The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

by Rumi – Taken from SELECTED POEMS by Rumi, Translated by Coleman Barks (Penguin Classics, 2004).

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Who’s been visiting you lately? Do you know why? Can you be curious?
  • Do you tend to reject your own feelings and emotions? Do you resist the thoughts and emotions passing through you?  If so, why do you think that’s so?
  • Have you ever experienced a broken heart? How did you deal with that experience?
  • Can you accept everything about yourself without apologizing, blaming, or regretting? If not, why not?
  • Can you meet your thoughts and emotions with courage, warmth, gratitude and kindness?
  • Do you ever doubt your self-worth?
  • Do you tend to ruminate or catastrophize? What does ruminating or catastrophizing get you?
  • Do you tend to bury your emotions (even though you’re burying them alive)?
  • Do you ever feel trapped in the prison of your own mind?
  • Can you envision a time when you’re grateful for all the visitors who come to your guest house?
  • What do you need to “clear out?”
  • Are there parts of yourself you tend to suppress? How so? When did you first begin to suppress them?
  • Are there parts of yourself you used to suppress. but no longer do so? What changed/how so?
  • Can you live alongside your challenging thoughts/emotions? How so?

(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is -maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, or pvajda(at)
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