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Episode 63

The Poetic Mind & Coaching

Could the way out of the global crisis be rooted in a change of perception? The rational mind has failed to provide coherent change; might it be time to shift the way we perceive, experience and interact with the world?

In this conversation with poet and performer Brooke McNamara we explore what art can teach us about living in the present, why poetic perception is necessary in these times, and the importance of the unseen in fostering creative emergence.

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Surfing the Emergent

We live in a time when we seem to have reached the end of the enlightenment-era orientation to reason and logic and are being invited into a much deeper way of sensing and perceiving the world, what one could call a poetic way of knowing.

How do we connect to the poetry of the present moment? Words seem to spiral around it, pointing but never quite able to capture it adequately. One core way of tapping into it is whole-body awareness, connecting to a resonance with life, a sense of wonder or terror, of exposure to life’s rawness.

The poetic is complex and has many faces; it can be in connection with a friend or the beauty of watching the sky. It registers in the body and in the mind and is not non-rational but somehow transcends it in its potency and aliveness.

Poetic Perception

Why is the poetic necessary in these times? Brooke suggests that if we don’t go into the deepest heart of our experience, we likely won’t address the real issues. The poetic perspective of deep presence, deep attunement, offers a portal to the level of depth we need to address the current global crises.

It requires learning and unlearning, acquiring new skills and pathways in how we perceive, and dissolving the layers that get in the way of us really seeing with our hearts. It asks us to into the immediacy of the moment and inquire who we are individually and collectively and what this moment is about.

True wisdom is bringing our best skills and all our tools to the moment and then assessing whether they’re actually helping, and if we find them lacking, to dare to let them go and see what else emerges.

Summoning the unseen

We are conditioned to not taste life directly and to reduce it to what is seen, to the overt. The subtle and the unseen are largely ignored, and in this we miss something profound, a dimension of life that can inform us in ways we can’t rationally imagine. 

Art allows us to communicate the unseen. It invites us to expand our senses and tune into the mysterious aliveness of all things. When we do this, we begin to perceive and communicate within a more extended ecosystem. A sense of post-rational enchantment is engaged within us, and our sense of the whole world being a place of poeticness and aliveness rather than inert matter emerges.

In doing this we foster our capacity to be a receptive environment for creative emergence; to lean into the stillness, the silence and the subtle realms of experience, and to bring them into human culture for a more life-centric, holistic exchange with the world.

About Brooke

Brooke McNamara

Brooke McNamara is a poet and performer who is appreciated for her capacity to transmit the sacred through accessible and digestible pieces of poetry, performance and teaching. Brooke’s work is an emanation of her core longing to feed the soul. She is the creator of Summoning the Unseen, a popular online course, and the author of two volumes of poetry entitled “Bury the Seed” and “Feed your vow”.


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