In her book Messages to Me: Words Collected on the Road to Silence, Margaret Coyle presents a passionate compilation of deeply personal thoughts and movement. She shares her freedom of mind and motion in an open, uncomplicated book of poetry and dance that encourages the reader to penetrate the barrier of fear that hides the true self.
Coyle’s book is a deep, open exploration into herself, and through that exploration she continually returns to the present moment and the discovery of what is real. Her words blend with the grace of her body in the stillness of now, and she becomes a teacher and a mentor in our own practice toward enlightenment. Coyle invites us to look past the sting of our pretense and into our true selves with love and the critical focus of a macro lens. When we get lost in the past and future, we are in fear; when we allow the moment to simply be, we are. In “With This Breath” she says,
The Truth invites me to be still and rest.
The fear of facing ourselves - our truth - consistently pulls us back to the addictive emotions that direct our external guise. We are too afraid to let go of our complicated, rigid façade for fear that by getting naked and raw (as Coyle courageously does in her book) we will lose who we think we are. On the contrary, as Coyle shows, change is freedom.
The Truth invites me to be still and healed.
While fear would have me dig in search of what we lost
consumed with regret and resentment
the Truth knows only that I Am
and nothing else.
Messages to Me covers the deepest of themes, gently moving the reader through gratitude, acceptance, forgiveness, fear, love, spirit, silence, self and truth. Coyle’s words and images persuade us to be kinder to ourselves, to love our deepest selves without judgment and criticism, and, especially, to remember that we are all one. Labels divide and destroy; it is connection that strengthens and breeds. “Without judgment to close the space,” she says, “everything expands, gentle.” Her words transcend the significance of our everyday.
This book need not and should not be read as a whole. Open Messages to Me at the beginning, middle or end and witness your true self as you fold the words into your mind. One poem can bring your current reality into the moment. As you explore, learn something of yourself, the world, and others. Drink in the words, and feel yourself shift inward. As you go deeper, give yourself permission to go beyond the words. Language is power, but the Truth cuts language, reducing it to less than the Truth. “When I speak who I am in truth, I expose the inadequacy of words,” she says.
The experience that Coyle has given us descends to the very core. She beautifully and gracefully combines her spiritual mind with her spiritual body in a comprehensive yet simple blend of dynamic thought and movement. Even within the still images on the page, you can feel the essence of her movements as she dances throughout her work.
Coyle also demands that we listen to ourselves and not others. Truly listening to our own voice will free us from confusion and convolution. Listening reigns in the Truth so that we can move forward into peace. We can see that her poems sift through the complexities of life and simplify the study of our relationship to all things, if we listen. Her words and images will guide us toward stillness, patience, and peace, assuring us that all will be well, even without resolute force or resistance, if we listen. But listening is only the beginning.
Poetry invites thought and contemplation, but Messages to Me invites us to move through our own dance knowing that the body is as sacred as the mind. With her sixth-sense, kinesthetic awareness, Coyle blends mind and body with an acute knowledge of her own physicality, giving her voice a sense of place and balance. Margaret Coyle does not distinguish between mind and body; they are connected, wholly. When one is rigid, so is the other. When both are free, the Truth is born. And so, through thought and movement, we go deeper.
All of her senses are alive. She shows us how to live and to feel fully with the very essence of our selves. “I want to carry this precious poem to term and deliver it with all the pain and blood and labor of birth,” she says. Words ripe with vivid images and emotion evoke the senses entirely. This is absolute knowledge. When we accept and fully experience all parts of life - the joy, the love, the hurt, the sadness - we can immerse ourselves in a full existence that exceeds conformity and comfort.
There are many spiritual poetry books but few that embody the profound balance between mind and body. Margaret Coyle has given us a gift, and I am grateful. How the tranquil beauty of motion can create such stillness of mind; they are connected and intertwined beyond description. In a time of confusion, when we are inundated with too many volumes on how we should live our lives filled with copious exercises and models to follow, she shows us how to turn inward - to ourselves. Each life is full of unimaginable possibilities. We do have a choice, and life will discover itself through you, if you choose. This is a welcome break from the insanity of how we think we should be.
Margaret Coyle is not the author of this work; she is the messenger. This could only come from one place - the place we all seek to find. She speaks through the divine that is her true self. She shows us how to be still, and through that stillness all Truth will be found. I will return to this work time and again.
“Now there is nothing left to do, and everything to be.”