The Next Chapter
Guest Post by Manning Wolfe
Buckminster Fuller espoused the idea that a strong context is needed to foster lasting content. In other words, in order to display fruit, you need a fruit bowl to contain it. Working with Jean Springer as my Spiritual Director, and living within the Eremos community has supported the development of the context or framework, in which the new content or path, of my life is supported.
I came to Jean over fifteen years ago unable to step into the next chapter of my life. I was searching for a way to go deeper, to unload the baggage of the past, and to move into the possibility of a brighter more vibrant existence. I had grown tired of my career but did not know how to step into another one. I sought stability, peace of mind, and freedom of expression.
Jean’s ability to hold a space for creative possibility allowed me to evolve as a human being and move forward. She walked the talk and provided inspiration through her very being. Her sage advice and investment of time and energy in my individual development allowed me to explore and discover myself in ways I would not have found on my own. My trust in her and her ability to create a safe space allowed for my deeper awareness and growth. Our work in this safe environment for many years allowed me to develop myself.
Jean’s listening and encouragement allowed me to then integrate the learning into my life and her voice provided a strong “inner voice” of guidance that I carried with me into the world and used to find and express my own voice. Her unconditional acceptance, coupled with the sense of belonging in the Eremos community, allowed me to feel trusted and known. It allowed me to more fully reveal myself and therefore, become more capable of taking risks in the world outside the directing room and the Eremos membership.
Jean’s belief in my vision of living the writer’s life was as important as my desire to achieve it. Her gentle challenge to me to evolve as a person provided the inspiration for me to take on even greater challenges and stretch from within. Her non-judgmental respect for the pursuit of my dream of becoming a published author was important, but more significant was her assistance in developing the underlying values to drive the pursuit. She encouraged me to allow for the possibility that my path led outside the writing life. That freedom to choose and explore other possibilities affirmed my desire to continue toward a writing career.
An author friend of mine said to me, “If you are going to be a published writer, you can hide nothing. If you don’t put it all out there, you won’t succeed.”
I felt a bolt of truth when I heard that statement, as I had been working with Jean on this very topic for not months, but years. I had never encapsulated the issue this succinctly, but when I thought back, I had been moving toward my being in the world in this new “exposed” way for some time.
If Eremos is about going in, what does that have to do with going out into the world as an author and speaker? Everything, because the strength that is created through working with a Spiritual Director like Jean, reading and contemplating good ideas and materials, and spending time in quiet contemplation, meditation and moving arts, allowed me to become more balanced and accepting of my inner self. As Rev. Michael Beckwith would say, I strengthened my “spiritual muscle”. It provided the basis for shameless revelation of self to the world.
So, here I am with a book that has been revealed to everyone I know, and a lot of people I’ve never met. I am exposing myself in a huge way with inner thoughts and stories that I’ve not shared before. It is significant that my inner critic considered the novel to be inconsequential. It is a fun romp through the life of a fictional character. On the surface, it doesn’t have anything to do with contemplation or Spiritual enlightenment. It took a long time for me to see the value in pure entertainment without purpose because that is its purpose. I did not need to write the story of my inner development because the ability to put the book into the world is the proof of my expanded ability to create and share. It is the evidence that the context is in place to hold the content.
Thanks Jean! I could not have published my first book without your support and guidance. Thanks Eremos, for being in the world as a touchstone. Thanks Great Spirit, for freedom and the sheer joy of creativity.
About the Author:
Manning Wolfe, is a member of the Eremos community and is an author and attorney residing in Austin, where she writes cinematic-style, smart, fast-paced thrillers with a salting of Texas flavor. The first in her series, featuring Austin Lawyer Merit Bridges, is Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs. Boots King. A graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law, Manning’s experience has given her a voyeur’s peak into some hero’s and shady characters’ lives and a unique perspective to spin yarns and tales about their adventures.
You can find her book on Amazon, at BookPeople, and wherever books are sold. www.manningwolfe.com