What follows is the transcription of the first part of this week’s Gathering Gold episode called “There is Another Way.” To listen to the full episode, click here, or listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. As always, I value your comments and refections.
I’m here on my own again this week as Victoria takes a much-needed rest. I miss her, but we’ll be back together for our next episode.
Being on my own these few weeks brought to light one of the reasons why I love doing this podcast with Victoria: it’s the first and only time in my 25 years of working in this field that I’ve collaborated with someone. I was considering collaborating several years ago on a project and one of my mentors advised me against it. She said, “You need to fly solo.” But she was wrong, and I often think about how quickly she spoke her declaration, and how, looking back, to me it speaks to a patriarchal mindset around independence and manning a ship alone. Like there’s only room for one captain, one president, one leader.
Creating alongside Victoria has shown me what I intuitively knew: the collaborative approach is the feminine way. It’s the circle instead of the straight line. It’s a dialogue instead of a monologue. I’ve done a lot of monologues and I think there’s a place for them, but it’s not where my heart is anymore. I don’t want to steer the ship alone. I deeply value the insight and feedback that Victoria brings and the synergy that happens between us when we sit in sacred, ritual space together. When I imagine possibly offering an in-person retreat one day, I see her beside me, in circle, in collaboration.
But, alas, here I am on my own, one more time. And what I want to talk about is exactly this topic of another way: another way to lead, another way to offer information, another way to be in community, another way to live. I’m hearing this need and longing everywhere: in my groups, with my clients, with my friends.
We are all waking up.
The old ways don’t work anymore, and I’m not sure they ever have, except for an elite few.
The grind doesn’t work.
The separation from our children doesn’t work.
The way we think about and approach money doesn’t work.
I’m going to share a poem called Another Way which emerged from another beautiful exchange that I’m part of, an exchange where I meet monthly with a very wise woman and we each hold intentional space for the other. She’s a woman who is steeped in forging another way of approaching money and work and true wealth and abundance, and she inspires me deeply. I witness her monthly stepping out of the patriarchal patterns and paradigms that have been infused into all of us and bravely finding language that speaks to this other way – the feminine way, the way that, if we can embrace it, will lead to true wealth for everyone. She doesn’t have all the language yet and she struggles at times, like all of us, with the old messages that nip at the heels of her mind. But she keeps forging. She keeps dancing. She keeps wrestling between the old and this other way that must be born. That is being born through her, and through so many others.
Last time we met I wrote this poem the next morning. I will read it now.
Wise woman on the cliffs speaks:
There is another way.
It has been hidden from you
behind veils and mists
that cause you to believe that
there is only this way:
the way of fear and scarcity
The way of working even when you’re not working
because the voice nips at your mind and
tells you it’s dangerous to rest, to be,
to stare into a sky both full and empty and
listen to the whispers of yes and no.
And to trust is most dangerous of all.
The old way says:
Do not stop.
To stop is to drown,
and worry is part of what keeps you afloat.
But there are women who know that
there’s another way.
They’ve seen it and tasted it,
Standing above a wild ocean,
Wind dancing fiercely with robes and scarves.
Unruly, she says.
Tell us more, I say.
We need to know what you’ve seen.
We need to see what you’ve known.
I’m curious where this poem lands in you. And I’d love to hear what thoughts you have about another way to live. For we are all the wise women and men and humans, and when we listen closely enough, we can hear the pulse of another away, the whispers of song and chant and drums and rattles that call to us, that beg us to remember and reclaim a way of living that honors all life. What secrets have been revealed to you that are ready to be shared about what this might look like? I would love to know.
I love you alone and also with Victoria. Thank you for everything. ❤️
Thank you ❤️🙏🏽
Lately, when I hear God’s voice, I hear this soft, rhythmic whisper: “Community, community, community.” I, too, find myself drawn to the spaces where we are together, where we hold each other and speak with our truest voices. I do not know how or what it will look like, but I believe that community–hearts wide open, loving togetherness–is the balm for the suffering and pain we feel in this collective moment.
With so much love,
Yes yes yes. I 100,000% agree. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here.
I love the poem and how you read it in the middle of this episode and at the end. I FELT it especially during that second read;)
I LOVE feeling the comparison of masculine and feminine analogies.
