What Is Waiting in Your Golden Room?

by Thomas Cary Kinder

What is waiting in your Golden Room?  A surprise, probably.

Often the EVOKE Life Planning process turns up surprises:

A successful business executive goes through EVOKE to help plan for retirement and uncovers an old secret dream to run a bait and tackle shop, and no one is more surprised than she is at the joy it brings her.

A man uses Life Planning to help plan the next phase of his career, which is to launch a nonprofit to address global poverty, only to discover that before he can undertake any major new enterprise he needs to reconcile with his father.  He is surprised to discover how much that pain is draining his vigor.  He sees how valuable his father’s wisdom and support could be as he confronts the obstacles it will take all his vigor to overcome.  It could delay his launch date, but there is no question he needs to do it.  The Life Planning focuses on how he will go about it, and sets aside exploring the nonprofit path for later.

The first time I went through the EVOKE process I was a pastor who had been overworking for years and was on the brink of total burnout.  My Life Planner was the Yoda of all Life Planners, but even he could not help me get through my exhaustion, bitterness and hopelessness to find the light in my heart’s core.  We flailed around in impenetrable shadow until finally I nearly screamed that I just wanted to run away to a cabin in the woods and have everyone leave me alone.

Surprise!  I am writing in that cabin now, where I have come to meditate and write and be rejuvenated many times a week for ten years, thanks to a sabbatical grant from the Louisville Institute and Lilly Endowment that enabled me to build it.

The forest around this cabin has been logged over the years, and there are stump sprouts–clumps of as many as five trees growing in a tight circle around where a tree was cut.  Other trees have fallen and rotted where they lay and a line of trees has sprouted up fed by the rot.

We come to a transition point in our lives and may envision the tree that will rise out of the old life, but other things may need to grow first.  Surprises may pop out of our Golden Room.  We look down and see not a sapling but a vigorous clump of mushrooms, and if that is what we find, that is what we need to do, trusting that either we will discover our greatest fulfillment in this unexpected direction or that this is what the universe or Spirit needs of us now, and it will lead to something else.

The EVOKE Life Planning process calls the light we find in our Golden Room a Torch.  Continue reading

The Light at the Heart’s Core

by Thomas Cary Kinder

Morning glory blue–that is what my eye looks for on summer mornings, a flower or many flowers opening on the vines.  I wake up thirsting for more.  It diminishes the day, it dims me, when I cannot drink in that pleasure I am craving.

The wide open sky of the flower draws me in, but it is the light at the heart’s core that is the destination it has in mind for me.  It hopes I am not one of those who flies by or settles for petals.  It prays I will be a pollinator and dive into that light and help it seed the world with more of the beauty we are all born to share.

I confess that I often see only the blue, only the lovely surface.  I rush on drunk from one sip, calling it more than enough.  It takes time to move to the core.  Look deeply into this photograph and see what you feel.

Photograph by Lesley Wellman

It feels to me as if there is a sun down there in the center of all that sky, a powerful force and source of life.

It feels as if there is something waiting in that tunnel that wants to come forth, something the world needs.  I feel its urgency to make fertile the seed.  I want to help.

I feel that this tunnel leads to the light that dwells at the heart of all things, and if I dive into it here, I could swim anywhere in the universe.  If I help this light, I help all light.  If I know deeply its light, I know better your light.

I want to find that glow inside myself, inside every moment.  Where is it in me?  Where is it in this moment?

I want to help you find yours, too.  There are proven ways to do it, and we live in an extremely exciting time because ancient ways are being revived and new ones are evolving, blossoming from the intertwining strands of the old.  Here are two ways we can find our heart’s core light: Continue reading

Make an Opening

You may not be able to see it.  You may not be able to feel it.  You may see and feel in yourself only the old, splintery, knotty, worn out barn board that is all that remains of the fertile young farm you once were.

But make an opening, and if you cannot make one, wait patiently for a knot to loosen and drop and leave a hole, and see what happens.

Trust that the Golden Room is down there, waiting, eager to send forth what you were born to share and shine.  It will always return if we give it room.  Watch and wait and pray, and miracles can happen, a green spark can rise in people who have been lost in the darkness, people who feel useless, people who are dying and almost dead.  It is why we are here every minute that we are here.  It is never too late, because the Golden Room is who we are and always will be.

What do you need to do to let a new green shoot rise through you?