Nature has a way of renewing itself periodically. Her children move through their processes of birth, growth, decay and rebirth at different moments, in response to their own internal clocks. Here in Michigan, the trees are releasing their leaves in preparation for a period of rest. As this happens around me I am reminded once again about the ways people move through cycles and on a personal level, how I experience them. When I appreciate reality for what it is and understand that some things happen over which I have no control; that sometimes I go through periods of feeling really great about what I am doing and other times I question everything; that sometimes I feel supremely confident and other times I feel vulnerable - when I understand that I am a human being just trying to do the right thing, then encountering these cycles becomes less of a struggle and more of an opportunity to listen, reflect, and grow. So as nature does what she does, I will continue to listen and learn.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Lesson 1: Creating space for contemplation and self-/shared-healing strengthens justice work.
People struggling on the front line around issues of justice; people vigilantly working to stop harmful practices of institutions, corporations, other people, etc.; people whose lives are organized around simply putting food on the table, a roof over their heads, and a safe environment for children; people who do not stop until every ounce of energy has been shifted from them to other places...these people often do not take time to rest, to create space for their own healing, to reflect upon vision, purpose, successes, lessons, and mistakes. And the mere thought of doing so is foreign, something for someone else, something that time and circumstances don't permit. Yet not only is it possible to carve out space - there are many ways to do so - but it is necessary. How many of our front line warriors are weakened or suffer from debilitating illnesses accelerated by stress? Far too many. Possible solutions: