Wisdom’s call to write

Added about 3 months ago by Helen Warwick

During lockdown, an online course about Wisdom struck a chord with many. Course leader, therapist and author Helen Warwick reflects on learning how to connect with Wisdom within us and around us.

I had a dream where I travelled to a clear lake; still waters that I knew were sacred and where other people gathered. I knew I had to remove most of my clothes, get into the water, and let go, to let myself sink to the sandy bottom of this lake, to sit on the bottom and then rise. There was something of a ritual about this, and I did this, slowly, a few times. I had a calmness about me, a sense of doing what was right to do.

This dream came during the writing of a chapter on Wisdom as process, and it dream spoke to me of letting go, of removing restrictions and to trust the going under, where, in this spaciousness, I could learn that I could breathe.

In 2015, I joined a therapeutic and educational community – moving from Sussex to Thirsk, North Yorkshire. I moved with my husband to live and work at Holy Rood House, Centre for Health and Pastoral Care. We had never lived in community before and never worked together (Nick would be the business manager and I a chaplain and creative therapist).

Wisdom emerges through so many ways, and I am a witness to what stories I am hearing, especially in the one-to-one listening with the guests. Many guests coming to Holy Rood House feel lost, anxious, traumatized or going through transitions. Many have lost their true voice, and their connection with themselves, perhaps having given out for many years, losing their centred selves. I work with guests in the art room, and noticing the creative process and the transformations that occurs, highlights how we can open to a deeper way that gives us energy and healing. As a community, we welcome guests as themselves - the people they are, with a knowing that our own knowing or wisdom connects to their knowing. We offer ways of exploring our senses, through our gardens, through wellbeing and home-cooked food. Our prayerfulness links to the earth with the different seasons that can also resound within. The learning we do together through study days, events and discussion, as well as the large library helps to expand learning.

As we open to Wisdom through the senses and experience, I found the different spaces needed for my writing, encouraged by a creative writing retreat and the suggestion of an experimental year. Often writing as I rolled out of bed, when my logical brain was still sleepy, or sitting by a river, or using the darkness with its boundaryless space. My journal was central to this year, where I often imagined writing a conversation between myself and Wisdom. Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way helped focus my creative outpourings.

During Covid lockdowns, surrounded by so much anxiety, I offered an online course on Wisdom, connecting some of the many strands of Wisdom, especially opening to our own Wisdom, that is deeply connected to divine Wisdom and the unity, harmony and belonging that we can find. Guests really appreciated this course, and I started to form some of the work into chapters for a book.

As I read around Wisdom, I came across many heavy theological tomes about the divine feminine. As Wisdom comes into many ancient faiths and cultures, it was also easy to get bogged down in all the information. All my books are creative and practical, and I wanted to collate some of the stories, poems, wellbeing and prayers that we use to expand the movement of Wisdom. Our connection to the earth, with its seasons, holding and unity was also an important inclusion, especially living with climate crises. I wanted this book to be inclusive of all – we are all unique and have different ways for opening to our own Wisdom, of coming into the present moment, where we often “know” the next step. This deep, spaciousness within is a sacred space, where the poetic movement of Wisdom emerges and flows out to connect to others and the earth.

The title of the book, Wisdom Calls, was always around when writing – a deep yearning, a new voice I was hearing. The nudge to listen, to write, that took me on a journey that expanded in so many ways as my research, collations and journalings brought out the hidden presence of Wisdom and her ways of healing, transformation and justice. The new voice felt radical, needing to be heard, with an energy that was expanding and healing for myself. I was encouraged by various mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich and Meister Eckhart, all who found aspects of Wisdom that encouraged their radical selves. Her call is still leading me in my life, and this will be an ongoing quest as I continue to follow through many found, and many still hidden, treasures.

Helen Warwick’s book Wisdom Calls: Transformative Ways for Insightful Living is available now in paperback and e-book.


Please note: Sacristy Press does not necessarily share or endorse the views of the guest contributors to this blog.

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