Poetry and New Choices for Authentic Living

I found it!
      And now when the storms wail
      and the face of the sun is masked in clouds,
      when my shining fate revolves to dark,
      my light will never be extinguished!

                    --  Fatwa Tuqan

            These words, written by a Palestinian woman in her homeland during the tumultuous period of the 1930’s & ’40’s, reflected both the chaos in her family’s life at that time and her emerging presence as a traditionally raised woman joyfully embracing her new professional identity as a writer, a poet, and radio speaker. 

            Fatwa Tuqan was a woman brought up to obey the men of her family, not to express contrary opinions, and to stifle her own feelings and voice.  She was forbidden ever to leave the house, for her whole life, because she accepted a jasmine blossom from young man who dared not speak to her (while walking home from school, which she loved “more than home” for the way it nurtured her longing for a wider world).

             For her to move forward as a writer, reading her words aloud to others, and at last speaking authentically, was an unimaginable leap of creation, requiring a deep connection to poetry, the support of her brother in transforming herself, and the belief that this self-transformation was essential for her to thrive.  “One day you finally knew what you had to do,” as the poet, Mary Oliver, states unequivocably.

             As both a life coach and poet, I am deeply aware of the importance of finding out what you are passionate about, what you are wanting to share with others-- then finding the work and the way of living that allows you to embrace your passion and expand your life.


 1)   How have you felt held back from expressing what really matters to you?

 2)   How have you been supported in being authentic and open to your aliveness?

 3) What is the light in you that will overcome your clouds of fear?