Recently, I read an article by a man named Michael Edwards, about the mysticism of living with “wide open eyes”. Edwards is a social activist, so the meat of the article focused on social transformation. The part of his writing that related to these experiments in conscious living had to do with what happens to the quality of life when we experience ourselves as part of a collective life filled with mystery and beauty.
Here are some of the quotations drawn from that article: Read More “673rd Week: Living with “Wide Open Eyes””
The other day, I puzzled over a dilemma I had with one of the cats who live with me. She needs an asthma inhaler twice a day and for quite a while she has been very cooperative with the process. About a month ago, she began to run away from me and the process became quite arduous. Over many years, I’ve had a habit of asking for help from sources I don’t see but assume are present in this wide world of many dimensions and synchronistic moments. What the sources of help are, I can’t begin to say, but I have found that there are times when helpful responses are available. It may be that they arise from my own intuitive non-conscious awareness, where my questions prompt my own internal knowing that allows answers to pop into the foreground of my awareness.
Whatever the source, one evening, I asked for help around how to invite this particular feline family member more gently into the bathroom in the morning and evening for her inhaler. I woke up the next morning with a new plan around how to engage her without all the running away. It worked that morning and has worked ever since and she now again goes to the bathroom before I do and waits for me.
Again, I don’t know if the answers I tend to get when I ask for help are my own non-conscious wisdom popping up or if they are inspirations received from sources I can’t perceive. It doesn’t really matter. The key seems to be to ask and then to be open to receive input. I think that being receptive and then responsive, i.e., to act on the information received, supports a “conversation” with a wider source of inspiration, be that our own deep wisdom or some collective or other source.Read More “890th Week: Asking and Receiving”
One of the books from graduate school that powerfully impacted me was “Blaming the Victim”. I was in a class where I focused my work on shame—collective and individual—and got deeply immersed in how we tend to blame the victim as a way to validate our beliefs and actions. The impact of that class, and particularly the above book, has never left me. It started me on a 40+ year journey of tracking my own internal process of judging and blaming, catching myself when I can and challenging my own rationalizations about what’s happening to people locally and around the world. Even with this practice, I know that there are countless times when I engage in blaming the victim, unaware of my own biases and limiting beliefs.
As I watch the current situation in the United States—and we are not alone in our mistreatment of people we consider to be “other”—I not only feel deep heartache and distress, but am also keenly aware of how vividly a “blaming-the-victim” mentality seems to have captured the minds of those in power. That this stance lacks empathy goes without saying. The deeper problem is that blaming victims allows us to remain unaware of our privilege, of our seemingly justifiable disconnection from the suffering of others. Read More “716th Week: Blaming the Victim”
Over the course of the past year, it has disheartened me to see how many people on Facebook and in other social media contexts have become comfortable using language that is attacking rather than curious, inviting, clarifying, or compassionate. Not only are the words being used distressing through their intention to diminish or humiliate other people, but the anger inherent in these posts—anger that doesn’t suggest solutions or options—is decidedly jarring.
In my years of teaching about trauma resolution, I’ve drawn on something one of my dear friends and teachers taught me many years ago… Read More “694th Week: Practicing Mutual Empowerment”