A Conversation with Poet Arielle Estoria
How have you grown over the past year?
How HAVEN’T I GROWN?!
I have learned so much about who I am and what I have to offer to the world. I have grasped a deeper understanding on how to love myself and those around me, and how to marshal all of that into my work as well.
What are you most grateful for going into 2019?
So so much. I feel so confident and excited for what life looks like professionally and personally. I am most grateful for the security and confidence in my gift and the ability to walk through life with that confidence.
What word are you choosing for 2019 and what is the meaning behind it?
In spring of 2018, I attended an immersion with Lululemon which essentially is a yoga retreat where a lot of self reflection happens as well. I wrote about it here. At that retreat is where I learned to believe that when beautiful, intentional and glorious opportunities are part of my story that they are there specifically for me and not by accident. It is at that retreat where I had to allow myself to trust that when beautiful moments occurred in my life, it was because God had intentionally sewn them into my story as a gift and testament of his goodness. I did not know then that I wasn’t just being prepared for professional glorious opportunities, I was being prepared for glorious moments for my heart too.
Why do you want to focus on that word?
I want to continue to remind myself of the intention and meaning crafted into every part of my story.
How will you embody that word? (i.e. in your words, actions, everyday life?)
I wrote a poem about it actually so the way that I embody it by memorizing these words and reminding not only myself of it but others as well.
I have grown familiar with the feeling
of holding out my hands
with both the expectation and grief,
that I will pull them away empty
Of making a catastrophe in every moment,
that instead of shooting stars,
atomic bombs will end up falling in their place
So afraid that the solar eclipse automatically implies that there will be only darkness
and not notice that the light always comes first
I have this bad habit of believing that all good things that happen to me
are not actually for me
That somehow they dodged
the person they were meant for
And wound up in my lap by happenstance
I once attended a retreat where they asked us if the glass was half full or half empty
And I said both but it doesn’t matter anyway because it’s not my glass to begin with
I told them that even though glorious opportunities happen to me, they did not have my name on them
Someone else dropped them and I so happened to be the next one passing by to pick them up
She asked me, So what does that mean I need to learn to accept?
I said, “I guess it means I need to believe that I am deserving of glorious opportunities”
“I am deserving of glorious opportunities” she repeated “say that with me”
“I am deserving of glorious opportunities”
“Now say it with your hands out,
like you’re receiving”
I stood there with my hands open and tears falling down my face
See, I am strongly aware
of the fact that I am both human and flawed
that the mediocrity of my humanity
often shadows the still hint of sparkle in my dust
It often blocks the fact
that I am human, grace filled and swimming with purpose
That there is nothing happenstance
about my existence or the things that happen to me
That my story is weaved with intention
even when I think it is not
Lately, I want to expect more shooting stars than atomic bombs,
be in awe of the change that comes after
a solar eclipse and learn to sit in the darkness when it arrives
Take in the moment, wear it like the warmest blanket I’ve ever worn
And then find the light again
Because the light will always be there
I want to look at the glass and
know that no matter how much is inside of it—
it’s purpose is to hold things
So it doesn’t matter if it’s half full or half empty,
It’s doing what it was made to
I want to hold out my hands,
grasp the glorious parts of life
as if I were holding onto raindrops
Watch them bounce off my palms
and still find them marvelous
even if they disappear
Because even if they aren’t mine to hold forever
at one point, they were still mine and they were glorious
What challenge(s) do you want to overcome in the next year?
The “deficit” mindset; the mindset that I am not enough and that I don’t have enough. I want to combat these thoughts and instead fill them with thoughts of abundance and adequacy.
Any other thoughts or words of encouragement?
There is so much glory and wonder in our story and we will be the reasons we miss it if we don’t cling tight enough to them.