What Do I Know?

by Simon Goland, July 3, 2018

The only real question is not one of winning or losing, but of experiencing life with an ever-increasing depth. – David Whyte

As the Right Livelihood Quest website has been updated to a new look, there is still a section that needs a review. My beloved challenged me to it. She is good like that, with her sharp eye and boundless wisdom of seeing and knowing.

Often, my mind will start working its own wisdom and magic when my body is engaged with a repetitive movement, like cycling or yoga. As I was stretching this morning, thoughts started coming. “What do I know about myself now?”

Though, it is more like “knowing” which implies an ongoing process of deepening, inquiring, seeing, and understanding, as opposed to a fixed place in time that I have reached and, therefore, “I know.”

“Humility is the first frontier of learning.” – Anonymous

I know Love, Intimacy, Vulnerability, and Trust from my years of being with my beloved. It has been a deep, rich, challenging, humbling, and rewarding process of trusting, of listening, of opening up, and – of course – of being called forward by the space Alison and I get to co-create between us. This is a blessing that continues to unfold. I am looking forward to it, for many reasons, and one of them being that I keep loving myself and who I am becoming through this relationship and Alison’s presence in my life.

I know Grief, Love, Grace, and Presence from the transition of my four-legged Fluffy Guru. It has been almost a year, and Tobi’s presence is still here, working his magic in various expected ways. He will show up, usually unexpectedly, asking me to pause, drop in, and open up. This has been the hardest “knowing” of them all, and also the richest one.

I know Humility, Surrender, Awakening, and Gratitude from my colon cancer journey. This wake-up call showed up two years ago, bringing unimaginable gifts into my life. Challenges too. Talk about a “blessing in disguise.”

I know Masculine Authenticity, Vulnerability, Intimacy, Presence, and Power from my time with the Mankind Project and the men I get to spend time with. I really never had anyone even remotely close to a healthy and positive male role model in my life, for most of my life. When I encountered the Mankind Project, I saw something that I have never seen before, which is a different way to be a man in our world. I strongly believe that pretty much ALL of our current challenges, worldwide, that we are facing, can be tracked back to an unhealthy masculine presence and energy (such as fear, greed, hunger for power, closed mindedness and closed heartedness). Meeting a different masculine presence allows me to see a path forward and strengthens my belief in the importance of my work in this area.

I know Presence, Purpose, Humility, Gratitude, and Wisdom from facilitating the Right Livelihood Quest journeys. This has been, and continues to be, one of the more transformational experiences of my professional career (vocation), for many of the participants over the years, and also for me. It has been fascinating to see how the process continues to take a life of its own, evolving from year to year, calling me to continue listening and surrendering. Every time a Quest is about to happen, I know that I will be going through the process myself, with further learning of what I am facing in my life at present and what else I might need to open up to.

My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear — a care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee from my negligence. The “I” in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable. – Kahlil Gibran

I also know that the learning and the “knowing” will continue teaching, challenging, and gifting me for the rest of my life. I would not have it any other way.