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Poem – contemplations in words & images

Category: Poem (Page 1 of 22)


Poised on the edge of happiness

The precipice

The shadow

The howl

I’ve seen and felt them all

To fall or fly

The light before me

The light within

Patient pilot as infinite flame

With all that is

With all to be

And the choice unfolding

In turning toward

To ask humbly

May you guide me

Grace and Mercy

May you light the way


Martin © 2023

To Nurture Self

As I reflect on the third step of developing inner relational awareness and connection – that being, Nurture, which follows the first step of Notice and the second step of Name.

Notice what is arising. Name to identify. Nurture to foster inner care and compassion.

I see that it may be helpful to discuss this third step as three distinct elements or movements.

  • Acknowledge
  • Appreciate
  • Accept

All three equating to Nurture.

In Inner relational awareness we practice attentive, non-conditional Withness. Being with what is.

For example, we can, with each  and every inner voice, inner part, inner sensation:

  • Acknowledge – I see you
  • Accept – I understand what you’re doing for me
  • Appreciate – I thank you

When we do this, we give each part, our attention.

Attention that affords each part of us: The Right to Be, and The Right To Belong.

When one part of us is at odds with another part or several parts have competing agendas – we become caught in an internal struggle – a never ending battle of competing voices. One wanting to cancel the other.

For example: in a three way debate – one part is always wanting to do better and achieve more and is never satisfied, vs another part that rationalises and invalidates, telling us we’ve achieved plenty and ‘should be’ happy vs another part that looks back at all opportunities we missed and is worried we will keep making the same mistakes, thereby reducing our confidence in making grounded decisions about our future.

When we seperate out these parts we can make some interesting observations:

  • curiously, each of these three parts has our best interests at heart
  • each one is protective by nature
  • each one is motivated by a core belief that is based in a past hurt or fear
  • each one is protecting a vulnerable part of us
  • each one believes it is right
  • each one operates independently from the others
  • the debate and struggle continues to loop and by perpetuating causes a level of disturbance, upset or unhappiness
  • each part wants to heard and validated

Understanding this is powerful.

Understanding that if we are to help these parts we must connect with them. This is integral. When we give them our attention we let them know they are seen.

Through connection, compassion and time with, ultimately, we can invite each part to work with us and with one another.

Our self leadership is integrative. Our seperate parts are invited to work in partnership. None are extinguished or banished they simply find new roles to play, with one another, not against one another. We afford them the third human right: The Right to Become.

This all comes about through our ability to Be With What Is.

To Notice Name and Nurture.

Nurture, being to: Acknowledge Accept and Appreciate each and every part.

Perhaps it might go like this:

WelcomeI see you. I understand what you’re doing for me. I thank you. 

And over time.

What I would like to talk to you about, is exploring a way we can work together to help us feel fulfilled and content. Are you open to this? What do you need from me? What do you need me to know? What could we do together? Who could we be together?

With love



Martin © 2022

Instrument of Music

As the reed, as the string, as the bow
As I bend, as I breathe, as I grow

There’s nothing to be held or confined
And no need to state what is mine

There’s freedom in love and life’s song
And harmony in where to belong

A joy listening and rising to muse
As she heals those thoughts that confuse

To be an instrument so bidden
My gift; to give what is given

To rest and release in the flow
And know,  just when to let go 


Martin © 2022

Dissolving the Finite Loop

 Setting the Stage for Inner Dialogue

An unhelpful Pattern can be described as a finite loop. It keeps going around and around. As the cause of recurring rumination it becomes a drain on personal energy.

It leads to a feeling of being stuck. Stuck in a never ending internal debate, where two or more inner parts are at odds with one another.

To share a personal example: Consider the part of me that judges others in the way they behave, versus, the part that wants to rationalise and explain away their behaviour.

In this cycle of depleting energy I experience diminishing returns. I struggle. Vigilant and armed for defence in a mindset of scarcity.

Acting without oversight and connection from my Aware Self, the Judge and Rationaliser continue on with their individual agendas. They are independent operators. Believing theirs is the singularly best option for my self preservation, they become righteous adversaries against unfairness, being misunderstood, and many of the hurts I carry. They do not see as they face out to the world that they inadvertently turn their backs to these hurts.

These hurts are memories. Conscious and subconscious memories held by my little ones. The younger parts of me who in their day were not able to see the world in the way of an adult. See the world in the way of reason, explanation, and big picture. If some misadventure or environmental failure occurred, it was on them. They did not know the way of grownups.

And so today, the Judge and the Rationaliser continue to pursue their separate agendas, one wanting to cancel out the other. And all the while the young one that carries the memory of unfairness is not held. Is not seen. As such, there can be no reprieve.


My aware and compassionate Self, steps in. It welcomes and connects to the Judge and to the Rationaliser. It thanks them for what they bring. And turning to the young one carrying the memory, carrying the hurt; offers comfort, compassion and connection. The younger part, is seen, and over time relaxes and releases into the arms of inner loving kindness.

And with this, the loop begins to dissolve. Space opens. Internal debate falls away making room for new ways of seeing. From my Aware Self a question arises: who can we be, together?

As such, the stage is set for internal dialogue. And so continues the journey toward inner partnership and personal transformation.

Martin © 2022

Our Inner State Creates Our Outer State – The World is the Way we See It.

As eternal souls, we exist in singularity with the universe.      Zach Bush

When we pause our inner battle of self criticism to work with all the parts of us that desire equal voice;
When we cease the inner struggle with self limiting beliefs that occur in the name of self preservation and in so doing, lovingly question their efficacy;
When we fully realise that all interior battles reflect and play out in the outer world, and that our world is what we make it to be;

We can find ourselves called  to a movement  towards ‘Being With’.  Being with What is – as it is.

