In looking for ways to give a fuller shape to my sense of a sentient and living universe, I have often used the word “wholeness”. I like that word because a whole shapes a relationship between all its parts bringing them to a fullness and new expression. But even that connectedness can grow stiff when it becomes a fixed goal rather than a flow of exchange. So I have been asking myself, what is the flow of wholeness? How do I recognize wholeness in action?
A friend’s reference to a quote on wholeheartedness from Crossing the Unknown Sea by David Whyte opened a new window on my questions. Evidently, some years ago he was feeling personally exhausted in his career and debating whether or not to follow his call to become a full-time poet. “Tell me about exhaustion,” he asked his friend, Brother David Stendl-Rost. Stendl-Rost replied with both a question and an assertion: “You know that the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest?… The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness.”
The idea of wholeheartedness – wholeness in action, a whole self in action – creates a relationship with the world that is the antidote for many of my stuck positions. It pulls me back from absolutes and endpoints and engages me in an activity and attitude that brings ideas of wholeness into relationships that are whole-making. Wholeheartedness is accessible because I know what I care about and what makes me sing; it is generative, it integrates and builds coherence and newness.
In this time of awakening, when spring flowers and colors are just beginning to appear here in the Northern Hemisphere, I invite you to step wholeheartedly into what makes your world sing and see what new wholes emerge.