February 2019 ~ Writings: Conscious Connections

February 2019 ~ Writings: Conscious Connections

150 150 Strawbale Studio

BRIGHT SHADOW:
I’m thinking of the time when I was expressing love, appreciation, to Alan, Yoga teacher, for who he is and what he brings and embodies. In response he shared an idea with me called the Bright Shadow.
The Dark Shadow might be defined as the way we might project on other people the parts of our self we want to hide, or don’t even consciously recognize we have. We might react strongly, to that quality we see in our self, or that we might not be aware of, or don’t want to “own” in ourselves. ( I would prefer to describe this as a “sub-personality” that we can explore, understand, befriend by meeting the “needs” it might be longing for.)

So the Bright Shadow could be called the projection on to others, of our bright side, that we experience and admire in them. We could be aware of and “own” that brightness, like we might be aware of and own our Dark Shadow. Since the time I heard the phrase Bright Shadow, I have been more consciously “developing”, “practicing”, what it is that I see in Alan that I respond to with feelings of happiness. When he says what he says, and is who he is, I feel happy and inspired…meeting a value/need/longing for connection with the depth and fullness of Life, and connection with my own embodiment of Life Energy. So now I even more consciously practice sharing ideas with others, exploring wording that expressively shares, communicates, expresses, inspires, connects.  I am also interested in “embodiment “… the physical expression of vitality and connection.. connection with nature through movement…in nature, of my body, making things, crafting, building, dancing, cooking…finding, harvesting, making things from found materials from nature here, foraging for wild foods, making ferments with local yeasty beasties. All of this is part of creating what I call “a Real Life” ~ connected to myself, to others, to the larger Self, Nature and the Whole. Like the cells and organs in our body, which do their own thing, in harmonious “listening” and “responding” to the larger body, toward the health and well-being of the Whole.  Easy,  Natural.  We can do this.  We don’t have to do this alone. We can do this, together, out of our own natures, listening and dancing to the Rhythm of Life, like, our bodies, like the ecosystems, Coordinating from the smallest levels of energy, subatomic and atomic reality, through molecules and cells, to organs and ecosystems. What is the “Knowing”, the “Brightness” the Vitality of my life, of each life?  May we support that, and in doing so, support the Whole, which is supporting each of us. Ah.            2/23/2019

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“YOU GAIAS” 2/23/2019. When I start to say “You Guys”, in a group that includes females… I shift, mid-word from Guys…to GAIA’s (children of the Earth, which we could say we are, in some way !) I grew up hearing the wording: Man, He, God (a He), Brotherhood of Men, You Guys, The Men and Girls in the office….and it was commonly held that these terms “included everyone”. These words, meant me, too. Ah, I was always “translating”.

He means “he and she”. Man means Women, too. The male god was just “male god”, at that point, not commonly thought of as including the feminine – at least in the Abrahamic religions ~ Islam, Judism, Christianity. And other animals are almost exclusively called “he”. Check it out. Really.

So, hearing these words, I am aware of feeling resentment which has mellowed mostly to sadness of a sort, as I am wanting “inclusion”, to be valued, to matter. I also feel energy and enthusiasm knowing I can help create this inclusion, and that I can do it in a strong and gentle way.  Like basket weaving fibers, dried and waiting, become stronger, and less fragile as they are soaked and softened. My “request” (to meet the longing/value/need of being “included’ ) a “strategy” out of the 10,000 possibilities to meet that need , could be to ask, in the moment, that we try to find an “inclusive” way of saying what we are wanting to say: ie. we could together explore adding the female aspect to the word, or take away the male wording, or find another word which includes both, or even make up a new word or phrase ! (ALL WORDS ARE MADE UP. ALL WORDS ARE MADE UP. WORDS REFLECT AND CREATE REALITY. WORDS REFLECT AND CREATE REALITY. ) I find it fun to make the shift…mid-word…from “you Guys” to You Gaia’s. You might give it a try.

