How do we nurture our Spirit in a world of increasing complexity, volatility, diversity, and challenges that impact our environment, our economy, our lives?
We need to have the humility to realize and begin the process of addressing our own shortcomings. We need on-going "training", a deep curiosity in the face of fears, to be more open to "what's next", more aware of where we are now, and where we come from. This training comes from solitude and reflection in whatever ways suit our talents, from fellowship with other seekers, from books, CD's, webcasts, hanging out in nature to better connect with her peace and presence. It often means learning in unconventional settings, maybe a play that speaks to our spirit, or praying in a new way, like dancing, drumming, singing, or writing. These are the "many rivers" that feed our soul in troubling times.
If we find ourselves stuck, too serious and obsessed with old habits, we need ways to lighten up and have compassion for our situation. We need to see options when the old ways aren't working. That is where learning from one another can be a blessing, helping us relax and trust there are no set answers, and many of us need to allow our opening hearts to be part of our decision-making instead of ignoring our heart's yearnings. It's a journey, and like a river, sometimes playful and inviting, sometimes more than we can handle so we may need some time to walk the shoreline instead of risking life and limb in the rapids. What feels nurturing, not just familiar?
It may take courage, patience, and tenacity to make choices when we have no guarantee of the outcome. Look at some of our great leaders--Lincoln, John Muir, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Rachel Carson, Pete Seeger. They were often unpopular and controversial for thinking outside the mainstream, following their own unique rivers or guidance that helped make our world more caring, more accountable and aware of dangers in ignoring realities. Listen for what nurtures your spirit, and be a voice for the concerns and causes that most move you. We all matter. We all make a difference. Shalom, from my heart to yours!
Carol Browning 11/15/2011