This is a guest post from Trish Bruxvoort Colligan, another of my amazing co-creators and collaborators on the upcoming Women on the Threshold program (see Trish's video post from earlier this week here).
Trish and I first met virtually when she was blogging as the Story Midwife and I fell in love with her spirit and music (check out her beautiful songs here – *and* she will be sharing music from her new album Thresholds with participants in our program.)
Later I had the gift of meeting her in person at the Spiritual Directors International conference in San Francisco, where she and her husband Richard were leading music for the rituals.
Here is Trish sharing about the power of threshold stories for her:
An opening from one room into another.
The few steps across the stream in Northern Minnesota from where the Mississippi springs to life.
A garden gate.
The intersection of Highways 3 and 13.
On the spiral of creative impulse: A fuzzy, slightly agitating place in my mind prior to a creative impulse moving into my recognizable awareness; then again before it is able to be articulated; and that pause of breath and silence immediately following its expression into the world.
Pregnancy. Labor. Birthing.
From mystery to awareness; from awareness to articulation; from articulation to actualization. And back again.
Standing next to the tub, stripping down, and stepping in.
A whole season (or more!) after planting the seed before feasting on the ripeness.
Chambers in the nautilus.
Life into death into life.
First light spilling over the lip of the horizon.
These are just a handful of the images that come to mind as I ponder the word threshold. So rich! So juicy! So ripe with meaning and mystery, and opening to ten thousand different pathways.
I wonder how you would describe the threshold you're at right now. I wonder if you know just how important your story is.
As a spiritual director, I think of my presence as that of a story midwife more than anything else. In addition to being present for clients and groups as they give birth to the stories within them, I'm also a bit of a story nut in my "normal" life. Story and I have negotiated a mutually agreeable relationship over the years: It seeks me out like smoke at a campfire, and I follow it around like a curious, devoted puppy. My ear is tuned for the connection, the undercurrent, the unveiling. No surprise then that as a songwriter threads of stories often wind themselves into my songs. Last fall, I decided that 2012 would be a year of giving myself over to writing for a new album called Thresholds. The stories I've discovered in this writing time are among the more powerful and striking I've ever encountered, springing from poetry, recent and ancient history, nature, novels and memoirs, dreams, and, my favorite, conversations with friends and strangers alike. These are the stories in my heart to share with you during our Women on the Threshold retreat. To help bring these stories to life, I'll even be sharing some of the new music with you — before it's available to the "general public". Come to think of it, in that way you'll also be helping to midwife this music over the threshold of residing within my heart alone to taking up residence in the hearts of many.
Writing this music has renewed my belief that every story is important, and that our greatest inspiration may come to us in the stories of the Stranger and the Ordinary Person. Each one of us is birthing God's presence into the world, making visible the holy presence in never-before-seen ways. What you're birthing is important. Needed. Valuable for all us. That makes this threshold you're at right now important, needed, and valuable for all of us. Just as the stories passed down to us from the ancients are essential and powerful lampposts for our journeys, so might your story be for someone today.
Women on the Threshold will offer a multitude of ancient stories of women who have traveled this path before, including women from scripture and the mystics, as well as others.
If this sounds too delicious to miss, you are right. Please join us here. You have the option of the email content and a private forum for online conversation with all the women gathered for this event. AND you can also opt to choose small group spiritual direction via phone (just two spaces left in this option!) to support you in this process (and/or individual spiritual direction with any of our facilitators if you prefer).
Do you have questions about whether this program is right for you? Email me!
If you are drawn to exploring the monk and artist's path this fall, Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist is also being offered again in its 12-week online format with just a couple of spaces left! Always a transformative journey as well. . .