutely point out, is key. But once we are able to do this? To remain with and accept these emotions with kindness and compassion? We are truly free! Great post, Ivon. Mahalo nui.

    Reply

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