Crossing Thresholds: A New Opening
The Next Opening
Drop Down Deep
Watch this space for future dates.
In a time when we have been advised not to touch one another, let us “touch” one another, deeply. Let us brighten our own lights during this time, in behalf of ourselves, our families, our communities, and all those we love, in a dedicated way, through the miracle of technology, and the deep distinctions inherent in crossing thresholds well. Let us open up to what Celtic poet/philosopher John O’ Donohue calls “the real pastures” for ourselves through being with the poetry, our own poetic voices, our lives, and one another, in conversation as we explore and lean into what it takes to cross a threshold well, in a healing kind of way, what it takes to be a light in darkness, what it takes to create equanimity while living in an external environment of constant change, shaking ground, our plans upended at every turn.
Crossing Thresholds, The Next Opening, is a four-session course, two hours each Tuesday, February 2, 16, March 2, and 9, 2021, where we meet, in community, and we engage together the conversations that arise as an opening from the poetry in my new book, Crossing Thresholds, Island Reflections.
The program is for you if you are ready to do some good, internal work for yourself, stand in some new ground in your life, are attracted to fulfilling the purposes of the course and are willing to dedicate those four Tuesday mornings, with deep work in between the sessions, of reading, writing, spending time in dialogue, thinking, reflection, and coaching with a partner. We then return to community and conversation during each Tuesday for deepening our own work, and opening up our next passage, as we cross our own internal thresholds.
In a time when external travel is limited, it has expanded for the inner traveler.
As one of the reviewers of the book on Amazon says, “This is not a self-help 10 steps” book, or conversation. This is not for fixing anything. Rather, this is a conversation for the Explorer, the Adventurer, the Curious, the Serious traveler, who is interested in and committed to traveling an inner journey and time in the first two months of 2021, to developing some serious muscle for handling and moving through whatever personal threshold crossings are ours to make, during this collective, communal, global threshold crossing time.
WHAT ARE THE PURPOSES AND INTENTIONS OF THE PROGRAM?
Overall Purpose: You have a new opening into your relationship with your Self, Your Inner Teacher, Your Inner Guide, as you move through whatever paths there are for you to walk.
The course provides you with an opportunity to walk across a current threshold into a new opening, and new pastures of well-being, resiliency, creativity, and a sense of being at peace with things as they are.
Specific purposes, intentions of Crossing Thresholds, the Next Opening
- You prepare the ground, or “set the table,” or “till the soil” for your next threshold crossing, in such a way that that crossing is a source of inspiration and empowerment to you.
- If appropriate in its timing, you distinguish, and then cross, a particular threshold that is yours to make.
- You cultivate a sense of longing, of desire, of commitment, through conversation, for making the threshold crossing that is yours to take.
- You create an opening for cultivating an acceptance for, opportunity in, and, even, gratitude for, the current circumstances of your life. (“Befriending the circumstances”)
- You have the capacity to create a powerful perspective as you cross the ground of your, particular, threshold crossing.
- You are clear about, and have access to, letting go of whatever you need to let go of to affect a powerful threshold crossing for yourself.
- You have a new opening for being present to, and have space for, the strong emotions that may be coming up for you, like fear, anxiety, worry, sorrow – whatever they are, that are showing up during these times.
- You have a deepened ability to listen to your intuition, wisdom, and Teacher Within speaking: you begin to be able to listen to your own, inner Guide.
WHAT IS THE TUITION FOR THE PROGRAM?
The tuition for this program is $975.00.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to present circumstances, and you are committed to being in this program, please let us know your situation, and there will be an opportunity for a reduced tuition.
You will be paired with a partner, with whom you will be engaging work between each sessions. You will have an opportunity to “weigh in” on who your partner is. We have found that, the partnerships were incredibly powerful, valuable, like “gold” as people engaged this conversation. You’ll be wanting to set time aside between the sessions to work with your partner, as that is where the majority of your, personal work will get done.
