From the Zoom Seminar Room: participant to assist team member

Editors note: Periodically we ask seminar graduates to tell us about their experiences in the seminar room. Corvallis, Oregon resident, by way of Ireland, Emmet Whittaker shares his journey of first learning about Wings, to participating in seminar, to becoming an assist team member:

There is a man I know, Peter. We hold space; he sticks needles in me, and I consider him a physical and spiritual guide. He is old growth, carrying ancient wisdom with his presence and sharing it with the world. Peter suggested Wings to me, and what a gift it’s been.

If I think back on pivotal moments in my life, participation at Wings is one of them. If I think back on defining moments during seminar, I am transported to the end of WellBeing (known then as the Personal Effectiveness Seminar). Kneeling on the floor with my arms outstretched, I opened my hands. Nestled in my palms was a plastic heart, a representation of my heart opening to others and the world. In a word – transformation.

I have continued my journey of heart opening through the Wings series, which has reshaped my world. My experience of Wings is one of empowerment through healthy choices towards a personal vision and gaining tools to navigate my way. For me, this journey has centered on acknowledging and opening layers of protection, rooted in fear. In a word– liberation.

My worldview has shifted through my Wings work. It is messy—I am certainly messy—and that is OK. It is outward looking and rooted in self-compassion. I am curious about the spaces that open between myself and others, and I am vulnerable in exploring them. I see healthy boundaries as points of connection. I connect to my history, traditions, and the ancient wisdom within me. In a word – awareness.

I recently completed my first seminar as part of an assist team. I found it deeply fulfilling to give back in service to others, while also expanding my own capacity. The experience was hugely beneficial in helping understand how to transition my focus inward or outward in service of both myself and the participants. In a word – consciousness.

The Irish writer John O’Donohue penned an exploration of space in his beautifully crafted book of poems: “To Bless the Space Between Us.” He finishes his opening poem with:

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart,

Clear in word,

Gracious in awareness,

Courageous in thought,

Generous in love.

While I do not find this every day, or even most days, my Wings journey has helped me to state with conviction that I hold these words to be true, and that there is wonder in the present.

Now, many years later, I still enjoy Peter sticking needles in me, and the space between us is indeed blessed.

  1. Oh dear Emmet. This is such a beautiful chronicle of your Wings journey. Your words resonate deeply within me and connect me to my own Wings journey. Thank you for sharing your experience, it has me thinking lovely thoughts about fellow travelers and epic journeys.

    • Sherrie, thank you for the kinds words and for lighting the way for so many of us. You are appreciated.

  2. Thank you for sharing Emmet – so glad you are in the Wings community and hope to be with you on a future team! Blessings (:

  3. Wow!
    Poetry is in your words.
    Thank you for the journey.
    It’s a sweet reminder.
    May we one day assist together……

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