I am off to the tenth Women Moving the Edge gathering. Since our first in 2007, many of us have grown, stretched, moved, shifted, written, organized, gathered meaningful conversations in government facilities and elsewhere, danced, painted and deepened our connection with the other-than-human world.

I am very happy to be attending the gathering and look forward to delving into the question “What new ways might we sense for consciously participating in the radiance of the universe?” with some of us who have been on this journey for awhile and our “sisters” who will be joining for the first time.

I do need to get packing but I wanted to write to honor this day, the beginning of what some see, according to the Mayan Calendar, as a day where a new cosmic cycle launches.

My vision for One Global Bridge has always been that it provides a container for us to come together in various ways to build connections that lift us up and help us shift energetically to our next level of human consciousness, joy and radiance. The Mayan calendar, according to the link above, says that today is launching day for a new cycle, one where we are being asked to seriously intend for unity consciousness to become a reality.

I don’t find it surprising that Women Moving the Edge 10 is being held this week. We often gather, without initially knowing it, at times when cosmic energies are aligned with the question we are asking. This period in history we are being called to act in service to the whole. Energies of both radiance and its shadow are appearing. It will likely take a lot of courage and strength to tap into and hold onto radiance. At Women Moving the Edge we sometimes say, “What if it were easy?” Well, maybe it will be. I am sure we will see some interesting things emerge from our time together. I will let you know.

The Great Turning

© Photographer: Goran Stojanovic | Agency: Dreamstime.com

The raging winds and biblical thunder and lightening of the other night in Boston, MA, USA seemed to say, “Big changes are happening, folks. Hold on!” And indeed, globally and nationally, those changes are upon us.

We are in what many call the Great Turning – an evolutionary shift where our perceptions of reality are shifting, our hearts and minds are opening and we are remembering our interconnection with all life.

This is very good news. And, as part of this shift we are also seeing and experiencing upheaval and chaos as evidenced by the weather and systemic breakdown across the board. The old ways and beliefs that no longer serve are coming up for review and in many cases new systems are emerging to take their place.

It is impossible to know what is ahead of us and of course, that brings up a lot of fear. These times require great courage. It is important to reach out to our various communities to share our stories and offer mutual support.

With all that, I believe this can be a good time, as the Hopi say. I do still feel deep sadness when I read about the cuts in spending to social services and the Institute of Peace here in the United States. I feel a mix of grief, excitement and anticipation when I think about the global political scene and the lives that are being lost as collectively we move towards something new.

What to do with these feelings? Joanna Macy seems to have one answer that I resonate with.

In this interview of Joanna Macy she reminds us that grief and despair in these times is valid. She suggests that by respecting and experiencing these feelings as normal, they can lead us to feel compassion for one another and to sense on a deeper level, our interconnectedness with all life.

Joanna also shares many inspirational stories of people doing passionate and powerful work around the world at this time. I was reminded of the work many of us are ‘stewarding’ in these times. No matter what that your focus is, my colleagues from the Art of Hosting and I are looking forward to inviting you into conversations that matter around stewarding in these times of great change.

I look forward to seeing you here again soon.

World Cafe Exploration

Click here to see all pictures from the Social Healing Project

Yesterday was the last day of the Social Healing Project that I wrote about in a prior blog. What a rich time we had. The people attending represented the many regions of the world where conflict is either still quite alive and overpowering, in a state of calm yet still evident or where hope is starting to show through the cracks and beginning to take hold.

Our time together revealed the depth to which our personal and collective wounding informs our actions. We experienced what we do for others but rarely for ourselves – the power of witnessing and holding a safe, heart-felt space for the darkness of another or the almost unimaginable pain of a whole community to be voiced. With acknowledgment and standing with the others’ suffering, the healing and transformation is able to begin.

We heard stories of occupation and deep hardship from around the world in the Native American community, Northern Ireland, Israel, Palestine, South Africa, prisons, street gangs and beyond. We shared personal family histories of separation being both victims and perpetrators. We celebrated together the hope that is achieved by projects that honor the ‘hidden heroes’ and those who cross enemy lines to help their brothers and sisters on the other side of conflict.

This was a gathering that found ways of bringing in the intellectual stimulation and information on the theories of social healing along with the important experiential processes that bring us closer together as a community. Practices such as World Cafe, Open Space, small group sharing, systemic constellations, deep sharing in Circle Practice grounded in shared values using a talking piece create the much needed safe space for sharing and re-energizing that those of us working in all levels of society in social healing and peacemaking need.

What was different about this gathering and is very consistent with my passion for what is needed as we emerge as possible humans in these evolutionary and turbulent times is that along with the intellectual and collective processes, we welcomed in expansive and sacred ways of knowing – the wisdom of the ancestors, the energies of the four directions, the spirits of the land on which we met, the beauty and healing power of song, art, nature and a central fire.

I am grateful to have a newly expanded community of ‘mates’ doing exquisite work around the world. As always happens, the field we held was rich and is already seeded with ideas of how we will cross pollinate going forward. I welcome that and look forward to meeting and working together again in times to come.

Engaging in Juicy Stillness,
the importance of connection.
As we each share our gifts with subversive lightness,
we energize the hope and deep compassion we and our world are yearning to receive.

That is a reflection I had after I participated in a World Cafe call of 23 people from around the globe. We spent 2.5 hours together, engaged in meaningful conversation using the Maestro Conference technology. This allowed us to speak together in a large group and to break out into smaller, intimate conversations.

The conversations were rich. I come to these calls because taking the time to speak to people in this respectful way is sacred, important and so rare in our every day busy world. In these conversations we speak from our hearts because we find the space to be welcoming and nourishing. Breaking out into small groups of three or four people combined with caring ‘hosting’ by the World Cafe “hosts” who clearly direct the call makes what can be a very impersonal technology very personal.

Some people said the call provided an “earthy world connection” and a “community meditation practice.” I agree. That is why I believe the more we come together in these conversations and build bridges between us, the stronger we will be to hold the hope and deep compassion our world needs.

The Social Healing Project

Social Healing Project

I am very happy to be working on the Social Healing Project with Dr. Judith Thompson and James O’Dea who have called together a wonderful group of international peacekeepers. For four days this February we will be meeting in Essex, Massachusetts to explore the core themes and emerging trends in the field of social healing. A rich program is planned.

James and Judith traveled with a group of social healers to Israel/ Palestine this summer, meeting groups involved in dialogue and reconciliation work, including families from both sides who have lost relatives in the violence. They also were in Rwanda and met with individuals and groups engaged in reconciliation, forgiveness¬† and restorative justice work, and was honored to take part in the grassroots ‘gacaca’ courts.

I will write some posts during our gathering this February, so please come back to visit.