When Detroit-based poet Jacqueline Suskin asked the universe, “Can I have a reminder of everything that I’m doing with my life?,” the lines that came streaming through became “My Poetic Purpose.” We’ve been fortunate to use the lyrical, empowering, and universal totem as a bookend for many of our breathwork sessions and retreats since then. A teacher and channeler, Jacqueline has often written on the spot for seekers, for community, for the earth, and for the good of us all, together.

In this conversation, Carly and Jacqueline talk about the challenge of actively cultivating kindness in difficult situations (and accepting one’s shortcomings with grace), the ongoing practice of presence, and the infinite source that supplies us with images, symbols, language, and song.

Jacqueline Suskin is a poet and educator who has composed over forty thousand improvisational poems with her ongoing writing project, Poem Store. Suskin is the author of eight books, including The Edge of The Continent Volume 1-3, Help in the Dark Season, Every Day is a Poem, and A Year in Practice, with work featured in various publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, and the Los Angeles Times. An ecstatic earth-worshiper, she lives in Detroit where she works as a teaching artist with InsideOut Literary Arts, bringing nature poetry into classrooms with her Poem Forest curriculum.