The Inner Caravan was inspired by two very simple quotes;
"The only journey is the journey within." - Rainer Maria Rilke
"All serious daring starts from within." - Eudora Welty
The inner journey is so awesomely important...AND at times, it can feel a little lonely or overwhelming. Sometimes, we need to get out of our spinning heads, take a siesta from solo self-discovery and need to be in relationship about what is going on in our lives and what we want to create more of.
Hence, the Inner Caravan was born, a place where we connect in partnership to travel through the journey of life (bumps and all). It's the commitment and practice to SHARED reflection that can make significant shifts in our world. It's tuning in. It's turning off. It's leaning in. It's leaning out. It's giving your personal well-being a collaborator who believes that it's damn important to do "the work" (but in ways that it doesn't always feel like "work").
While I have been influenced by some of the great reflective thinkers like David Kolb, Donald Schon and others, I also like to think far beyond common cognitive models of what reflection means.
My invitation to you is to create a reflective practice on your own terms and find ways to share it (whether that's with a coach, a friend, a stranger) and to RE-DEFINE what it means..
Reflective practice works best when you define what it is and how it works for you!
How will you define reflection? How will you share it?
I'm a big David Whyte fan - he has TONS of reflective fodder. Listen to this clip of David reading out his poem, "Everything is Waiting for You." (If you find it hard to listen with the steel-pan music playing, click here to read the poem on David's website).
Take some time to notice what comes up for you when you read or hear this poem.
Here are a few questions to get the kettle singing...
Reflective poetry moxie:
The question about "what new conversation with life will I ease into" is a personal hot topic in my journal right now, inspired by David's Huffington Post article, "The Questions that Have No Right to Go Away". Read it here.
"Suddenly I see
She got the power to be, the power to give, the power to see."
- KT Tunstall
I can be a thoughtful, intense and deep thinker which is exactly why I purposefully seek out little things that lift me up and make me feel a little more playful, a lot lighter and not bogged down in circling thoughts.
This song does it for me…it’s upbeat, catchy, and not what I would typically listen to at all. Take a listen and then come back to dig around.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
- Mary Oliver
Reflective Poetry Moxie:
I could write a billion reflective prompts/questions on this one poem. I'll stop here before we both get overwhelmed with inquiry overload. Choose one, or craft your own. Stay in the emotion and imagery of the poem and post your thoughts below and add to the wild geese exploration!
No, I did not turn into eccentric cat lady overnight (but thinking my ECL might be rather bad ass and maybe I should try it). The reason a feline is filling up the blog page today is to offer you a metaphor to play with in your own reflection and inner caravan journey.
A senior supervisor I was coaching with was feeling big time STUCK about how to deal with a particular work situation that involved the potential for high conflict. Can you relate? For many, conflict can feel heavy, anxiety ridden and most of us would rather ignore that the whole thing is going down. That wasn't an option here.
Together we hunted for the truth and different ways to apply her wisdom to the situation, which was NOT coming easily. New possibilities opened up when she went with the ridiculous (insert ECL now)!
"I will approach this like my cat! If I start to feel unsure, I'll imagine rolling on my back like my cat does and look at the situation upside down and not from my position of "saving face". For my cat, life's not really so serious, I'm confident here, can relax back and let the other person solve the issue for themselves". MEOW. (insert a little cat attitude + personality here).
Sometimes all we need is to "get out of our head" and one way of looking at things. Metaphors like this open the channels to our higher creativity which creates new solution making pathways.
It CAN be that easy to move through a block!
Welcome to the Inner Caravan Blog
REFLECT + GROW
CONNECT + LEAD.
Be in touch + add your voice to the Inner Caravan. I want to hear about your journey!
Together, let's make reflection a necessary form of action in the world.