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BELIEFS .I believe we can create reality out of our beliefs. That doesn’t make them true. 🙂 2019-2-20 MM

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SPACIOUSNESS . (after 5 hour talk with Michael Mallon) We can take time to go to the place beyond words, to which our words point. Meditation, whittling wood, gardening, a walk. A place of rest and renewal. Ideas can spring from this open space. Inspiration and peripheral views and images of the “ways forward”. Michael and I are looking for Trust with a big T. Longing to Trust That out of which all things have come, as Alan says in yoga class. Great Mystery ! A longing for that which can hold us, in a deep safety. What needs are met in a Trust like that? Perhaps the needs for safety, connection, belonging, ease, and more.

(“The mysteries stay outside themselves.”
a thought from a waking/dreaming state, 1967. )

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HEALTHY BOUNDARIES – a balance of open and closed. With Body as a metaphor, we understand that each cell, in order to stay alive, has a sense of “open”and “closed”. Not too open (or it dies). Not too closed (or it dies).
This can be seen throughout life from the atom, to the molecule, to the cell, to the organ, to the organism within an ecosystem, that is within the wholeness of Earth. This might be called a “nesting hierarchy of systems*; Each part is seeking healthy boundaries, seeking a balance between open and closed, in and out, where the needs are met for safety and enclosure, and also for connection and exchange of energy — nutrients in, by-products out . Friend, Jared Bogonov-Hanna, sees it a more complex than just “binary” open/closed. More flexible, like a zone, or a dance.

In the case of our bodies, our by-products will in turn be used by another part of the larger system. CO2 the by-product our our metabolism, that we breath out, is taken up into plants, which in turn give off O2 which is in turn, taken up into animals, and so on and on. Cycles circling ’round. Nitrogen from animals nourishes the plants, which nourish the animals.

In our body the cells and organs have boundaries, and also function FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE. I imagine this is based on some form of “listening” to what I call the Wisdom of the Whole, that which I imagine animates life. Somehow there is this fabulously complex, complex, coordination which is (mostly) underneath human conscious thinking and control. This Dance happens, and when the needs of all parts are basically met, the whole thrives (which in turn benefits and supports each PART).

May each part be healthy and happy, supporting and being supported by a healthy happy whole.

* Johanna Macy

Song: ” I feel myself, feel the Whole, Feel myself, feel the Whole, I Listen to the Rhythm of Life, DANCE to the Rhythm of Life ! ” DB 2018   /.333/3. 21/1…/… /… /… /.333/3.21/1…/… / / / .2222/2212.//.3321/211/1/// /.333/3. 21/1…/… /… /… /.333/3.21/1…/… / / / .2222/2212.//.3321/211/1///

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YES WE CAN ! The good of whole and health of the parts support each other. We can “feel our self ” and “feel the whole”.  Both are important, both support each other.  Needs of individual, needs of the whole.  Our Body as our example, or nature. Michael Mallon DB discussion: “Nested hierarchy”. (Can we do “hierarchy” that models the goals we want: kindness, health of all parts. Both Autonomy and Community?  Freedom & Responsibility to the Whole?  YES WE CAN !  It is happening all the time, in our bodies, in our ecosystems…. YES WE CAN.  DB/ Michael Mallon discussion 2019-2-20:

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REFLECTIONS – Simple Life, NVC, MaMuse 2019-2-20 ish
I often feel like there is more going on in my life than I can keep up with, and yet things do roll, and I feel a part of a movement toward peace  (harmonious flow) and connection. I do long for more outside time…or inside time, or simply time for the simple life. Some peeps got together on Sunday and we made baskets. I brought fibers and bark I had collected to use for my basket. Now that is what I am talking about ! And I also experienced some fab side-conversations about NVC …non-violent communication..based on ways to help create “quality of connection” and clarity, revealing our feelings, needs/values.. where everyones’ needs are important, understood, valued.  In difficult situations, I have found this process helps create a “Relaxed Inner Core” for both of us, where previously we might have left the conversation with a burning chest, upset stomach and rumination. Relaxed inner core. Ah. This person cares about me, understands.  And there are 10,000 ways to get any need met. We can look out at the situation together, and explore it. from this co-caring place.

