David Whyte on Courage as a Measure of Our Heartfelt Participation with Life

"Courage is a measure of our heartfelt participation with life with another with the community a work a future. To be courageous is not necessarily to go anywhere or to do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences." – David Whyte
There are maybe a handful to times in your life where you discover a book, that you want to keep by your bedside for the rest of your life. And for me that book is David's ‘Consolations’. It ratcheted open my mind to a whole new perspective on the definitions of words like Ambition, Courage and Heartbreak, that I thought I previously understood.

I’m not sure how to even begin to describe exactly what it is that David does. On paper he's an acclaimed poet, a writer and a philosopher. But to my mind, after having recently spent a magical week with him on the Irish Atlantic coastline, I feel like he's a true elder, with a deep philosophical curiosity and gift for weaving together our inner and outer worlds in what he calls 'the conversational nature of reality’.

We recorded this conversation, in David's cottage by a roaring fire. You can probably hear how nervous I felt, especially early in the first few minutes. But what I really hope comes across, is the way that David’s voice casts a spell of sorts that puts those listening (myself included) into a state of reverie and complete undiluted attention.

It’s a wide-ranging conversation and towards the end we cover some really interesting ground on the questions he believes we’re living our way into as a society, and how Trump is a representation of everything that is wrong with the masculine picture of an immature boy that has never grown fully into the world.

Listener Question >> "Do you have a favourite poem that you carry with you? How has poetry shaped your life?” Tag @jonnym1ller on Twitter or Instagram.

Show Notes
+ Read the
full transcript (with my photos of Ireland) over on Medium

Explore David's work:
+ Follow David on Twitter or Facebook
+ Read '
The Bell & The Blackbird'.
+ Apply for one of David's upcoming
walking tours in Ireland, the Lake District, Tuscany & New Zealand
+ Watch David's
TED Talk 'A lyrical bridge between past, present and future'
+ Find out everything else David is up to at

Curious Humans Newsletter
If you’re not already subscribed you can also sign-up for my free monthly curious humans newsletter by going to jonny.life and also get monthly nuggets of brain food that I’ve found in the corners of the internet.

Musical Credits
Thanks so much to the
Heinali who generously provided the musical accompaniments.
David Whyte on Courage as a Measure of Our Heartfelt Participation with Life
Broadcast by