Making Sweet Honey From Old Failures

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

I did not realize I was about to fail. I had driven 1000 miles to Mammoth Lakes to visit my friend Alicia and her family. I had made it safely and we had planned a full long weekend, by coincidence it was Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day so she had Monday off and we had talked about having Thanksgiving dinner that evening. Then on Saturday afternoon Alicia was reviewing her e-mails and realized that she had a meeting of her women’s group scheduled for Monday night. “You should come with me” she observed. “No, I don’t feel like going” I reacted. “Anyway weren’t we planning on having Thanksgiving dinner that night.” “Oh we can have that tomorrow”, Alicia responded. She was disappointed that I would not accompany her and suggested that if I did not go then she would not either. I told her I would think about it and perhaps a draw a rune stone for guidance. It is not as though these were strangers, I had taught three workshops with some of them however perhaps I did not feel like being “on”, maybe it seemed too much like work.

I went to bed just not feeling like changing my mind. I was on vacation and could choose how I wanted to spend my time. The next morning I awoke and began my morning meditation. At the end I repeat four intentions; they are the same every day and concern my desired focus for my life. They are as follows:

1) To serve through my spiritual coaching by empowering others by offering a means to their greater wellbeing.

2) To shine my light. (https://ta44.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/let-the-light-shine/)

3) To live a soul directed life guided by synchronicity and serendipity.

4) To practice opening my heart through love and compassion.

As I reviewed the four intentions I noticed a sense of wonder at how Alicia’s invitation to join her women’s group was totally consistent with each one. It certainly gave me an opportunity to serve and shine my light and what an amazing synchronicity that they were meeting the very day that I was there, and of course I frequently seek out this kind of gathering because it offers heart-opening moments. How did I get to a place where I said “No”?

The answer was quick to come. It was again James Hollis’s words that provided the clue, “activating these charged clusters of energy transfers the experiences of other times and places to the present, undermining our capacity for conscious choice and holding us hostage to the past.” My reaction had been from the child. I had come a long way to play with my friend Alicia and she was going off to play with someone else. It was an old pattern of feeling abandoned that had unconsciously triggered my response yet once again illustrated the power of the Hollis’s wisdom.

I greeted Alicia later that morning and told her I would love to attend her women’s group and felt extremely honoured to be invited. I see now that it is one of the reasons I was there and of course it proved to be one of the highlights of my trip. My failure had indeed turned to “sweet honey”. The poem is by Anthony Macheda, translated by Robert Bly and I found it in a little book by Roger Housden titled “ten poems to change your life”. The entire poem goes as follows:

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

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