We know this to be an evolutionary and universal imperative. Indeed, we see that our very survival depends upon it. Stated plainly: to ultimately survive as human kind we need to move away from, or rise above, a solely survival consciousness.

This is not to suggest an outright rejection of Survival Consciousness as this state is vital when our physical survival is under threat. It is more to recognise when a Survival Mindset is all prevailing and all pervasive, keeping us in a fixed an inflexible view of the world.

The movement towards;  ‘being with’ attunes us to the whole, and in attuning, fosters connection, as does the fact that we are far more likely to thrive, by being true to ourselves and true to one another.

To undertake a movement toward ‘Withness’ is to embrace a movement toward a consciousness of inclusion, connection and shared humanity.

A whole system stance being: ‘we’re in this together’ / a separate system approach being: ‘every person for themselves’.

The former, an eco mind. The latter, an ego mind.

To move towards ‘Withness’ connects us to the whole. Natural Systems, First People Systems, Micro and Macro eco systems exhibit ‘whole system’ consciousness.

In any system, segmentation, separation, and fragmentation where parts of the whole turn ‘against’ one another, become the hallmarks of breakdown and entropy. This is true in biological terms, in familial terms and in socio-political terms.

When we understand, experience and fully realise that everything is connected, that everything is governed by one source, we are able to see that each of us can play a role in the way we practice ‘Withness’, within the system we inhabit.

Roles can include being:

Stewards of care and connection.
Healers of internal breakdown.
Uniters of fragmented systems.
Guides towards conscious awareness.
Modellers of Inclusion and Acceptance.
Facilitators of connection and safe spaces for dialogue.

The list can continue.

What is foundational to all these roles and any we deem necessary to add, is the movement:

⁃ Toward inclusion and away from exclusion
⁃ Toward acceptance and away from alienation
⁃ Toward eco mind and away from from ego mind
⁃ Toward the light of generativity and away from darkness of disconnection and dissolution.

As we move away from Separation and ‘Being Against’, toward, Withness, Integration, connection and ‘Being With’, we experience the whole. Not separate but one with.

From against, to with, to interbeing.



Martin @ 2022

No Birth No Death | Thich Nhat Hanh

Interbeing: If you are a poet, you will see clearly that there is a cloud floating in this sheet of paper. Without a cloud, there will be no rain; without rain, the trees cannot grow; and without trees, we cannot make paper. The cloud is essential for the paper to exist. If the cloud is not here, the sheet of paper cannot be here either. So we can say that the cloud and the paper inter-are. “Interbeing” is a word that is not in the dictionary yet, but if we combine the prefix “inter-” with the verb “to be,” we have a new verb, inter-be. Without a cloud and the sheet of paper inter-are.

If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. If the sunshine is not there, the forest cannot grow. In fact, nothing can grow. Even we cannot grow without sunshine. And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see the wheat. We know the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. And the logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

Looking even more deeply, we can see we are in it too. This is not difficult to see, because when we look at a sheet of paper, the sheet of paper is part of our perception. Your mind is in here and mine is also. So we can say that everything is in here with this sheet of paper. You cannot point out one thing that is not here-time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat. Everything co-exists with this sheet of paper. That is why I think the word inter-be should be in the dictionary. “To be” is to inter-be. You cannot just be by yourself alone. You have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

Suppose we try to return one of the elements to its source. Suppose we return the sunshine to the sun. Do you think that this sheet of paper will be possible? No, without sunshine nothing can be. And if we return the logger to his mother, then we have no sheet of paper either. The fact is that this sheet of paper is made up only of “non-paper elements.” And if we return these non-paper elements to their sources, then there can be no paper at all. Without “non-paper elements,” like mind, logger, sunshine and so on, there will be no paper. As thin as this sheet of paper is, it contains everything in the universe in it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

The Lesson

A Pattern for Peace

For Toke Palludan Møller

On the morning of the first day of the Warrior of the Heart training the Sensei shared the first truth: ‘There are no enemies, only worthy opponents

Wrestling with this proposition, the student, despite being used to a life of suffering and not trusting others, even though they were yet able to know it for themselves, decided to consider this truth thoughtfully .

On the morning of the second day of the Warrior of the Heart training the Sensei shared the second truth: ‘Your worthy opponents are your teachers

The student, used to a life of blaming and judging others wrestled with this proposition. Again, even though they were yet able to know this truth for themselves, decided to consider the proposition thoughtfully.

On the morning of the third day of the Warrior of the Heart training the Sensei shared the third truth: ‘Your worthy opponents, as your teachers, have great gifts for you.’

The student, used to a life of struggle and effort, wrestling with this proposition, even though they were yet able to know this truth for themselves, once again decided to consider it thoughtfully.

At the end of the third day the Sensei approached and asked the student what they had accomplished. 

The student replied, they had a long way to go as they were yet able to know the three truths for themselves.

The Sensei looked at the student for a moment and then asked; what are the three truths as you understand them?

Sensei, the first truth as I understand, is: “I am powerful when I see my enemy worthy. To do this I will need to stand in my own worthiness, and this being the firmest ground of all, will help me to show a peaceful way”

“Sensei, the second truth as I understand, is: “I am powerful when I embrace what my worthy opponent has to teach me for they stand to offer me my greatest learning, and in turn, my greatest peace.”

‘Sensei, the third truth as I understand, is: “I am powerful when I accept the gifts my worthy opponents bring me, as they help reveal what I have hidden unto myself. Accepting these gifts will in turn, give great peace to all.”

With that the Sensei smiled, bowed and graciously said:

Thank you – you are the teacher.  Go in Peace. 🙏


Martin @ 2022

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