Andrew Lang - The Wednesday 1-2-3

To Be Held in the Midst of Transition and Change: The Wednesday 1-2-3

Published 4 months ago • 2 min read

Happy Wednesday Reader!

Today’s teaching is based on a poem from my good friend and poet James A. Pearson. On February 10th, James will be leading a workshop on the survival dance and sacred dance as part of our upcoming cohort. If you're interested, more information on the cohort can be found by clicking the link!

Here’s today’s teaching, with some questions and resources to explore this week:

1. Teaching

One of the scariest aspects of personal change – no matter how big or small – is that we can’t be sure of how we will be held in the midst of it.

  • I’ve given 30 years to this business – what will people say when I walk away?
  • When our divorce is made public, will my community still be here for me?
  • How will my partner respond to this new belief I seem to have?
  • With this diagnosis, will people look at me differently?
  • What will my family say and do when I tell them?
  • Will I be able to hold myself with kindness?

Whether it’s a shift in our identity, a midlife transition, a change in our belief system, or something else entirely, this space of unknowing can often fill us with anxiety.

I invite you to reflect on the poem below and how you have experienced being held (or not being held) in the midst of your own life transitions and changes.

How to Listen
by James A. Pearson
I’m not asking you
to come down here
and clean up
the muddy corners
of my life.
I’m asking you
to be a forest,
where mud and leaf,
shadow and light,
growth and decay
all have their
unquestioned belonging.
I’m asking you
to be an ocean,
where even great storms
don’t trouble the depths
and each tear is welcomed
as a homecoming.
I’m asking you
to be as spacious
as the vast darkness
behind the sky,
which will never be afraid
of what I do
or don’t choose.
I’m not asking you
to hold me together.
I’m asking you
to open so wide
you can hold all the ways
I come apart.

2. Questions

  1. Who are the people in your life, past or present, who have held you with the gentle tenderness this poem evokes?
  2. How do you listen and hold others in the midst of their transitions and changes? When you are fully present, what is your emotional and physical posture when listening? When you are not present, how does it change?

3. Resources

⏪ If you missed last week's email:

I shared a teaching from James Finley about having a constellation of practices.

Hope you're well or well-enough,


Upcoming Inner Work Cohort

Beginning February 4th, I'll be facilitating a 30-day cohort for folks who feel like they've been going through the motions and want support in deepening their sense of personal meaning and presence.

I know that's not everybody – but if it sounds familiar to you, I hope you'll check it out.

Andrew Lang - The Wednesday 1-2-3

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