Thank you Sheryl xoxox
Thank you, Lisa Jane. I wasn’t going to read it again but as I paused at the end of the episode it felt right to do so. I’m glad it landed more deeply the second time :). xx
Yes is the only word that comes to mind. Yes yes yes! As always, Thank you for your beautiful words, wisdom and insight ❤️
Thank you, Meg. ❤️❤️❤️
My beautiful Auntie passed two weeks ago and we had her funeral on Friday. She was my mother’s older sister, but like a second mum to me and helped me to understand the divine, the sacred, the Celtic traditions of our ancestors in our large Irish family that moved to Australia a long time ago. Over the course of my 47 years so far, she taught me about another way, another way to sit and be still and live a simple life. So when I see everything now with Xmas lights and presents, and knowing she didn’t really like Xmas that much because it opened up old wounds for her, I feel at peace knowing she has moved onto the next realm. My Auntie’s husband gave me a beautiful momento after the funeral, my grandmothers Scottish dancing medals. I realised the love of dancing and music has been passed down our lineage. All of this feels very special at this time of grief, to know there is a village of feminine on earth and in the next life, guiding always.
I love your conversations with Victoria, Auntie and Niece. It reminds me of the conversations I had with my dear Auntie. I’ll still have those conversations as my life goes on. Thank you Sheryl for always writing what comes at the right time.
This is so beautiful, Jo. What a gift she was and, I’m sure, will continue to be. Sending big hugs. x
Oh, my Sheryl…this all this…
Something so special happens between you and Victoria. You live the practices in front of everyone, and all our nervous systems feel it. It is a compelling and significant modeling that changes people in subtle and important ways as it provides a felt real-life relational road map, even in a podcast. I think you know that, but I wanted to say it is felt over here.
Collaboration with like-hearted, caring, thoughtful, vulnerable people is my favorite thing in the world. I am working on a project of love that will be looking for a 3rd way of doing community in our city for an event next fall, I can’t talk about it here, but it is huge for me and can only be done in collaboration. So much more is created than I can do alone when I work with others. Like ingredients in cooking prepared the right way makes amazing dishes far beyond what’s possible separately.
I feel some sadness you were told only to fly alone, and I am so grateful you are finding this clarity. Both are good and needed (you are wonderful alone, too; both are good).
I will be cheering you on as you explore what’s next. Sending love.
Thank you, dear Lori. I’m excited by your excitement about your project!
Thank you, Sheryl. It is good to be alive, still going slow but hopeful. xxoo❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Wow Sheryl, this really resonated with me this morning! I’ve been wrestling with the other way for a while now. Thank you for the reminder to fully embrace it 😀
I would love to participate in an in-person retreat with you Sheryl and would come all the way from my home in London. I work as a psychodynamic counsellor and implement your work where I can, especially around the re-framing of anxiety.
I look forward to connecting with you in person one day, Tracey!
your poem speaks to me of of whispers and a deep inner voice rising – love and support are important and community is nourishing. We are her to be giving and receiving, sharing joys and fears….. being together through the journey of life…soothing and fulfilling and providing loads of strength and deep comfort
your poem speaks to me of whispers and a deep inner voice rising – love and support are important and community is nourishing. We are her to be giving and receiving, sharing joys and fears….. being together through the journey of life…soothing and fulfilling and providing loads of strength and deep comfort
Beautiful words, Kanika. Thank you.
Hi Sheryl, can you please make an article about “The Grass is always greener” syndrome or comparing your partner/relationship to other people?
One of my earlier blog posts from 2010:
You can always use the search bar at the top of my site to see if I’ve written on a desired topic.
It is a beautiful poem
Gentle and fierce
May we rekindle kindness and the simple things
Thank you Sheryl and Victoria 🙏❤️
Thank you, Cecile ❤️🙏🏽
Your poem resonates with me so deeply. I’m a professional voice teacher and singer, and a cycle of overwork and lack of self nourishment led me to lose my voice for a period of time this year. The experience guided me inward and allowed me to re-evaluate how I want to live and to what I want to devote my energy and passion – community and relationship building and spiritual growth. It’s made me realize how deeply I value rest and how countercultural it is to take the foot off the gas pedal of ambition and “not enoughness.” Thank you for the guiding light of your wisdom.
How good that you were able to gather the gold of, what I imagine was, a very painful and scary experience. Time to take our collective foot off the gas pedal of ambition and “not enoughness”!