Look for Your Horizon

On Saturday morning I attended a workshop with David Whyte. He’s a poet and a philosopher who illuminates life experience by sharing the timeless verse of past poets and his own insightful prose.

One of the things he shared was to “look for your horizon”. He suggested we cast our eyes to our own horizon, to what is waiting for us to step towards, to the promise that beckons to us so that we can truly fulfil our own potential. He quoted Wordsworth who wrote the following about his walk home after a midsummer’s night festival:

Two miles I had to walk along the fields Before I reach’d my home. Magnificent The Morning was, a memorable pomp, More glorious than I ever had beheld; The Sea was laughing at a distance; all The solid Mountains were as bright as clouds, Grain-tinctured, drench’d in empyrean light; And, in the meadows and the lower grounds, Was all the sweetness of a common dawn, Dews, vapours, and the melody of birds, And Labourers going forth into the fields. –Ah! need I say, dear Friend, that to the brim My heart was full; I made no vows, but vows Were then made for me; bond unknown to me Was given, that I should be, else sinning greatly, A dedicated Spirit. On I walk’d In blessedness which even yet remains.

I had not realized fully how spiritually oriented poetry can be. What vows have been made for you? What dreams beckon to you to fulfil your destiny? What invitations appear before you or arise within you that you as yet have not acknowledged and attended to?

By taking steps forward into an uncertain and unknown reality we create our path. This requires much of us – commitment, trust and faith that by shaping our own identity in the light of our personal horizon, much will be revealed to and through us. Rather than focusing on the results that we feel we must create, to realize our potential we must attend to the revelations that unfold before us.

This is to aspire to be true to our highest selves, to realize our powerful potential. I invite you to set your sights high, to become the strategic and inspiring leader you were born to be. To expand the scope of your role beyond its conventional boundaries and look to your horizon.

In David Whyte’s own words, he writes Santiago …

The road seen, then not seen, the hillside
hiding then revealing the way you should take,
the road dropping away from you as if leaving you
to walk on thin air, then catching you, holding you up,
when you thought you would fall,
and the way forward always in the end
the way that you followed, the way that carried you
into your future, that brought you to this place,
no matter that it sometimes took your promise from you,
no matter that it had to break your heart along the way:
the sense of having walked from far inside yourself
out into the revelation, to have risked yourself
for something that seemed to stand both inside you
and far beyond you, that called you back
to the only road in the end you could follow, walking
as you did, in your rags of love and speaking in the voice
that by night became a prayer for safe arrival,
so that one day you realized that what you wanted
had already happened long ago and in the dwelling place
you had lived in before you began,
and that every step along the way, you had carried
the heart and the mind and the promise
that first set you off and drew you on and that you were
more marvelous in your simple wish to find a way
than the gilded roofs of any destination you could reach:
as if, all along, you had thought the end point might be a city
with golden towers, and cheering crowds,
and turning the corner at what you thought was athe end
of the road, you found just a simple reflection,
and a clear revelation beneath the face looking back
and beneath it another invitation, all in one glimpse:
like a person and a place you had sought forever,
like a broad field of freedom that beckoned you beyond;
like another life, and the road still stretching on.

I hope you enjoyed this instalment of inspiring poetry and that it has emboldened you to walk your path with courage and confidence.

If you liked this please click on “like” , add your thoughts and connect with me. If you aspire to become an inspiring strategic leader, you can keep up to date with new posts and join in the conversation in my LinkedIn group Strategic Holistic Leadership.

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Published by Antoinette Braks

Antoinette Braks leads the design and delivery of SHIFT Leadership Development Individual and Group Coaching Programs for Senior Executives and High Potential Leaders to enable them to join the shift from being high performing achievers to becoming inspiring strategic leaders at divisional, regional and C-suite levels.

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