Path of Initiation Talk


Path Of Initiation Talk: How Your Deepest Challenges are Leading You to Your Great Work in the World

       Delivered at the Integral Institute in Boulder, CO, March 31, 2014  by   Sweigh Emily Spilkin


More on How to Become an Initiated Adult in the World:

Build yourself up. Study everything you can. Strive to become the best. Know what you are here for. Work really hard. Feel good about yourself. Smack up something you cannot control. Struggle as it wrestles you to the ground. Die. Die again. Let your eyes be pecked out by some terrible and strange bird that you fear and love all at the same time. Survive (barely). Grieve. Howl. Rage. Let everything happen. Allow something greater than you to move through you and show you who you really are. Forget and think that you are in control. Remember again that you are not. Feel genuine gratitude for the ways in which you are being shaped. Heal your past. Receive support. Become humble. Begin to fall in love with life as it is more than how you want it to be. Learn patience. Practice sacred listening. Say yes to what comes. Let yourself be loved into existence. Let yourself be used by the Divine. Forget. Fall. Grieve. Remember again. Get back up. Open your heart. Get simple. Do what is yours to do. Be carried along by grace.

Sweigh Emily Spilkin

Poem that I read at the end of the talk:

Break in me whatever needs to be broken.
Fix my hope of ever being fixed. 
Use me. Draw every ounce of creativity out of me. Help me live a radically unique life, forever forging a never-before-trodden path in the forest.
Show me how to love more deeply than I ever thought possible.

Whatever I am still turning away from, keep shoving in my face.
Whatever I am still at war with, help me soften towards, relax into, fully embrace.
Where my heart is still closed, show me a way to open it without violence.
Where I am still holding on, help me let go.

Give me challenges and struggles and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, if that will bring an even deeper humility and trust in the intelligence of life.
Help me laugh at my own seriousness.
Allow me to find the humour in the dark places.
Show me a profound sense of rest in the midst of the storm.
Don’t spare me from the truth. Ever.

Let gratitude be my guide.
Let forgiveness be my mantra.
Let this moment be a constant companion.
Let me see your face in every face.
Let me feel your warm presence in my own presence.

Hold me when I stumble.
Breathe me when I cannot breathe.
Let me die living, not live dying.


–Jeff Foster