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MUSIC has been the Contemplation Practice of my choice for the Cardoner study group. Music connects me with vitality, which might be in the center of all things…our sense of aliveness and connection with life energy. I have been singing along with Mamuse. I love the songs: Calling All Angels, We Shall be Known.  I believe in the power of kindness.
Prayers for Freedom is their last album.  FAB. I also love the Carolyn McDade music I have sung with a group over the years.

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20 INDIVIDUAL PAGES on my FAV ideas/values.
Michael Mallon asks, “based on what you said about wanting to share ideas, what might be the 20 pages of info you would want to “pass on”.. What would be the subjects? So, I have started to construct these pages, ideas, as they surface, and these Feb 2019 Writings are the outcome.

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I-THOU + NVC
I -Thou is a book by Martin Buber, that I studied in in Johann Stohl’s Religion Class at Albion College in 1967-8 ).
We can address the small and the whole of the world as a”Thou” (“Subject – Subject”), or as an “IT” (“Subject – Object”).
Martin Buber says that when we address the world as I – Thou, that we are in that space (and quality) of relationship where “All True Meeting can happen” ,
In NVC – Non-Violent Communication Marshal Rosenberg, founder, say the GOAL of NVC is “to create the quality of connection that promotes everyone/things needs being met, compassionately”.

When I imagine that all the things we humans do, is to meet a need (for example – safety, belonging, adventure, renewal, to be understood, etc), then I have more compassion. I can imagine that all life forms, and Life itself, is doing what it does to try to meet a need (to survive, to thrive, belong, etc. (even though the strategy might not be effective !:)

It’s a CONCEPT, a way of “holding” life, that increases compassion and connection, and I find the outcome is “true meeting” like the phrase from Martin Buber. In that True Meeting, there is a sense of increased connection, understanding, trust …and possibility… as we look at the world in this way. We can shift from a “right and wrong” judgment/ evaluation/interpretation of people and events, and turn to “needs met, or not met”.  As we look together more objectively (without blame/judgment) at the situation, our defensiveness is lowered. We are caring about each other, we are understanding more, perhaps being understood more as well, as we share our longing/need/value that is (or isn’t) not getting met by a situation. Compassion and connection are increased, and this promotes an inner calm, as we reach out, and share, in this way. Both persons “needs” are important. We all matter. We can disagree about strategies to meet the needs, yet, as we feel cared about and more understood, we begin to enjoy and trust that the other person will want to contribute to our well-being and we to theirs. And there are infinite ways to get needs met. What a relief ! I can practice making observations of what happened (like a camera) without interpretation/judgment/blame. Or I can also use my interpretations/judgments/blame, and by “flipping them over” discover what it might be that we are longing for.
Flipping over the judgment “that’s stupid !” might point to valuing/needing “wisdom, understanding, support, effectiveness, etc”. What do I feel and need, what might another person/being be feeling and needing? The person might be feeling confusion, weak, wanting clarity, understanding, support. If I say “That animal is mean !”  I might be wanting safety, protection for myself and family, The animal might be wanting safety, protection for itself and family.  Compassion is increased. Concept: There are 10,000 strategies to meet a need. A strategy for safety might be to be fierce ( to look big, bar teeth and claws) or hide, or play “dead”, or avoid the situation, or make friends with the other, etc.) All are strategies for meeting the need for safety.
I –thou. Seeking understanding. Everyone/things “needs” matter. 10,000 strategies for getting needs met.  All this promotes a quality of connection where strategies for everyone’s needs getting met, can imagined compassionately.

