Shadows and Light

30 01 2011

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 hearts longing

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 for the children

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
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments

Extracts from The InvitationOriah Mountain Dreamer

I often remember these beautiful words during the times when I have to introduce myself to new people, as I really struggle with the challenge of condensing all that I am into a few short sentences.

In a business context, we are encouraged to produce an ‘elevator’ speech – a short up-beat summary of who we are; what we stand for; and what we can offer the other person.

A personal introduction is very similar; except we might not include the ‘offer the other person’ bit …after all…we’ve only just met!

It is something we have to do though if we want to capture the other person’s attention, as social – or business events – do not usually call for a complete unveiling of our life’s history!

And yet part of me wants others to really ‘see’ me…and for me to ‘see’ them.

I yearn for someone to gaze into my eyes… beyond the ‘me’ I present to the world…and to see into the depths of my soul – where my heart lies.

We are like precious diamonds presenting a few polished and gleaming facets of ourselves to our audience, whilst the greater part of who we are remains in the shadows.

And therein lies the gift…for where there is shadow…there will always be light!

Day 30 -365 Days of Celebration

Today I will be celebrating by looking in the mirror and truly ‘seeing’ myself for the first time.




19 responses

30 01 2011

A very soul-searching post Julie, one that makes us take another look at ourselves and peer deeper into our soul, to know the real person that we are. I still don’t know the real “me” but am working on it!
After 46 years, my husband probably knows me better than I know myself, so in that respect I am lucky to have a soul-mate who can see deep into my very being.

30 01 2011
1961 Girl

Hi Barb – thanks for stopping by.

It is lovely that you have a soul-mate who can reflect back to you who you really are. Sometimes it is a real struggle to understand ourselves and it is only by seeing ourselves reflected by another that we can begin to see who we are.

30 01 2011

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
a nice passage, indeed!
King Frizz
greetings out of my armchair …

30 01 2011
1961 Girl

For me, that is the esscence of this beautiful poem. Oriah asks us to be brave enough to show who we ‘really’ are without having to hide behind the ‘labels’ and the stories we create around us. To just ‘be’ who we are and to let our spirit shine through.
Thank you.

Great picture by the way!

30 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

Are we – who we are, who we aspire to be or as others see us?

When I look through my eyes and see the world I am young with a wicked sense of humour and a ready smile. When I look in the mirror I see a fat and frumpy, 50 something has-been past her sell by date. They say the mirror never lies but the “eyes” are the true window to your soul. Through my eyes I am a slim 18yr old girl but wiser. If only we could have youth and wisdom…are we really as others see us?

30 01 2011
1961 Girl

That is a brilliant question!

How much of our sense of ‘self’ is a reflection of how others believe us to be…and how much comes from who we ‘really’ are?

When I look in the mirror, I also see the ‘girl’. I try to ignore the lines, the grey hairs and the saggy chin and tell myself that it is the person inside that counts. So many of my friends are pushing back the clock…visually at least…with their Botox and face lifts. They are putting out a message of being young and vibrant…and in many ways the world reflects this to them. I guess the challenge is how to project ‘young and vibrant’ without having to undergo the knife!

30 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

I would def not undergo botox or the knife. The mere thought of which makes my trotters tremble!

30 01 2011

Lovely. Thank you

30 01 2011

Juls you are a true inspiration. It’s true, you have to look past what you see in the mirror and look inside at who you are. I keep finding things I’ve overlooked in my Google Reader and just came across this last night.

When I stand in front of a mirror, I automatically point out three beautiful features I love about my body. I let go of the urge to condemn my imperfections and I am wonderfully made to achieve remarkable success.


30 01 2011
1961 Girl

What a great article…thank you for posting the link.

And thanks so much for thinking me an inspiration…I am delighted that you think so. Mirrors and reflections perhaps…

Now you’ve raised another question for this amatuer blogger – what is ‘Google Reader’ please??? 🙂

30 01 2011

You’re welcome.

You can subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed and read it through Google Reader instead of subscribing by email. I find it pretty handy not just for blogs but websites as well. As long as the feed gives you the entire post and not just a portion, you don’t have to visit the site to read it. That’s the basic function, although you can do a lot more with it.

There’s also Yahoo and other applications you can use to subscribe by RSS.


30 01 2011
Piglet in Portugal

Hi Rose if you don’t go to the site to read a post how will you see the comments people have left? I never use this feature but then I suppose I am still clinging to the dinosaur within me 🙂

30 01 2011

I eventually end up visiting the site to read the comments, but it helps in keeping my inbox clear of all the posts and follow-up comments. Plus I also use the filters in email to sort the WordPress emails into their own separate folder. Do you use that feature? 🙂

30 01 2011

Thank you for such a wonderful post! Catching up here after being on limited internet for the past few days…still managed to post, but talk about a Challenge!
Debbie 🙂

31 01 2011
Papa Joe

Julie, that is such a wonderful post. I love the quote with which you start it. And while I believe I have always been happy with myself, it never hurts to hold even that belief up to the light to examine.

I’m so glad I met you here Julie. Thank you for sharing your 50th year with us. It makes me feel happy each day and I love getting to know you better.

Happy 50th.

– Papa Joe

31 01 2011

Beautiful post Julie!
I love Oriah Mountain Dreamer and kept a copy on my bedside for a few years after it come out. It is true that we could all do better at treating each other from that soul level; unfortunately not everyone is there! So w can do our best and ignore the rest. 🙂
I replied to your question on my blog.
Lovely lovely post!

31 01 2011
1961 Girl

I am delighted that you loved this post – bless you Eliz.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer has inspired so many people with her simple poem, ‘The Invitation’. It is amazing how one piece of writing can capture people’s imagination so powerfully. She has the gift of reaching into our hearts to remind us that it is who we are – not what we do or what we own – that is so important. 🙂

And thanks for the reply to my question on the other post.
Juls x

2 02 2011

I’m going to start sounding like a broken record Julie. (Yep, I’m old enough to remember what that means too. Not a broken CD 🙂 ). But your inspiration continues to work for me. I mentioned my special “inspirations page” on another comment and I’ve just added your opening quote here to that page too. The extract from Oriah Mountain Dreamer is wonderful.

Thank you so much for sharing it here.

– Bob

3 02 2011

ah, I have found a new blog with which to fall in love. That poem was given to me many years ago by a very special friend, and I have treasured it and read it many times since then. Good stuff, Julie.

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