Small keys, opening new perspectives

At the beginning of the month I shared a 7 minute read by Christine Strong, titled ‘Minds the Gaps’, which resonated loudly as one to take forth into the new year. With Christine’s piece as my Guide Star, I set forth on my adventure into 2022, ready to listen to the guidance that’s always active and available within us, offering us clarity, consistency, and resilience. 

A rollercoaster of a month pursued….

Two days after her sixty-eighth birthday, a colleague sadly passed after bravely battling glioblastoma for the last eight months. The next day, January 5, I saw an email in my Inbox from my youngest daughter, the first such correspondence received in more than seven years. The wave of emotions within broke, engulfing me. 

How to respond to all that was rushing through me, around me? 

Compared to the immediate response to double down, I decided to stop, to breathe, to find time and space to hear myself.

With the sad passing of my colleague, I decided to create and hold a space, permitting everything to unfold with zero rush or expectations. To investigate, listen, observe, be in relationship. Seeing, feeling, and experiencing the richness of texture shared by others bought forth many small keys, opening new perspectives, creating deeply enriching human interactions.

My daughter….. I sat and read her words a great number of times. Not rushing back to memory, rather allowing the energy to move through me, to imagine, to create new moments. Investigating what came forth, seeking to sense beyond the immediate. To be in relationship with the words shared, the emotions— observing, listening. I sought guidance from a dear friend, and slowly typed a response, feeling my way.

The words and insights shared by Christine had come off her page, coming to life. I found myself enacting them, practicing them. Rather than changing personas to better manage each event, I found myself stepping ever more fully into my true nature.

I was reminded that history is often complicated. That in each and every moment a fundamental truth exists— as everything and everywhere inches forward into the darkness of newness, we are afforded agency as human beings to decide what we take forth in our hearts, in our being. We have complete choice over the stitches of our life’s tapestry we hold onto and cherish, and the one’s we let fade and dissolve. A truth, which in reality can be extremely hard to navigate and enact. As Christine shares in her writing, at such junctures, if we listen carefully, practice investigation rather than judgement, our innate knowing peacefully guides us, offering us clarity, consistency, and resilience. 

Week 3, a whole new experience, one that came completely out of the blue…. 

I was scrolling through the Instagram feed, and I happened upon a quote and photo, which while catching my eye it did not cause me to stop…. I kept on scrolling. Then, something within caused me to stop and scroll upwards. As the post came back into view, it was like the immediate slowed. The words read….

Smile, breathe and go slowly.

Thich Nhat Hanh

After a few moments, I moved on slowly.

Over the next couple of days, the innate knowing that Christine speaks of in her post gnawed at me, and I found myself being pulled back to the moment, by which time the words of the quote had become jumbled, fragmented, and the name of the person was long gone, much like a leaf upon a fast-moving stream. To Google I went, seeking to find the words “Stop. Breathe. Move Slowly.” 

Google soon delivered. I found the original quote, noting the differences between what I recalled and what Thich That Hanh had actually shared. Several days later, as I sat outside, watching the sun setting across the valley, crows catching the last thermals of the day, the words returned to me. Again, the words returned as “Stop. Breathe. Move Slowly.” And this I did. 

The immediate seemed to slow. Shapes became sharper, colors more vibrant, my breath slowed….. and I smiled. In amusement at what had just happened I sat, I waited, and tried it again. Again, a similar experience unfolded. 

What has been the reward of stopping, breathing, and moving slowly?

In my thirties, I so often would have fallen into the Implementation Gapwhich Christine shares is a lack of congruence between our innate knowing and our behavior. I would have acted as society had taught me and ignored such an impulse to scroll back up, or worse, actively pushed it away, perceiving it as irrelevant, or irrational. Slowly time revealed simple moments like the one shared above can serve as small keys, opening new perspectives, and as my inner world has shifted, I’ve come to see myself, another, and others differently. 

This weekend, I learned that the Revered Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, passed on 22 January 2022, at age 95. The energy of his words continues to playfully wander through my inner world, awaking a new rhythm, one that greatly appreciates the art of play. My inner knowing (for reasons known unto it), played around with the quote, creating a new message, which in the days that followed bought forth a powerful new experience— one that sees me stopping, breathing, taking in the world around me, inevitably smiling ever more at the awe of this beautiful place we call home, before going forth slowly. 

Week 4, tricky, proving to test the words of Sufi poet Rumi…. 

At the center of your being, you have the answer. You know who you are and what you want.


and sees me navigating what Christine explains as the Impact Gap. In recognition of the time you’ve already invested in reading this post, please permit me to explore the events of last week a little further, for I feel they are still unfolding, and share with you any discoveries in my next post.


In closing, before you go slowly, perhaps stop awhile, breathe— see, feel and experience what, if anything, comes forth from within. For each and every moment of life holds magic in the web of it…. the great adventure is whether we human beings can find it, connect with it, and appreciate the wonder.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. Comments and/or questions are welcome.

Sharing with you much light and love, Keith

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