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I LOVE THIS UNKNOWN. 2/20/19 I meet a woman who tells me about Cannamara Ireland with its thatched roofs. Looking it up on-line I appreciate the beauty of that place.
The land at Strawbale Studio has some of those qualities. A space is created here that holds me and others. A little world. A reality of peace and beauty.

Unknown: who will carry this with me? So far, all others have Temporary, transitional. That’s how it has been for 16 years. Why not? It is what I can say YES to. The turn-over calls again and again for the New Flow. Like being a teacher, the classes coming in, and going out.
And within this process of flow, some folks are connected long-term, returning most month for the potluck, or visiting when in town. Last night the Full Moon Potluck was a Super Moon, closer to the earth than it will be in some time… and there was so much wonderful connecting and meeting. Jenna, from out of state, with overlapping commonalities, knowing Rosemary Gladstar, and John, her brother, and art – her alphabet of herbs in the languages of First Peoples! The woman and baby, were so awesome, alive. Folks loved being with them. Alex and Aaron from Camp Tamarak, made a soup for the potluck with organic vegies from the greenhouse and local grass-fed beef. Aaron is experimenting with mushroom insulation, and reed mat weaving. AH ! These connections. True meeting.

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The BEING IN / GOING THROUGH of my life,. I am wanting more Being – IN.  Less Planning. Maybe more planning for MORE BEING IN?)
IS SETTING LIMITS PRODUCING SOME UNLIMITED RESULTS?”*  
I am valuing Ease, Spaciousness, Flow, Effectiveness, Creativity, Connection with Life, hands, heart. Weaving.
* a question posed to me by a person in Landmark Foundation

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REFLECTING ON LIFE and DEATH. There is a song I am listening to, about helping a friend die/transition. It goes: “Soul Sister. I so believe in you. You are deep and wise. Soul sister Whatever you are going through, I am here with you. Your body knows like a river flows and it will carry you to the other side.” (Mamuse). MY LIFE: All is well, life rises and falls, that’s natural and beautiful, poignant. There is  perhaps a natural holding on  (if we get old and frail) a longing for healthy boundaries, protection if we are feeling frail ~ then there is a letting go of boundaries,  as we die, and life can flow on. Life will “give away” to that process. “Soul Sister, Whatever it takes for you to thrive. Your body knows like the river flows and it will take you to the other side”

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NVC – Goal QUALITY OF CONNECTION 🙂 Relax the interpretation, blame, argue, defend/attack. Increase the deep listening to the feelings and needs beneath the words an actions…of our self and others. Increasing compassion. One might say” “How could you abandon me like you did”? . It would be more clear, accurate and less likely to result in defensiveness to say: “When you left me with grandma when I was 5,” (observation without interpretation, blame, judgement, right and wrongness) “I’m guessing that was a hard time for you, and you might have been feeling sadness, fear, wanting balance and security for me and for yourself, wanting to be capable, wanting me to be safe and taken care of? Is that right?” (empathy for others – guessing at their feelings/needs). At some point, after listening we might ask if they could listen to what was going on for us at the time. If the person agrees, we might proceed by sharing”: “I felt fear, loneliness, surprise, confusion, shaky, sick, (feelings) and was really wanting safety, understanding, to matter, some constancy, to be connected.” (self empathy for our own feelings and general human needs/values). This way of communicating might take more words. In the process it seeks to leave behind the blame, which will decreases defensiveness in both our self and the one we are talking to ! It is an honest expression with the goal of understanding, and connection. The process usually increases compassion for self and others~ and the outcome is more likely to have a “quality of connection”.  The goal is NVC is to have the quality of connection that promotes everyone’s needs being met, compassionately. When I use this sort of approach I have felt a core relaxation, feeling safe and connected !

I notice I have written several entries about NVC. It really means a lot to me as hope for a “way forward” on the planet.
Upcoming opportunity: Compassion Course Online 2019. http://www.compassioncourse.org/

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