As much of the work that we do occurs between sessions, and in partnership with another, you may want to invite a particular person to be in this conversation with you, as a way to deepen your connection and relatedness with them, in the profound clearing that being in a powerful developmental conversation is as you support each other in crossing into your next threshold.
For those who are interested, it is possible to create a special arrangement for individual one-on-one coaching with Amba in between sessions, around whatever work you are engaging, whatever threshold you are crossing. It is possible to make these requests “ad hoc,” once the course has begun.
ARE THERE ANY CONDITIONS FOR MY PARTICIPATION?
Yes. We have found that the power in the work that Amba engages with others is directly related to the depth people are “at stake,” are longing for, and are committed to a personal breakthrough. The quality of the virtual conversation is deeply connected to this, as a foundation for everyone’s participation.
To “qualify” for being in this four session course,
- You do not need to have engaged in any other work with Amba prior to registering.
- The purposes of the Crossing Thresholds course, interest you, engage you.
- You are willing to generate the quality and culture of the call through following certain etiquette for being on a Zoom conversation, which you will receive upon registering. Examples are:
- You stay with the one conversation the entire time; you promise not to multi-task, or do anything else other than be in the conversation.
e.g. You give the screen the same courtesy and respect if you were you in a room with Amba and others.
- You are committed to participating in paired and small group sharing, e.g., break out rooms, where you will have an opportunity to create an authentic connection with others, being coached by others and coaching, through guided questions.
- You have the book in front of you as your text book for the course. The link to purchase the book is https://galeleadership.com/book/buy-now/
- If you are missing a session, (and yes, you can miss a session), you promise to watch the recording of that session within the first three days of the following week, as this is an unfolding and ongoing conversation, and you will be engaging with a partner in between sessions for doing work. If you are missing a session, please let me know in advance. If an event occurs during the course that is sudden, and precipitates your not being able to be on the zoom course live, please let us know as soon as you know.
- You are committed to engaging in work between sessions, in reading the poetry of your choice, in possibly writing, or expressing yourself in other creative ways, in engaging with the reflections Amba suggests, or you are attracted to, in dialogue, coaching, and inquiries that are both part of the book and part of your own participant manual with another in the course.
- You stay with the one conversation the entire time; you promise not to multi-task, or do anything else other than be in the conversation.
Before the first session, you read the Introduction to the book and/or view the virtual launch of the book through the following link: https://galeleadership.com/virtual-launch-video/
WHAT HAVE PARTICIPANTS SAID ABOUT THE COURSE?
Recently, I enrolled in a Crossing Thresholds Course. I enrolled because I deeply honor and experience gratitude for the person coaching this offer. The Course is Zoom-presented. Because I know Amba Gale and have been with her in her coaching work, I knew there was going to be a big value in the course, but I had no idea if she could enable access for a group of us through Zoom in a powerful enough way that we would step into the needed velocity and power to cross the thresholds that we were intending to cross.
Frankly, I was blown away. I did not have a lot of faith that we could be dropped down into the deep depth where we could get entry into what we needed to get complete…in order to get to the place of opening up to a new future…but we did. I felt held and profoundly contributed to in the course on Zoom by Amba. Her teaching, coaching, and her powerful reading of her own poetry opened up new windows into my soul. I viscerally felt our connection…even through the ethers. I developed myself deeply during the course – intended, sacred self-development time. The way we were left with a partner for the entire duration of the course was brilliant. I opened into a new velocity in getting complete with my past that was holding me back. I made major life shifts in our inspiriting partnership.
Before the Course, I knew I was writing a book, but it was on the “down low.” My expressed identity out in the world centered on my coaching work. I crossed a major threshold, deepening my connection to my writing, respecting its centrality as vital, welcoming the shift-shaping of my life. Before the Course, I was in a scarcity conversation; if I let my writing be honored in the way it needs, would I become unreliable for my coaching career? I discovered that honoring my writing as my core contribution now actually opened up a fresh and enlivening space in my coaching work. I now trust my creative identity to inform my whole life.
