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And in the seeking of JOY, I momentarily forgot that where there is joy, there will also on occasions, be the presence of loneliness, or grief, or self doubt.....For in order to feel joy, we must also allow ourselves to be open to experiencing the whole spectrum of human emotions

Just as Rumi says..'This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival, a

JOY , a DEPRESSION, a MEANNESS .....Welcome and entertain them all....Be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond..'

And welcome them we must, as hard and as counter-intuitive as it may at first feel. But if we are to grow, if we are to evolve and become grounded and rooted and steady in our own skin, then we must allow ourselves to feel the rich tapestry of emotions which visit our precious guest house..

By digging deep and excavating a sacred space where we are able to sit with and be with, the complex and often sticky terrain of our emotions, is to recognise that even here, especially here, there are precious jewels hidden which when dusted off and examined, gift us with fortification, resilience and compassion.

Self doubt, imposter syndrome, a helplessness, have all been regular visitors to my guesthouse over the years and for many of these years rather than welcoming them and feeling a gentle curiosity to the lessons they may hold, I would either busy myself with anything and everything. Pushing and pushing the unwelcome emotions deeper down into my marrow. Or, I would allow the tendrils of these emotions to take hold, fully believing the story i was creating based on these visitors.

And now...Whilst not such frequent visitors, when they do arrive (usually unannounced and out of the blue) I am learning to cultivate a space for them and the stories they hold. To take the time to feel into what is actually TRUE and what is just that old story I have made up and come to believe.

In the past, rash decisions may have been made in the presence of these guests. Now, I am learning to wait. To bide my time until they have left and I can re-visit the tales they weave, with a softer, less self critical lens. It is working!

During the night, self doubt tidied their room, packed up their overnight bag and checked out. This morning, the guest house windows were open. Fresh air and a fresh day awaiting the next arrival along with all of the delights and lessons they have to gift.....


This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness

comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.


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