Archive for December, 2009

Winter

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Winter

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Winter. Je ziet weer bomen
door het bos, en dit licht
is geen licht maar inzicht:
er is niets nieuws
zonder de zon.

En toch is ook de nacht niet
uitzichtloos, zolang er sneeuw
ligt
is het nooit volledig duister, nee,
er is de klaarte van een soort
geloof
dat het nooit helemaal donker
wordt.

Zolang er sneeuw ligt is er hoop.

Herman de Coninck
(mij toegestuurd door Hilde Vandormael, met dank!)

The Great Turning

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

THE GREAT TURNING*

You’ve asked me to tell you of the Great Turning, of how we saved the world from disaster. The answer is both simple and complex:
We turned.

For hundreds of years we had turned
away as life on earth grew more precarious.
We turned away from the homeless men on the streets, the stench from the river, the children orphaned in Iraq, the mothers dying of AIDS in Africa.

We turned away because that is what we had been taught.
To turn away, from the pain, from the hurt in another’s eyes, from the drunken father or the friend betrayed. Always we were told, in actions louder than words, to turn away, turn away. And so we became a lonely people caught up in a world moving too quickly, too mindlessly toward its own demise.

Until it seemed as if there was no safe place to turn. No place, inside or out, that did not remind us of fear or terror, despair and loss, anger and grief.

Yet on one of those days someone did turn.

Turned to face the pain.
Turned to face the stranger.
Turned to look at the smoldering world
and the hatred seething in too many eyes.
Turned to face himself, herself.

And then another turned.
And another. And another.
And as they wept, they took
each other’s hands.

Until whole groups of people were turning.
Young and old, gay and straight. People
of all colors, all nations, all religions.
Turning not only to the pain and hurt
but to the beauty, gratitude and love.
Turning to one another with
forgiveness and a longing
for peace in their hearts.

At first the turning made people dizzy, even silly. There were people standing to the side gawking, criticizing, trying to knock the turners down.
But the people turning kept getting up, kept helping one another to their feet. Their laughter and kindness brought others into the turning circle until even the naysayers began to smile and sway.

As the people turned, they began to spin, reweaving the web of life, mending the shocking tears, knitting it back together with the colors of the earth, sewing on tiny mirrors so the beauty of each person, each creature, each plant, each life form might be seen and respected.

And as the people turned, as they spun

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like the earth through the universe, the web wrapped around them like a soft baby blanket, making it clear all were loved, nothing separate.

As this love reached into every crack and crevice, the people began to wake and wonder, to breathe and give thanks, to work and celebrate together.

And so the world was saved, but only as long as you, too, sweet one, remember to turn.

–written by Christine Fry (October 19, 2004)
*Thanks to Joanna Macy

3 Practices

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

These days a lot of my friends are in Copenhagen, offering their gifts as citizens who care. Here is a simple harvest from one group of Art of Hosting friends:

3 practices that if practiced
by any person on the planet
will help to clear
your inner climate…

SHARE
Our knowing: There’s enough if we share
Practice: SHARE IT

CHOOSE
Our knowing: We all have a choice
Practice: CHOOSE ON BEHALF ON THE PLANET

HEAL
Our knowing: We are nature
Practice: FIND YOUR NATURAL RHYTHM

other good practices for each day:
BREATHE – MOVE – LAUGH – REST

The foundation for these we suggest is an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.
More to read on the website, also links with some video’s taken…

Difference and resonance

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

I have a few bloggers whom I follow regularly and one of them is Jack Ricchiuto. One of his last blog post, which are mostly very short, is about the combination of difference and resonance. A truly powerful combination if you want to go for resilience and emergence! Here is most of what he wrote:

One conclusion so far is that the possibility space for change opens up when we connect different people who can begin resonating together around shared stories, opportunities, and dreams. It’s a process of liberating people from the confines of clusters of sameness and ideological colonialism so they can move toward more diverse connections and pragmatic alignments.

As it turns out, the fusion of difference and resonance is a powerful approach because in that space, people move away from trying to change each other, which opens the space for the possibilities of creating innovative and scalable changes together. Resonant listening to one another’s differences allows us to join in both-and innovations that could never be possible in an either-or constrained world.

I also like his concept of ‘resonant listening’ – if just the world would have more of that these days!

Mythical, Mystical, and Magical

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

(last blog post of WMtE8, which happened in Magnolia, Cape Ann – this happened on Nov 16, 2009)

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The writer in our midst said: “This is about the mythic proportions of our time. It is not going to be an easy journey. Do you know the story of Metis, the first wife of Zeus? Metis was the wisest! And the wisest is no longer remembered. “ She told the whole story with lots of details and I was impressed because I never can remember these kind of stories, and because of the content of this myth itself.