Crossing Thresholds tilled my soil, so to speak. Like a master gardener’s tools, Amba’s words loosened up parts of me that had been compacted and hardened by the weight of the world, transforming what was root-bound into humus, allowing air and light in to create a fertile environment for germination and growth.
Crossing Thresholds was a surprising journey, deep into the heart of my soul, opening up places that I had not accessed for a long time, (like a did when I would lie alone in the mustard fields in California as a kid, and star at the clouds, being in wonderment allowing the still voices in me to be heard). I entered a place that was the “right” threshold for me to cross. It was like my whole being opened up to awe, wonderment and peace for what was to unfold as my threshold around the area of Belonging.
I really want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend the last Amba class, Crossing Thresholds. In short it was exactly what I needed at the exact time I was ready for it. A perfect storm as they say. The last few months have been very trying for me. Not really being able to engage with my customers as I normally would, working harder than I ever have while wearing a mask, the thoughts of the “unknown” and the added daily stress of shoplifters/no maskers/worried employees really made me rise to a level of anxiety that I have never experienced before in my lifetime. How can I be in service to the employees of Mill Creek when I am feeling this way? Then there is my mom who is in her late 80’s. She ended up moving in with us a year ago and is very worried about getting COVID. I am doing everything I can to stay safe for her.
That being said, going through the de-escalation class started my thinking about my anxiety and how I could control it. The breathing exercises that Bud taught me really helped. Then Amba came back in to my life. What a God-shot! One of my crossings was a strong desire to be Dave. I have not seen him for quite a few months. Where did I go? I thought back to other classes and really got an opportunity to be alone and find myself. My true self. I am using catch and correct now on this journey and soon it will be just me. Dave is back! Just last weekend I was able to spend more time on the sales floor and just be myself and it felt AWESOME. I have a couple more, deeply personal, thresholds to cross. Work in progress…
Sorry for rambling on, and, THANK YOU!
Let me just say here that I am really, really really, glad I was in the course… and that I am standing in front of numerous ‘new openings’ crossing thresholds that were on my mind going into the course, ones that emerged in the process of being in the course and areas that I am just now seeing either newly or am seeing from an entirely different perspective.
Exuberance is alive in me.
All manner of things shall be well……………
Amba, you crossed another threshold with the birth and completion of your online course. Thank you. During this time of great uncertainty which has exhausted so many, you generated life through love. I loved how Rick acknowledged you and work we all did together. To see that “room” full of lightness and possibility was really heartwarming.
Crossing Thresholds has given me the opening I have needed for some time and I have very much enjoyed the course as well as the inquiries it has offered me. I have been navigating my employment with refreshed eyes, forgiveness for some family and trying to understand what my new relationship is with my sister. This is a lot!
If there is anything that our quarantine time has highlighted, it is that each of us has territory to cover with our internal “undones” and having more reflective time to spend opening our hearts to creating a better pathway for ourselves is a healthy step to take. Your poetry, candor and deep reflective questions helped me considerably in opening up and working on the troubling emotions I had stored away for so long. From my listening to the others in the course, it seems to have done that in some way for all of us.
As I said early on in my book review on Amazon, you have been my teacher, my colleague and my friend for many years now, and I cherish our relationship. As you know from my recent letters to you, I greatly appreciate you and the many contributions you have made to my life – including this acknowledgement of the deep conversation we had before the course began. No matter how much time passes between speaking with each other, or – someday – getting together, you are always in my heart and I consider that a true blessing in my life. Thank you so much.
How to thank you for the gift that you and your course, Crossing Thresholds: A New Opening, has been for me? The gift began before the course even started when you challenged me to name and commit to the Threshold that was in front of me to cross. I knew what it was right away, it had been sitting there, beckoning, for nearly five years. My Threshold, as you know, was to pick up my paintbrush and paint again, create again. To rediscover they joy of getting lost in the wonder of bringing into being something from myself that only I can make. Did I cross that Threshold? YES! Absolutely. But that is only the beginning of my journey and the gifts I received from you.
What I also learned to do was to dive down deep into myself and listen. To hear my own muse speak, to hear my own needs speak, to hear my own sadness, gladness, joy, anger, hopes, and dreams speak. Because of your gift, your heart, your poetry that reaches down and touches the most sacred and intimate parts of the soul, I learned first WHY I stopped painting. Then, I learned what I needed to do cross that Threshold well.
I stopped painting five years ago when my husband became suddenly ill. It was serious, it was frightening, it was paralyzing. I came within hours literally, of losing him. I dedicated all of my effort (including donating my left kidney to him) into getting him well. Then, all of my effort, my energy, my soul juice going forward went into the financial support of my family – for it all fell to me and me alone to do. I simply had no space left in my life for anything else. I became a giver who forgot how to receive.
What I learned beyond that was that I had a deep and abiding anger at my husband, not for getting sick or being unable to work, but for being mortal. I had never recognized or voiced it, to him or to myself. But the realization that he could not concretely promise to me to always be with me while I walked this earth was a tough nut to crack. He is and will always be the love of my life. I realized that I had to forgive him for his mortality and move into a place of rejoicing all that we have had, all that we have, and all that we will have. And, I can hold those memories with me forever.
I also learned something deeper, I had another Threshold to cross (this had to come before my stated Threshold crossing could ever begin), which was that I needed to forgive myself. I needed to forgive myself for letting myself go. For abandoning my needs, for putting myself last. It is hard, impossible even, to keep giving from an empty cup. I had to let myself RECEIVE from myself, from others. I had to let go of the idea that I was in control of everything and let life actually happen. When I forgave myself and started to take “me time”, when I bought new paints and new brushes, I began to feel the stirrings of life deep inside where there had been only dead weight and darkness. There was a lightness happening, a quickening, the fluttering wings of my muse as she awoke from a long winter of silent slumber.
Talk about life changing! Outwardly, I look the same. I still get up and go to work everyday. I am still my family’s sole source of income and support. But, inside, oh the change!! I am no longer living in a grayscale world. I see and feel colors again, I have put brush to canvas, pigment, paint, shape, texture, all are awake and real again. I feel renewed, reborn, rejuvenated, and I am filled with unwavering gratitude for the gift that you are, Amba. I am eternally in your debt.
With gratitude and love,
The Threshold I thought I wanted to cross when the course started was to begin to write more freely and to make a lifestyle shift that will allow me to finish my first book. During the first session, I realized that cultivating longing is what was and is truly before me. I realized that my threshold felt flat, and like it would remain dormant unless I allowed that longing to come to life.
I unintentionally wrote my first poem in more than 20 years. And I understood that my longing is for presence. The presence that is required to suffer greatly and still feel joy. To walk a hard road and still discover beauty there. That is what I long for. Presence. To laugh and love and be. To be in sync enough with time to notice what people need in each moment. To have the courage to not be skipping ahead or worrying about the past. There will be no completion if I am not “there” enough to take the journey.
In the second session, someone said that “coulds and shoulds fade in the face of the opportunity before me.” I was struck by this and began to let those words work on me a little each day. Some moments began to yawn open before me and I could almost literally feel a burden start to lift. It is not just about processing emotions and then choosing how we perceive and then conceive of each moment – it is about having the courage to let those emotions go to work on our souls. If I know my tears turn to stars, I can cry for the whole world and be a part of the light. Moment to moment. This whole conversation with myself has me questioning the reason that, as humans, we work so hard to avoid the present moment. Our minds do acrobatics to keep up us from matching the setting sun. When the sun slides so easily down and invites us into that ease.
Thank you so much for doing what you do, for striking your gift against the needs of the world and helping light the way for so many. I can’t wait for The Joy of Being!
Thank you again for your work in this course. It will continue to bless my life for some time, as I walk the new pathways it opened. I want to share some thoughts on 1) the course, 2) the threshold, 3) the vessels I found for my voice, and 4) some of the Words I discovered along the way. This is a bit of a long read, as it’s both a communication to you and a declaration for me, as I sort out where the last month has led me. Also, feel free to quote any of it for materials about the course (or even edit for your purposes). I will also shoot you a separate email for that purpose.
