Embodied Transformation & Evolution

The Life That Chooses You ~ Living on your Sacred Edge

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in Featured Writing, Lifeletters & Articles | 1 comment

The Life That Chooses You ~ Living on your Sacred Edge

Who knows what brings to us these moments, in which we are shaken up, startled, and issued a radical invitation: to step into the life that chooses us. This is our authentic life, not anyone else’s. It’s a life that is much bigger than our personal agendas. And at the same time, this is our way, which is utterly unique. Not separate, and not the same as any other human being.

These moments in which we feel life nudging us, inviting us, challenging us, can be very disturbing. We feel clearly, viscerally, the impact of all of the ways in which we are secretly trying to copy others, where we are still clinging to an image, instead of aligning with what is true and immediate. If we pay attention to this invitation, these distractions, these layers of our conditioned identity keep peeling away.

Even though this process is very disorienting, over time we can allow ourselves, sometimes very slowly, to become more honest, more present, and much more full of feeling. Somehow, bit by bit, we fall into trusting a deeper intelligence, a bigger love, without needing to figure everything out. We can allow ourselves to experience the fear of failure, the terror that we may have thrown our dreams of security away, without feeding these stories. Resting, perhaps shaking and trembling in the truth of impermanence, we come to trust in a fluid reality, in which each moment is new and unknown.

Antonio Machado, the great Spanish poet, put it this way, “Travellers, there is no path, paths are made by walking.” According to the poet David Whyte, if you travel In Spain, where Antonio’s poetry is greatly beloved by the common people, you can get a vivid sense of how these lines speak directly to something we already recognize inside us. If you go into a bar and repeat these words in Spanish: “Viajeros, no hay camino, los caminos se hacen caminando,” the whole place will stand up and toast you to free drinks.

The Life That Chooses You

We recognize that there is no fixed path spread out in front of us; and still we have to discover how to welcome this truth into our lives, as we grow and develop. This is a new way of being human. As we are able to embrace this uncertainty, and embody it, a new kind of confidence and courage begin to infiltrate our work and our relationships. The nature of our relationships and our offering to the world need to evolve constantly, if they are to remain truly alive. Each one of us is called to these new edges in our lives, called to leave the comfortable and stifling cocoons we construct, and move into new territory, where the consequences of our actions are no longer predictable. Our life becomes emergent and vibrant when we have the courage to embrace the fact that we really don’t know what we are doing, or where we are going. We are no longer standing outside, trying to manage and control the environment-we are inside the change that is occurring.

My only choice here, in this alive, unknown space, is to be open, transparent and courageous, without clinging to any ideal, or any fixed idea of outcome. I may feel alone here, but I am not. As I inhabit this space, I gradually discover, on deeper and deeper levels, that I am connected to everything, separate from nothing. And there is a paradox here: in this shared space of presence I am still totally responsible for the wake I am leaving, for all the ways in which I impact those around me. My choices begin to reflect this deep sense of interconnection and accountability, even though my personal agendas and my need to control are rapidly disappearing.

This is quite an evolved level of human development. We cannot push ourselves into this way of being; we can only approach it patiently and persistently, through vision, passion and practice. Michael Bungay Stanier, the Canadian coach, describes this as the place of ‘great work.’ We do good work, we live good lives, when we are confident, competent and full of knowing. Good work is something wonderful and necessary, but it needs to leave room for the emergence of great work, or great living. This great living happens somewhere else, and it is an opportunity, full of grace, to benefit others, to love this world, from a place that is tender, raw and full of mystery.


Arrive curious, without the armour of certainty,
the plans and planned results of the life you’ve imagined.
Live the life that chooses you,
new every breath, every blink of your astonished eyes.
~Rebecca del Rio (Prescription for the Disillusioned)


One Comment

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  1. Betsy

    Thank you for very comforting and wise words at this time!

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