Irish poet David Whyte has long been a great inspiration to me. When I listen to him speak or I read one of his poems, something stirs deep in the heart of my being. He touches my soul.

When I came across his poem, “Start Close In,” again the other day (see the poem below), I understood it on a much deeper level than I had before. In recent weeks, I’ve been very aware of the contrast between how I feel when I am powerfully aligned, both within myself and with a greater emerging potential, and when my energy and focus feel scattered. When I’m fully present and aligned, I have a tangible sense of being centered and rooted in my spine. When my energy and focus are scattered, I feel like I’m actually standing just in front of my physical body rather than in it. My energetic body and physical body feel disconnected from one another. To use David Whyte’s words, I’m literally not “close in.”

The more I stay focused and centered both in my spine and in my soul, the more I feel “in the flow.” I feel strong and confident. I am clear about who I am, why I’m here, and the contribution that I can make to that particular moment or situation.

If I focus only on the next step that is actually so close and let go of the need to know the second and third step, everything is clear. As I take the first step, the second one reveals itself. My energetic body and physical body remain one. Yet, if I get lost in looking for the second or third step before I have taken the first one, my focus gets scattered and doubts and fears arise. It’s as though I’m out in front of myself again.

If I get lost in my assumptions about others’ expectations of me, again my focus and energy quickly scatter. Yet when I step beyond those assumptions and focus on what I know in the heart of my being, I find clarity and strength again.

The more I stay “close in,” the better I am able to serve. The more compact and focused my energy, the stronger and clearer the “signal” that I broadcast, and the further that signal seems to beam out.

The more I trust what I know and say yes to the calling of my soul and of life, the taller I stand and the more impactful my message.

Thank you, David Whyte, for the profound wisdom you share.


Start Close In
by David Whyte
River Flow)

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.

Start with 
the ground
you know,
the pale ground
beneath your feet,
your own
way of starting 
the conversation.

Start with your own
give up on other
people’s questions,
don’t let them
smother something

To find 
another’s voice
your own voice,
wait until 
that voice
becomes a
private ear
to another.

Start right now
take a small step
you can call your own
don’t follow
someone else’s
heroics, be humble
and focused,
start close in,
don’t mistake
that other
for your own.

Start close in,
don’t take the second step
or the third,
start with the first
close in,
the step you don’t want to take.


P.S. To become more centered and focused in yourself and in the present moment, take a few minutes for the “Becoming Mindful” exercise on page 37 of my latest book, Create A World That Works. The book is also available in digital format.

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