These days feel like something of a nexus. I’m experiencing the coming together of three significant events.
- Over the last three days, the women from the Diving Deeper group (now in our third year of meeting weekly by phone) have been together for our third in-person gathering.
- Tomorrow, marks the start of the pilot program recently birthed out of me that invites and supports those choosing to meet what I call the improv of life (those moments of uncertainty we all face) with courage and compassion and creativity.
- And Tuesday is the day citizens of the USA elect their new President – an event that (whatever the results) has and will continue to impact not only those in the USA, but also our entire world.
One of the themes that’s like a thread running through all of these events is the challenge of being in true community where we are consciously cultivating RICH Relationships. What we see more commonly are the painfully familiar patterns of relating somewhere along the continuum of tolerating each other because we happen to find ourselves together, all the way through to seeking dominance, control, or power over each other.
It seems clear to me that Life is inviting all of us to expand our capacity to meet the obvious challenges of living together. We can no longer pretend that conflict and division are somewhere ‘over there’ in some distant land, and that we can ignore or pretend they don’t apply to us.
One of the willows in the grove where we gathered …
There is no game plan for how to do this. We are navigating uncharted waters. As pioneers in this challenge, the confusion and uncertainty we feel are not misplaced! And yet … there is something I have experienced enough times to know in my bones is true – the resources are there for us in the moment that we need them. Not always in the form we’re looking for, or consider optimal, but they are there.
Our Diving Deeper community is committed to supporting each other in navigating life in this way. Whenever we come together we share our desires and intend that as we are attuned to each other and the moment before us, that clarity will arise as to where we place our attention, and what we do.
One of the desires expressed this weekend was for some kind of ritual that would support us in our commitment to meeting the challenges of life with courage and compassion. And on Friday, as I was spending a few moments on Facebook, I came across a post by wise woman Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Though she was writing specifically with regard to the Standing Rock Sioux Water Protectors, it felt to me that her invitation to prayer, and the ancient ritual she described was far more widely applicable.
When I shared it with the group there was a sense of deep resonance, and yesterday afternoon, the perfect moment for us to engage it appeared.
As you feel drawn, I invite you to click on the link above for the full text of Clarissa’s post. It is a call to go deep. Here, I share an excerpt.
She writes, “For this reason, in part to send the clean water, deep earth, of your prayer to whomsoever has need, especially at this time those who are standing in courage… in part to calm you, to let those of you who can bear it, feel the resonance, and meet it in a meaningful way. Thus…
I am just having come from prayer, humbly asking you to please consider to do this… This Prayer, which is made in the old ways from my heritages: Mestizo Mexica, that is, Native American, old Spanish y sephardi/ taltos Magyar/ Swabian tribal… this prayer Now…
for good to come from bad,
for honor to come from fear,
for purpose to be made clear from adversity…
for all persons in our world, and for yourself,
that challenge give us clarity, even more Love,
more Hope, more Good, more Honor,
more Clear Purpose.
Say /pray/sing/silence your true self toward these in your own way, in your own words , including silence, one of the greatest forms of prayer.
Pray hard. You know the difference.”
We adapted the ritual in ways that were true for our experience. As we formed our circle, we made space between us to include one of our members who wasn’t able to be with us in person this time, but who we found ways to include creatively throughout our time together. We also included those in each of our heart circles (now, from generations before, and generations to come), and indeed, the wider world.
We sat on the earth, in the dappled afternoon sunlight, on a perfect late Fall afternoon, mixing some of the sandy soil with water, and combining these elements with the fire of our hearts, and the air of our breath. For all of us, as individuals and collectively, we prayed using Clarissa’s words – for “integrity, immaculate heart, impeccability, understanding, strength, hope, Love.”, and we added our own.
When we were complete, we took this photo reminding us of what we do all the time; anchoring even more deeply our commitment to stand together with and for each other. We sensed our growing resilience. As a community we celebrate that strength and resilience when it is present, and we support one another in those moments when (in our humanity) it’s harder to remember those things we know to be true. Like the willow, we felt our roots tapping into the resources that are there for us.
I feel deeply the power of this work. I know it in my own life. I’ve seen it in those with whom I have the privilege to partner and walk. I am excited about the pilot that starts tomorrow introducing the principles and practices to others. And I am clear about the call to offer it more widely. Developing our capacities for the courage and compassion to be our best and most creative selves is SO crucial for each one of us – especially as we are called to meet and be present to the many uncertainties that swirl around us.
AND, if you’re curious or have any questions, do be in touch – I’d love to share more!