April 7, 2016

The Answer to “How” to Go About Anything—A Poem.

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“I can’t relax! How do you…get to the point when you…can relax?!”

The therapist’s face was calm but her tone and eyes were concerned. As a mindful practices coach and consultant, I encounter these questions on the regular.

My answer?

“It’s within you.”

The answer to “how” to go about anything is in you. When we are driving at 50 MPH in third gear, our car tells us by the roar of the engine that we need to shift gears. And we do just that: we shift. We don’t think, “I can’t drive!” as the engine hollers at us under the hood, we listen, we know, we shift.

The same is true for our meditative practices. Styles, forms, and ideas of meditation can be stifling only if we allow them to be. If your first thought is “I can’t…” can you consider shifting gears? Listen and know. When I practice with my whole heart and mind engaged, often poetry will come from my practice, like blood from my veins, mist off the lake.


This morning, I found the words. Here is what came when I shifted, when I listened.

This morning
I became the bird.
My eyes saw the nest
I was creating,
felt the wisps of
fall’s decay in my beak
as I wove
our home.
It felt so big.

This morning
I became the roots
years ago
clawed and sunk
into the earth.
For as much as I know,
I: the root.
Held by you:
the Earth.

This morning
I became the bud.
The spiral magic of
my petals enfolding
my center.
I thought about opening.
I had the choice.
I had no choice.

This morning
I became the riverbed
and as the water
rushed over my reeds
I held the space
between earth and sky.

This morning
I became the morning.
The rose meets grey
of dawn’s first light.
I tried on the new day
the expanse of
as my rays stretched over
your horizon.



Author: Betsy Delzer

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photos: Courtesy of Jen Brady


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Betsy Delzer