For sure it’s neither the damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead, nor the hands-on-hips-in-your-face-I’m-going-to-tell-you-how-things-should-be way of being! Though I’m both willing to acknowledge how much those styles have accomplished over the years, and am deeply appreciative of the creature comforts and other societal benefits we live with as a result of changes made in our world using those methods, it seems to me at this point in human history, Life is calling us to co-create change in a different way.

Truth is, I’ve always shied away from that ‘old’ style of taking a stand. And partly because I’ve never figured out a way of standing that felt true for me, I’ve stood on the sidelines and ached quietly inside as the possibilities for our world I could feel inside me remained unexpressed.

Others of you might have been more active in that style we’ve seen so often, but now something different is stirring inside. Perhaps because you’re exhausted from the effort, or maybe you’re simply noticing that quiet voice inside you is speaking up a bit more loudly, something is saying “There’s got to be more to life than this!”

We’re in process, learning and growing, trying new things like the Occupy movement. This is a photo of an Occupy Vancouver event attended by my daughter-in-law.

And I’ve been wondering … what would we discover if we looked at taking a stand on some controversial issue – some deep desire you have that you’d love to see more fully expressed in our world – and engage that stand through the lens of RICH relationships? How might we show up differently? Would there be a change in the way we related both to ourselves, with others, and indeed all of life?

If we’re being deeply R-ESPECTFUL of ourselves, might that affect the pace and rhythm of our lives? Might that balance we so often speak about but seldom experience become a more natural outcome rather than something we have to ‘strive for’? Is it possible that in treating ourselves with greater respect there might be a flow-through to the way we speak to and be with others (people and creatures) and our earth itself?

When we come from a place of respect, it’s easier to see the role I-NTIMACY might play. There’s a powerful vulnerability in expressing our deep desires, so no wonder it can feel scary. The urge to put up defenses or even make pre-emptive strikes against those who might feel differently is strong, but when we do that we’re also creating distance from ourselves. However when we recognize that these deep desires are not our own but are co-creative impulses from Life, when we get that we are the faucet, that Life itself is the water, the energy pouring through us, we can relax our hold and allow for others to be who they are. Though they might choose to distance themselves from us, when we are quietly grounded in our core, we can afford to have more permeable boundaries, with less need to make others wrong, or separate ourselves from them, or need to make something happen, or have them change.

Instead of that we can C-OURAGEOUSLY stand in the COMMITMENT we have to allow Life to flow through us, in each moment CELEBRATING and accepting difference, and ‘what is’ in this moment (and as I always say, if we can’t get to celebration, notice and accept ourselves in that) while being CURIOUS, scanning for what else is possible here? What’s the value that’s here to be harvested? Even if we can’t in the moment find the answer, simply living in that question will allow for the emergence of more possibility.

And always, especially in those moments where we’re uncomfortable, and things feel chaotic or incomplete, HONOURING OUR H-UMANITY – both our own, and those who seem to be ‘against us’. Taking the time to breathe, and nurture ourselves in whatever way is true for us. Remembering that we’re not created to live in isolation, so connecting with our companions on the journey who can remind us of those things we know to be true, but may not be able to access in this moments.

All this of course brings us back to R-ESPECT, as our practice in this cycle continues to deepen and widen. Through the way we be in our lives, as well as the words we use we can become clearer icons of the visions we hold possible – for ourselves and for our world.
Kevin Rudd launches passionate gay marriage defence
Kevin Rudd launches passionate gay marriage defence

This week as I was reflecting on what I’d write, I was pointed to this video of the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responding to a question in a political Q&A session from a local pastor. While the audience and the tweets that appear on the screen sometimes reflect what I’m calling the ‘old’ style of being in controversy, though they have very disparate views, both the Prime Minister and the Pastor were (to my mind) practicing a more RICH way of being in relationship.

I love seeing this evolution in how we can be together and co-create our world, even – perhaps especially! – in the world of politics and human rights.

Though she was speaking in a different context, I so appreciated hearing Lissa Boles say this week that this kind of shift – one where we’re “Creating a new way of being takes guts, it takes boldness, it takes daring, and faith and sometimes time. It takes companionship – spaces where we can tell the truth, look at it from many angles, and reinforce for ourselves that we’re not imagining things, reassure ourselves that we’re not nuts, that this is real.”

What about you? What’s your experience of standing in controversy? Does the style with which you’ve been engaging work for you? Are there any ways you might choose to shift your pattern in order to show up in a way that might now feel truer? Or not?!

Nurturing juicy co-creative partnerships
…with ourselves, others & life!