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Blog by Alan Seale, January 17, 2022, Transformational Presence

In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2022, the New England coast of the U.S. was blanketed in a dense fog. Moment to moment, the surrounding landscape silently appeared and then disappeared again and again, as if something was about to be revealed. In the mystical stillness, the words of “The Turning” began to flow through me. It was the dawning of a new day.

Alaska Inside Passage Mystical Morning

For many of us, 2020 and 2021 were hard. At the same time, there were gifts. And sometimes “hard” and “gift” were happening at the same time. That was certainly the case for me, especially throughout 2021. The details are not as important as the deep inner transformation. However, I was aware that everything I experienced last year was shaped in some way by an ever-present undercurrent—the long and beautiful and profound goodbye to my parents. (My mother passed away in November 2020, my father in 2010.) That long goodbye was at different moments tender and rich and heart-wrenching and celebratory, and occasionally all of those at the same time. 

In the last days of 2020, I sensed that something was shifting—a chapter was coming to an end. And then in that magical dawn of January 1, 2022, the shift named itself “The Turning.” Perhaps this poem will help you touch some part of your own experience of the last two years.  

The Turning

by Alan Seale

It’s a new day.
Something has shifted
and I am profoundly grateful.
There is a smile in my chest
that I have known before, yet
in this moment, I can’t remember when.
Such incredible inner joy.
I feel like someone or something
turned up the rheostat of my being.

Can this really be?

I have felt the shift coming over

the last few days, yet

I woke up this morning 

absolutely beaming!

Is this real?

I know enough about 

how the world works to 

recognize that 

nothing has gone away, nor is 
something else suddenly here 

for the first time.

It’s just that my 

position has changed

relative to life.

At the same time,  
life is just 
doing what it does.
It’s just continuing to
unfold in its process—
in its evolutionary flow.
And so am I.

Maybe that’s what is so strangely
about it all.
I had to go through what 
I had to go through.
I couldn’t avoid it;
I couldn’t get around it;
I had to go through it.
And it was messy and really
and sometimes I wondered if
I was losing it—
losing my grip on reality—
or falling into despair
and wondering if this was what
life was going to be like
going forward. That feeling 
like you’re never going to 
get out of where you are. 
Time stops; 
liminal space takes over.
And there you are.

And then comes the turning. 
That moment when the
fog is suddenly lifted and
you can see clearly and the 
weight in your chest is gone and
you feel like you are
alive again.

I say “that moment,” yet it’s

not necessarily so literal as a 

specific moment. It’s a broader 
moment in time—a moment 

that is its own liminal space—

a moment in which 

time stopped and

you don’t know for how long. 

Yet it was long enough for a 

metamorphosis to happen—

a metamorphosis of your 


and how you looked at 

the world—how you

engaged with life. 

A metamorphosis in your


It feels like a paradox to say that 

nothing has changed and 

everything has changed.

Both are real. 
Nothing has changed in that

life just keeps unfolding—
moving forward in its own 


It was going in that direction anyway.

Yet something shifted in my perspective 

and in my understanding of 

who I am and 

what life is and 
who I choose to be 
within that greater

unfolding. And that changed


In those moments when I 


that there is a 

Greater Intelligence at work—

something so much 

bigger than me or what I can


and when I choose to 

trust that Intelligence to

guide me and show me each

next step,

a turning becomes more

The turning itself comes in its own time.

It somehow can’t happen until

I have gone through what 

I had to go through. 

There aren’t any 


There just aren’t. Believe me, 
I looked everywhere for them, but 
they aren’t there. 

I am in my own 

gestation process.

The gestation of life—
it takes as long as it takes.

And so are you; so are we all.

What I keep learning

over and over again is that

it’s a life-long process. 

Maybe even a 

many-lifetimes process. 

Rationally, I can’t be sure of that, yet

my greater knowing says yes. 

We can only be 
where we are.
We can’t be someplace else in our 
process other than where we are 
right now. Yet the moment comes 
when we are 
in the whole of our being
to be someplace else—
to shift our perspective or
our position relative to 
And then the turning happens.

It’s a new day.
Something has shifted
and I am profoundly grateful.
I don’t yet know if it’s 
permanent. It’s for now.
Yet somehow I sense that 
this is a really important 
turning—the kind of turning
that I’ve experienced a few
times in my life—
those “before and after” 
moments that stay with you
Only time will tell.

For today, I’m grateful for 
the turning. Something has shifted.
I must take very good care of that.