April 1, 1994
What would our days be like if we came out of hiding and brought our fears, loves, and dreams directly into the workplace?
In The Heart Aroused, poet David Whyte shows that the best way to respond to the current call for creativity in organizational life is to overcome our habitual fear and reticence and bring our full passionate, creative human souls, with all their urgencies and unnamed longings, right inside the office with us. When Whyte, who often consults for corporate clients, walks into an organization, it is not just to advise, strategize, and make recommendations. Instead, he clarifies our personal – not organizational – difficulties at work by placing them in the age-old context of poetry and story. To follow David through his brilliant, soulful discussions is to raft the turbulent stream of conflicting currents that make up our lives in American organizations.
Whyte uses poetry to bring to life the experience of change itself. When he retells the story of Beowulf, he shows us how to face the nightmares that intrude into even the most organized workplace, nightmares we face in the demands, conversations, and relationships that make up our work life. He shows how to say what we mean and stand by it, even in the face of hostile authority – based on how poets William Blake, Rainer Maria Rilke, and T. S. Eliot lived their beliefs in the simplest of words. He reveals how power must be built on vulnerability, how innocence cannot be sacrificed to experience, how creativity is the art of wedding simplicity and clarity with chaos.
The Heart Aroused shows us how to use language of prophecy, poetry, and enlightenment to give voice and strength to our most creative but most hidden desires.
Born in England, David Whyte is one of the few poets to have taken his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many U.S. and international companies. He has published several audio collections and three books of poetry.