Last spring I heard a woman named Cynthia Jurs speak. She said a lot of interesting and important things during her talk, but what stood out to me most was the way she spoke of “acting from the subtle” and how important it can be to stop and breathe in the midst of the chaos that seems to punctuate our world more than we want it to. She spoke of focusing on the space that is in between where we are and where we want to go. She said it’s that ‘in between’ space that allows new things to come into being. From that space we can learn to recognize our gifts, and once we’ve recognized them, we can offer those gifts out into our communities, our workplaces, and our families. She reminded us that it is from our gifts – those gifts that are unique to our own being — that we can affect our life situation in the deepest way and contribute to the healing of the world. She reminded us that due to the nature of “in between” space, we all have a different version of what’s true for us, but that we can still support each other despite being on differing paths. Continue reading “The Space Between”
Buddhist teacher Cynthia Jurs spoke in my Space Between Stories class last weekend. She spoke of acting from the subtle and how important it can be to stop and breathe in the midst of the chaos that seems to punctuate our world more than we want it to. She spoke of focusing on the space that is between where we are and where we want to go. She said it’s that space that allows new things to come into being and that it is important not to rush out of the unknown into a new story. It’s important to rest in the space that’s in between. From that space we can see and start to recognize our gifts, and we can offer those gifts out into our communities, our workplaces, our families and the earth itself. She reminded us that it is from our gifts – those gifts that are unique to our own being — that we can affect the “powers that be” in the deepest way and contribute to the healing of the world.
Cynthia shared the story of how her life’s work came into being, and without telling the whole story, (You can read more about her work and its origins at Earth Treasure Vase: A Global Healing Project) her vocation essentially took shape from living out of her deepest prayerful question: How can we bring healing and protection to the earth? Of course, there have been no easy answers, and it took her awhile to embrace the mission put forth to her. But by living in accordance with her deepest prayer, she has helped invite waves of healing and hope into the midsts of people all over the world. Continue reading “Subtle Acts of Healing”
I’m involved in an online course right now called the Space Between Stories. The short explanation (if you haven’t read the other two posts about this course yet) is that it’s about figuring out what it means to be a human right now on an earth that is struggling in a myriad of ways: from climate change to wealth inequality to health disparities to war to fresh water scarcity…the list could go on and on. The course calls the space between stories the time when the old story of who we are, what is real and how to navigate has essentially broken down. It’s a time when familiar ways of making meaning and operating in day to day life are no longer relevant. And it’s a time when, every now and then, glimpses of what could be present themselves.
Activist Jodie Evans spoke during the last session, and she shared stories about her work standing up for non-violent communication efforts, protesting various war activities, and her experiences from a life spent working to promote local peace economies. She’s an advocate of not forcing an outcome, but of instead taking action that aligns with her values and being ok in the unknowing of what might come to pass as a result. She bases her work on cultivating hope from positive change, regardless of scale. But the thing she said that resonated with me the most was when she said, “be in the conversation, not the fight.” In her work, she has seen firsthand how operating from a place of love, even when the outcome is completely unknown, has proven infinitely more effective than simply going to battle for a cause. Continue reading “Be In The Conversation, Not The Fight”
How beautiful can life be? We hardly dare imagine it.
― Charles Eisenstein
I’m taking an eCourse over the next six weeks called the Space Between Stories. It’s being put on by author Charles Eisenstein and will include guest speakers as well as the opportunity to connect and process the materials and ideas put forth with other course participants via online forums. I’m not sure exactly what it will be like, and I don’t really have any expectations going into the experience, but Charles’ writing and verbalization of ideas has resonated with me over the last few years so it feels like an important thing to participate in. The course calls the “space between stories” the time when the old story of who I am, what is real, and how to navigate life has broken down. It is the time when my familiar ways of making meaning are no longer relevant. I don’t know who I am. What had seemed so permanent, reliable, understandable and real is revealed as an illusion.
In The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, Charles makes the case that we are currently stuck in between two stories: the old story of Separation and the new story of Interbeing.
You might already have an inkling of what the old story of Separation is all about. It’s about achieving success in life by doing well in school, getting a well-paying job, contributing to the growth of the economy; basically, it’s about following the rules of society and relies on human advancements to keep everything continually moving forward. It’s about getting more, doing better, and “making things happen.” In Chapter One, Eisenstein writes about his childhood,
Life made sense. If you worked hard you could get good grades, get into a good college, go to grad school or follow some other professional path, and you would be happy. With a few unfortunate exceptions, you would be successful if you obeyed the rules of our society: if you followed the latest medical advice, kept informed by reading the New York Times, got a good education, obeyed the law, made prudent investments, and stayed away from Bad Things like drugs. Sure there were problems, but the scientists and experts were working hard to fix them. Soon a new medical advance, a new law, a new educational technique, would propel the onward improvement of life. My childhood perceptions were part of a narrative I call the Story of the People, in which humanity was destined to create a perfect world through science, reason, and technology: to conquer nature, transcend our animal origins, and engineer a rational society.