One Day You Finally Knew What You Had To Do | Creation Meditation

One Day You Finally Knew What You Had To Do

The wonderful poem by Mary Oliver called “The Journey” beautifully describes the inner intelligence that guides and leads our lives. “One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,” reads the first line. And what we have to do often feels incongruent with what is around us – there might be all sorts of circumstances holding you back and there might be people around you who need you just the way you are. Yet, there is no question: you must do what you need to do.

There is an existential beauty to this intelligence. That soft, inner voice comes forward possessing the wisdom of something greater, some force that knows the length of your life, some intelligence that knows what you need to do now in order to become who you will be. It could be described as the intuitive intelligence of the heart, an intelligence that one can become intimate with through creativity.

The creative act requires listening, listening to the voice of the unknown and trusting each piece of inner direction to bring into existence the poem or painting. Ultimately, as we continue to listen to each piece of inner guidance (whether in creativity or in our lives), we bring into existence the creative expression of our life.

The creative energy is intelligent. It knows what’s next in the creative act, and based upon everything that exists now, it knows what’s needed to bring the final creative product – a poem, a painting, a sculpting piece – into fruition. In the same way, life is intelligent. The life force itself, no different than the creative energy – has intelligence that can guide our life. Living within each of us is wisdom, an intelligence that knows the final product of our lives. In this way, listening to this inner intelligence can guide our way through life.

Interestingly, we can cultivate our intimacy with this inner intelligence by being creative. Just as we listen closely to the inner muse for what to do next in our creative endeavor, that same inner voice can guide the direction of our lives. The intelligence of the creative energy is no different than the life energy. The beauty of following the heart’s intuition in creativity is no different than the act of following the heart in life.

For this reason alone, becoming intimate with the creative energy in you can be a spiritual practice. You can deepen your relationship with that creative energy in order to deepen your ability to hear that soft, inner voice. For it is that voice that knows what needs to be done in order to be exactly who you are meant to be.

The Journey by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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