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Monk in the World Guest Post: Jennifer Scott Mobley

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Jennifer Scott Mobley’s reflection and poem The Work of Healing.

“We are each a multitude of inner voices. Some of these voices are loud, while others may rest hidden in the shadows. When we actively work to cultivate our connection to particular archetypes, we can summon new perspectives and ways of seeing into our lives. They help to illuminate our gifts as well as our blind spots. They appear in dreams, myths, fairy tales, and in our daily lives through synchronicity to empower us to move through the world in more loving and life-giving ways. Developing these capacities within ourselves helps to empower us for greater sovereignty and loving presence in the world.”

Visionary, Warrior, Healer, Sage: Archetypes to Navigate an Unraveling World, program description

“The Work of Healing” was inspired after participating in the Visionary, Warrior, Healer, Sage: Archetypes to Navigate an Unraveling World retreat. One of our reflective prompts was to consider having the Visionary, Warrior, Healer, and Sage enter into conversation together. What stories do they want to share? What wisdom do they offer to each other? 

As I reflected upon this prompt, the Healer and Warrior emerged as beautiful conversation partners that offered profound wisdom to one another. What I discovered is that the Warrior helps me to protect my boundaries and say no with firmness and conviction, while the Healer helps me to welcome in the stranger, the abandoned and hurting places within myself that need loving attention and care. In this poem, St. Brigid ‘s cloak, is a central image, and a shimmering touchstone for both protection and healing.   

This work with the archetypes has strong resonance with the Internal Family Systems model which I draw upon in my work as a leadership coach. IFS is an evidenced-based psychotherapy that is focused on helping people heal by accessing and healing their protective and wounded inner parts. But it is more than just a therapeutic model, it is a way of understanding that Self is in everyone. It knows how to heal. 

Yet, to be clear, healing is not curing.  Instead healing allows wisdom to come through difficult experiences. 

That’s what was in my heart when I wrote the following poem, with which I leave you, dear reader.

The Work of Healing

There will be times
when you will come to the table
and you’ll feel like no one
wants to pay you any attention.
And there will be other times
when everyone is clamoring for your
attention, all at once.

Let them arrive on their schedule, give them permission
to come and go as they please
to leave early or arrive late, even without good cause.
All you need to do is welcome them in.

It wasn't always this way.
For years, you thought
healing meant
You must grasp
You must grind.
You must practice and
perfect these steps
in this particular order.

You thought you were only the part of you
that doesn’t stop to think
before replying to the email,
saying: yes, yes, and yes.

But there is another part
that wants to tell another story of you.
A thirteen-year-old girl in the corner
crying: no, no, and no.
Don’t forget to listen to her too.

Take her hand and see
where she wants to take you,
ask her why she is outside
at 3 am on a February morning.
Wait and listen for her answer.

Receive the gift that she brings,
a cloak that has been left outside is
for you, lean back and let it cover you,
all parts of you, let the touch of dew
and the sound of water, the small drops
spreading, filling, healing—
be our buoyant body.

We bathe now.
We are
such a
beautiful conversation.

Jennifer Scott Mobley, Ph.D. is an executive and leadership coach who draws upon her experience with strengths-based leadership, design thinking, and the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model in her work with clients. Her poetry has been featured in the Penwood Review and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies.

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