The wisest is no longer remembered…
Men hold the love, women hold the wisdom, that is how it should be…
It raised the question in me: What then really is this wisdom?

It was said that our natural gifts – beauty, holding space, awareness of relationships etc. – have not been recognized; our natural wisdom has been devalued; but these gifts are still present and beautiful!

And as I said in a previous post, I didn’t fully grasp what the real meaning was of ‘women and need’. It was an important thread through our last morning conversation. Need, not from emptiness and deficiency; but from impetus.
Not: I need you, as I want you to be.
But: You asking me to be, is healing. The receiving draws out the being.

How can we respond to a need in a way that enlivens us, in a way that shows originality? If I am asked to spread the word about a book written, then a book party will show more of who I am than sending around email messages.

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This brought us to this flipping insight:
The gift of need as invitation to others,
to be and to become more of who they are.

Two weeks and many conversations later the real meaning of it still is landing in me… it is a total flipping around, an upside down and inside out of need…
I need you, because of us.

Before the Ubuntu saying ‘I am, because we are.’ had been mentioned. (And I know now it was the title of a film about Ubuntu!) It does speak about the interrelationship between the individual and the collective; but I realized on a deeper level that ‘I need you, because of us’ is a more feminine way of saying the same. ‘I am’ puts the agency, the consciousness in the foreground; ‘I need you’ puts the interdependency, the matter-of-fact in front. It is a much deeper realization of interdependency for me… it is still trickling in…

One of us made a connection with our conversation around money and the sacred exchange system. The use of money is objectifying the people, because it reduces people to goods and services. There is no existential exchange going on; we don’t have a relation with the ones that produced the goods, or the way it was produced. It occurred to her that an exchange of true wealth happens from this existential soul level; it happens from subject to subject. Like we said a few days earlier, the new and sacred exchange system should put the soul’s callings in the middle!

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The gift of need, Need as invitation to become our true self,
Our soul’s calling in the middle…

As I am writing this two weeks after the actual conversation, relying on my colorful notes on a big piece of paper, I come to understand why it is always the case that I finish my blog posts of a gathering some weeks later. Many times I have urged myself to do it right away, not to postpone it. I didn’t understand why I could do a lot of the harvesting on the spot and then there was this big time delay. Now I get it! Most of the gathering is more or less on known ground; there are new insights for the participants and also for me, but they flow naturally for me from previous conversations and insights. The more we go into deeper teritory, I am myself turned inside out and upside down. My way of looking at the world needs to shift, my perspective is challenged quite a lot. I realize now that I then need some time to digest more in order for me to be able to harvest it out, to be able to write something that – hopefully – makes sense to others too.

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This said, in this last morning conversation we went into a more mystical thread.
Mythic and mystical…
I told my deep emotional experience of looking back on my life, at the time of Atlantis, in the last moments before death, because the world was collapsing due to humans actions. In these moments I had a deep realization that I had used my co-creating power with my partner and others for the sake of power; for the feeling of being god-like. And as I saw this, I promised myself I would never ever again explore these realms of magic, this co-creation with matter and energy. Now, 2009, in this circle of women we are talking about our natural gifts, our inner wisdom… our magic?
Then my memory gets triggered! Then I get scared.
I need all of you, because of us.
I need all of you, because I want to explore the real life-affirming co-creation; not an abuse of power. Our inner wisdom holds power. Can you please tell me when I am acting from personality or when from my soul level?
When is it memory? When is it true inspiration?
But not bringing our deep inner wisdom is holding back, and can do harm in another way. When we hold back, we devitalize the evolutionary impetus and potential of magic. From the integrity and alignment of soul we are needed to step into full partnership with magic, into real life-affirming co-creation. And in the ‘I need all of you’ there is the invitation to the collective (feminine) soul to fully step into right use of our wisdom in working magic.

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The scientist in our midst chimed in with some of the current facts and integrated it with her spiritual understanding. There is a relationship between the manifest and the not-manifest. The not-manifest can be moved and shaped… it brings about an expanded sense of who we really are… If soul is from Source,
and Source is pure light,
what we know in light can be moved through density.
She ended with saying: Soul has a piece to play in how to understand the world.

That said, it was time to close the circle. It had been a full and inspiring morning, and there was no real need to do an elaborate checkout; another song was the best fit.