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Because we are wiser together…

FullSizeRender (1)Last week, 80 leaders in Chicago opened my heart and inspired me to dream a new dream about how organizing is possible in a city. The majority of these folks use conversation as a tool for invoking the wisdom of the people, and supporting the people in organizing themselves to see the change and action they know is necessary in their communities — creating safer and more just communities, creating opportunities for healing. This group of people included folks using the World Café, Peacemaking Circles, and Art of Hosting practices in school districts, classrooms, with law enforcement and youth, to increase child protective rights and trauma-informed behaviors, to bring about social and emotional learning and restorative justice.

Midway through the day, I offered a woven poem, streaming together quotes that had been said throughout the day into one collective expression. You will hear snippets from these leaders sharing stories of their work, Juanita Brown offering insight into the roots of The World Cafe, and meaningful conversations about what we are all learning and what we hear these times calling for.

Deep gratitude to Lina Cramer and Renee Jackson and all of your mates who have been building the capacity for this inspiring network of leaders over the last 10 years.

The workshop was: We Were Made for These Times: Becoming Wiser Together (invitation here).

Here’s an audio of the woven poem.

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Words of 2016: Xenophobia & Post-Truth

Xenophobia was just made the word for the year by dictionary.com. Understand its meaning if you don’t already and what it means for you (and your actions in 2017) that this is the word of 2016…

Oxford Dictionaries named “post-truth” as the word of the year for 2016, defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” In other words, truth is regarded as “less important.”

How will you help to regulate yourself in how you are swayed by emotional and personal belief information, when you choose to look at the facts and when you don’t? As the media is wrapped in this post-truth reality, us the consumers of media have to develop new approaches to information. One idea I wondered about is discovering specific journalists who are consistent in their use of true facts and following specific journalists. What ideas do you have?

Article on Oxford’s word of the year.

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What’s your pocket wisdom?

Do you carry important words, quotes or poems around with you? Simple phrases that inspire you to live authentically and compassionately, taking time to breathe and experience as much of life as possible? If so, what are they?

And for the rest of us, are there a few words or phrases that inspire you, remind you to be vibrantly alive, help you feel joyful, content and accepting, invite you to be present and grateful? If you could carry just a few precious words or phrases around in your pocket, always having them there to reference and learn from, what would those be? What words would you carry?

graphic by wordle

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“There is a voice that doesn’t use words. Listen.” ~ Rumi

photo by kiri :D
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Words


I love words. I love simple words and words I have never heard before. I love old words and the original meaning of words. It’s like floating back to the roots, always trying to capture the essence which lies beyond.

I love how simple words stringed together can take me on a journey, play on me like an instrument, make me laugh, sad, excited and full of love. It’s a miracle and part of that miracle is You. We. Us. All of us.

Words carry energy and that energy can hurt or heal. A heartfelt: “I love you!” can change any ones day. There are words of power. The old traditions call them prayer or mantra and they connect us with the ever present. With simple words to the ever present in 3 small paragraphs…

I love words!

Painting by Alex Stiefler

Comments:

Dear Jan,

Welcome back!

Oh how my heart skips feeling your words here… your reverence and reverie emerging forth through this screen… your voice and your perspective opening up into this playfield of expression, taking me on a journey, playing me like an instrument. Luscious!

I recently learned a word I think you would like: quiescent– Being in a state of repose; at rest; still; inactive.

with love,


GravatarDarling Jan!

How wonderful for you to post. As a fellow lover of words, your own were a great gift to me. As with all your past posts on Integral Naked, the integrity and immediacy of your words resonated with my own experience, facilitating deeper contact, clarification, and inquiry. Biggest hug and deepest bow to you.

I sometimes marvel at language’s capacity to clothe the silent and subtle movement of thought-feeling- sensation in manifest form as speech via the concert of breath and body and as writing via the complex codification of abstraction. I’m also taken with the paradox of words/language/conception as simultaneously revealing and concealing the Experiencing that birthed them. Maybe speech can even be understood as a yoga of subtle and gross form — if nothing else, every utterance is ultimately a creative act, and a testament to God’s annunciation as human expression.

Thank you again for opening me further to my own experience.

So much love,
~Brandy


GravatarThank you two so much for your kindness! One love, one mind, three hearts beating in different places. Love ya!

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Words, Inner Worlds and Longings

It is said that every gift or strength that we have is accompanied with a shadow side. Light casts shadows; attributes that serve us can also inhibit us in other ways.

I like playing with words. I enjoy shaping them together in efforts to express meaning. My goal is for another to easily receive and experience the meaning for him or herself. Words are amazing in this way. They allow us the ability to offer a concrete expression of our internal experience. And then another person’s mind can potentially receive the meaning contained in the expression, understand it, and even verify its accuracy. Of course there are other forms of expression besides words… but for now I’m talking about words!

I just finished a phenomenal fantasy book called The Ordinary by Jim Grimsley (thank you Sheri for the superb recommendation). In the quote below he’s writing about words and their relationship with magic (I’ve changed it to the present tense):

“Words bring events into being. They focus consciousness.”

“Any word by its nature allows two disconnected minds to share thoughts with one another… A word is energy and object at the same time, already capable of moving information from one person to another, and… therefore it should not be surprising that a word is capable of much more.”

With a certain degree of certainty (and a lot of room for mystery) words let your mind know what my mind is experiencing… and thus let us have a shared experience. That’s amazing!

More self-disclosure. I have a deep longing for shared experiences. (I know, this is shocking to some of you!) Thomas Hurley writes about our “essential yearning for communion.” I relate to that. I come alive, radiate aliveness, when I am experiencing my inner world, you are experiencing some aspect of my inner world, you are experiencing your inner world, I am experiencing some aspect of your inner world, and we’re here experiencing the outer world and our shared inner world together. Ooohhh, I just love that stuff! I yearn for more and more of it. Mutual relationships like that can be hard to come by in our society. Often, instead of sharing our worlds with each other, we wander around lost in our own world… or even ignoring our own world and getting lost in other worlds.

Perhaps more on that topic later. For now, I’ll return to words.

One thing I’ve been noticing is that I can lean too much on words, especially when I am stressed or in a fear state. I rely too heavily on the fact that words have the capacity (and I trust their capacity) to translate to another my inner experience of being alive or to help me understand another’s experience of being alive. In that state, I can become addicted to the certainty that I think words express. I want so desperately for another to understand my inner world and I want so desperately to understand their inner world. Living from my shadow at this point, I lose trust in my other senses, my other modalities of expressing and listening. I shut down to hearing them… I shut down to expressing with them… I shut down to receiving… and I grasp at and overly-rely upon words.

Shadow and light dancing together… funny how that works.

There’s more I want to write on these topics… holy longings, longing for subtle communication, ways of expressing and communicating non-verbally, a developmental stuck point we might be in socially/relationally, more shadow elements with words, talking about things too much, using words more than I need to, more about The Ordinary… Some topics you might see in the coming time… or not!

I’ll leave you with a practice that they use in the land where the story The Ordinary takes place. It’s one I’d like to adopt.. I wonder what sign we’ll use… I wonder who we is?!

“This is a sign that means we leave you to yourself, to your own peace. We make this to one another to signal that we are willing to talk but feel it would be an intrusion to speak first.”

Photo by Jim Rider/AP found at She Muses

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