Thresholds: “Listen more carefully / To what is inside of you right now”

O listen –
Listen more carefully
To what is inside of you right now.

In my world
All that remains is the wondrous call to
Dance and prayer

Rising up like a thousand suns
Out of the mouth of a
Single bird.

—Hafiz

Dearest fellow monks and friends,

Where do I even begin?

As many of you know, five months ago my husband and I made a life-changing decision.

We sold our home, our car, most of our belongings, paid off all debts, my husband resigned from his job, we said goodbye to dear friends, we even found a new and wonderful home for our beloved dog, all so that we could embark on an adventure and live in an ancestral land for a year or longer. We have longed to live abroad for some time, and we finally decided not to postpone a dream.

This threshold time has been about letting go, making space, clearing a path. It has demanded that we stay awake and present through grief and sorrow, joy and anticipation.

We have been listening more carefully to what is inside of us.  We heard a summons we could no longer resist.

When we released all of the things of our lives, we discovered, like Hafiz, that all that remains is “a wondrous call to dance and prayer.”

After several weeks of journeying, visiting family and places of significance in our lives as a ritual of goodbye, we have finally arrived in the place we have been longing for: Vienna.

The threshold continues. This time ahead is a season of discernment. Where do we want to put down roots again? What kind of work does my husband long to do in the second half of his life? What do I discover as I walk the streets that held my father’s ancestors deepest dreams and desires?

Each day I am filled with a mix of absolute delight and the profound anxiety of unknowing, desperately missing friends, a deep ache for our dog, and all that is familiar.

We navigate our lives here with a passing knowledge of German. I know it will take time before I feel at ease in this paternal language, my father tongue. Seasons will pass before we feel like we really belong here, before we find community and build deep friendships.

And so in the meantime, I savor the threshold experience of being in-between. I feel disoriented, knowing that this is the first step toward reorientation. I try not to rush myself to feeling “settled,” as I am tempted to do, because it is precisely in this anxiety, unknowing, and letting go that I begin to make space for something unimagined, something so sacred I cannot yet utter its name. Something I am unable even begin to understand right now, because the Holy Imagination is so much bigger than my own. Except that when I am quiet, I hear it’s call singing again and again. I trust the path unfolding, even as I have no idea where it is leading.

And when I lose my hold on trust, I breathe into the place of doubt and let it have space in me as well. I welcome it as an honored guest.  This too has wisdom to offer me.

Thresholds are sacred places. They are the bridge between the old and the new. Crossing them is a process, a journey, a place of discovery again and again.  Releasing my expectations may be the hardest part and surrendering myself to what is actually happening.

Our world needs more people willing to summon up the courage to step into their own threshold spaces. We need witnesses who say that there is more than the status quo.

What are the dreams calling to you?

What is the threshold God is inviting you to cross?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an intentional community with which to join and share?

Please join us for Women on the Threshold

If you are a woman at your own threshold, please consider joining me this fall for a very special program: Women on the Threshold: The Wild Heart of Longing. This is a 12-week online journey with a place for conversation and transformation in both large group sharing and small group spiritual direction (via phone).

We need companions on the threshold, we need others who will help to witness what we are being called toward.

Join Trish Bruxvoort Colligan, Ronna Detrick, Dana Reynolds, and myself for this amazing experience. We will share the sacred stories of ancient women who have crossed their own thresholds. We will make space for one another to listen and tend to the new birth.

I am so excited to partner with these wonderful, wise, and wild women to bring you this offering.  I am even more excited to welcome you on this journey, to make space for your own threshold crossing.

If this makes your heart stir, if you feel a “yes” rising up, please click here for all of the program details>>

Have you watched the Monk Manifesto Visual Meditation yet?

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