I’m copying Susan, because she was such a HUGE part of this crossing for me. Susan, thank you for your love and wisdom. You are a radiant light. So grateful for your friendship.
This course has a poetic quality to it, as you led us through your journey with each poem. The greatest measure of a poem is not its clever craft, but the person you encounter, when a picture painted with words becomes a window into a poet’s heart, and then a window becomes a mirror into the hidden truth in your own soul. Where you sang beautiful harmony with voices like Nepo, Whyte, and O’Donohue in previous courses, this one had more of a “singer-songwriter” feel, you telling us your stories, singing us your songs, and (most importantly), calling us to write our own. To paraphrase one of the poems, this collection of verse calls us home to ourselves.
In this course, I came to appreciate and understand the pathways to wholeness, like gratitude, forgiveness, and acknowledging accomplishment. But the big, unique feature of this course is in the title. From the start, we were challenged to identify the threshold before us that we are called to cross, then to summon the courage to cross it. What is it time to do, to become? When you, Amba, take a stand for MY breakthrough, it’s like a power booster to my own intentionality. I felt you reaching through my screen, willing me into a space of creation. I know it comes through tremendous effort. It is also a gift I’ve not encountered in anyone else. (A gift to all of us.)
I complete this course with joyful anticipation of the road ahead. I purposed to step out of my comfortable patterns, to serve, to bless, speaking ALWAYS from my heart. I sought to discover or invent the avenues through which I am called to do my work.
A threshold is not a transition. I don’t need a transition into some new projects. I need to move out of my old, comfortable home, put it up for sale, and inhabit my pilgrimage. One of the “Eureka” moments of the course was realizing I didn’t need to create a new format or enter into new activities. The pilgrimage happens as I bring a full-throated, wholehearted howl to every opportunity I ALREADY have to make a difference in someone’s life.
Some Words I Discovered Along the Way
I once found a gemstone in a dusty box of river rocks. It wasn’t like the others. But I put it back. I closed the box and walked away, unsure what to do with such beauty. Do I display it? Do I try to make something out of it? Put my spin, work my own glory around its magnificence. Or do I just keep it in the box, remembering it when I’m away, and returning often to look at it? These are real and tremendous questions – these are the Big Theological Questions of my life. What to do with the rock of your PRESENCE? What to tell, what to make? That is too coarse a task for such beauty. Rather, I will sit quietly with the gem, admire it, and see if it tells me any secrets. I’ll enjoy it. And without cajoling or begging, I’ll smile and quietly invite others with a gesture, “Wanna see something cool?” It’s better when it’s the home we all belong in, the Gem House, the life house, the light. We sit together. We look around with dumb, happy smiles, wide-eyed in disbelieving joy that we have found the treasure. It’s not much, in a way, but is there really anything else worth doing?
It’s time to stop beating myself up about not doing something that I don’t want to do, don’t think really works, don’t think really matters all that much. When a life can be set on fire, it’s time to offer light.
I have so many platforms for fanning people’s flames, directing people to the FIRE of the Spirit’s power and presence. With great compassion and forgiveness for my “reasons” to quietly drift into abstraction…I shut down my yammering and wake up to my calling. I won’t get bogged down, I won’t over-idealize it. Just start it, just realize it. There’s much to create.
- I stand for centering myself in my life every morning.
- My life touches the joy and pain, sickness and wellbeing of the world.
- A sermon is a declaration, a moment of grace.
- My prayers unleash the creative power of God.
- Hospitality has might.
- Sharing good news has might.
- I stand for speaking always and only from my depth – HOWLING a resonant truth.
Those are some words I found along the way this past month, that will help hone my vision for my life.
Love and gratitude always, peace and joy to you.
WHAT HAVE PEOPLE SAID ABOUT THE BOOK?
Please use this link to read the endorsements, https://galeleadership.com/book/endorsements and/or go to the Amazon page https://www.amazon.com/dp/1734694114#customerReviews to read the reviews.