Inhale. Ask. Exhale. Allow.

Does this sound familiar?

“It feels so big, this idea that calls to me. Enormous really and, at times, utterly overwhelming. It needs me so, and I need it. But the risks, oh the risks, take my breath away. I don’t know if I can do this and yet I simply must, trying to hold lightly to this something in me.”

Furthermore, does this resonate with you?

“That which calls to me requires truth, bravery and an open heart. All that and more, and the outcome is uncertain. It is as inevitable as birth yet I vacillate between the deepest longing for this to become and near paralysis that it might actually do so. Each cell tells me this is not folly but rather as necessary as oxygen. There is life-force and goodness and broad possibility in allowing…”

If your life is calling, friend, inhale deeply. Ask clearly. Exhale completely. Allow.

As I write I am awash in the wise musical wisdom of Carrie Newcomer. A few hundred of us were privileged to gather with her last weekend for song and reflection. As her kind invitations to seek, express, hold and nurture poured over us, my tears flowed freely and I swam in grace. Mine were cleansing tears of release and yearning, tears of hope. Her music spoke not of substanceless greeting card hope but of the gritty hope of daily life, of determination despite disappointment and of faithfulness to a vision that is bigger than Self.

What I received from this gathering was a reminder of the sacred in the ordinary, allowing space for mystery in the laundry and the dishes. I was upheld in that gathering by a presence of goodness, a welcome antidote to the jarring news of the day.  Her lyrics acknowledge sadness as well as a persistent gratitude for everything, even the difficult. Equally present in her words is the understanding of the weariness of daily life and at times the need for refuge from cruelty. In equal measure, she affirms that goodness and kindness and renewal and grace are the sea in which we swim and the water that heals us. These things have never left us and they will endure. We can look to the darkness in shadow or to the light at the very heart of that same shadow. This is our choice.

In her music and her presence was the reminder that bringing forth our gifts, our questions, and our hopes is not foolishness. No, this is important and life-giving and necessary. Give it voice and light and hands and expression, then release your grip and set it there. Allow it to become.  It is worth the risk and effort. It is worth it. So are you.

What calls you, my friend?

Pause a bit and listen.

What do you hear?

What do you see?

Clear away the fear and allow it some light.

Open your mouth and give it breath and voice.

Take the brush in hand and bring color to canvas.

Place your foot on the shovel and feel the earth give way.

This ‘something’ is so very worth it and in some not small way it is necessary too.

Allow it space.

Allow it voice.

Allow it a home.

Allow it freedom.

Allow it your attention.

Allow it your love.

Allow it to sing.

Allow it your hands.

Allow it movement.

Allow it to shine.


Make space for this something. Hold it gently. Take a step. Yes, it is worth the risk. And you are worth it too. You can do this, I know it.

Inhale. Ask. Exhale. Allow.


**This post contains numerous references to Carrie Newcomer’s lyrics. I would like to acknowledge her inspiration and wisdom interspersed in these words. Do yourself a favor – go to

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