3 Takeaways on How to Connect More Deeply from The Invitation
Plus, download a free PDF version of this beautiful poem
By Michael Miller – December 9th, 2019
I first heard The Invitation at the EQ Practitioner course in Menlo Park, California. It left me in awe, speechless. It didn’t hurt that Yvette Bethel, a Six Seconds Preferred Partner who also happens to be a talented performer, recited it to perfection. I wish I had a recording to share here! Everyone in the room had chills.
But even without Yvette’s voice, The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer is a powerful and beautiful poem. It’s a call to move beyond the confines of superficial connection and seek deep, meaningful connections – with yourself and others. I’ve included my 3 takeaways at the bottom, and a free PDF download of the poem. Enjoy!
The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
– In other words, let’s cut to the heart of the matter. What’s your Noble Goal? And are you willing to prioritize it?
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
– In other words, have you honed your ability to Navigate Emotions – the ability to assess, harness and transform emotions – even challenging ones like sorrow – as a strategic resource? Can you experience pain, learn from it, and move forward with optimism?
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
– This speaks to the power of true, beautiful, uncomfortable empathy. For practical tips on resisting the urge to fix people’s suffering, as opposed to simply being present with them, check out this article, Empathy vs. Sympathy.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
– When it comes to experiencing other people’s joy, it’s another manifestation of Increasing Empathy.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
– This beautiful metaphor comes down to your ability to Navigate Emotions and Exercise Optimism. Can you process failure in a healthy way, without losing your sense of hope and possibility?
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
– This brings together so many aspects of emotional intelligence, but at the end of the day, this type of power comes from having a higher purpose, a Noble Goal. When you have that guiding light, that why, almost any what becomes possible. “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” – Friedrich Nietzche
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
This is about the power of Intrinsic Motivation – being driven by personal values versus external forces. A theme throughout The Invitation seems to be moving past the external circumstances which we often give much energy and attention – like jobs and status – and getting to the heart of your motivation, hopes, and desires. This is what really drives connection.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
3 Action Steps from The Invitation
1. Ask questions that matter. Factual questions will lead to factual answers, and connective questions will lead to connective answers. For example, if an acquaintance tells you that they worked in a sales position for many years, it is tempting to ask a factual question like, “What did you sell?” or “How long did you work there?” A connective question could be: “How did you feel about leaving?” or “What made you decide to change jobs?”
2. Practice sitting with uncomfortable emotions, your own and others’. When you sense an uncomfortable emotion in yourself or in another, resist the urge to fix for just a moment. With others – listen, and then ask, “Do you want me to do anything, or you got this?” With yourself – put compassionate and appropriate parameters around how long you want to let yourself simply feel the uncomfortable emotion. Then tap into the emotion: What is it telling you? What does it need? Then, you can move to the action step of transforming that emotion.
3. Source your energy from the inside. When you are feeling tired or uninspired, tap into what really matters to you. Ask yourself: “What’s important to me here?” Keep a list of your personal values nearby to remind yourself what energizes you in times of need.
Download your free copy of The Invitation
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