I see myself as quite ordinary. And though I’ve experienced some quite spectacular things in my life like surviving breast cancer and adopting my daughter from Guatemala as a single woman, I’m just like everyone else, working full-time, paying bills, figuring out what’s for dinner, doing laundry, driving my daughter around.
All this busyness with and for others left little room for the business of me. Since I’ve always been more of an early riser than a night owl, more like Sunday morning than Friday night, I knew that if I wanted “my time,” I’d have to carve it out in small niches from the big rock called Life. So began my daily, early morning wake-up calls to write, simply, and for no other reason, than I had to. These early morning contemplations are essential to me now as eating, drinking, and breathing. I need space to find the place of the truth of who I am and the quiet to hear the loving whispers from my soul.
As I started listening to those loving whispers, I learned some new things about who I am. Most importantly, I’ve learned to be courageously vulnerable. The poems written in the early dawn were not meant for public consumption. I wrote them to satiate my own appetite for love and truth in my life. I mean, come on, there was no way this stuff was ever going to see the light of day! But over time, as I got clearer and more connected, I went from feeling raw, naked, and exposed to feeling bold, cleansed, and free. No more hiding of who I am. Interestingly, as I started to share my private writings publicly, others found my musings to be useful in learning who they are. Truth telling is mutually beneficial.
Also, for someone who speaks loud, fast, and often, I love that I’ve discovered the introspective, creative, poetic me. While my personality looks more like an over-caffeinated, hit and run-on sentence, poets love savoring words and marinading in a simple phrase. I’m thrilled at getting to sow, grow, and know this other me.
Finally, many readers of my work comment on the spiritual nature of my poems. With no formal education in spiritual teachings and practices, I, at first, naively believed I was “discovering” something new and different until I understood that these knowings have been around for quite some time. What’s so compelling is that in my honest and open search for Truth, I stumbled on the spiritual path anyhow. My lack of knowledge doesn’t discredit the capacity to gain wisdom. The Truth is the truth.
In one sense, who I am consists of the roles I play and the experiences I’ve had. But in the end, what I’ve ultimately come to remember is that who I am is who you are, eternal, divine and limitless. We are all whole, complete, and enough right now, as is. Showing up in the mystery of that truth is where the magic happens.
For me. For you. For all.
“Michelle’s poetry holds great healing–healing from her own experiences–beautiful healing that readers get to share on their journey through and.”
~ Deborah Sandella, PhD, RN, Founder of The RIM® Institute
“Though a personal journey of her own awareness, Michelle Kaplan’s poems enabled me to place myself in the story as if it was written for me. It put words to my own personal experiences that I had not found for myself. Thank you for sharing your journey, the good, the bad, and the ugly. What is wonderful is that it shows that the journey to self-awareness unfolds in many stages, but in the end, the power of knowing who you are allows you to live life with one of the most wonderful people on this earth…yourself.”
~ Cindy Tomcak, Performance Coach
“Michelle Kaplan’s poems have a way of latching onto ones’ soul and provides a sense of inner peace and freedom.”
~ Jean Marie Rosone, LCSW, Coordinator of Integrative Oncology, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, Morristown Medical Center