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Archive for November, 2022

Ross Gay: Inciting Joy

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DailyGood News That Inspires

November 22, 2022

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Ross Gay: Inciting Joy

What if joy is not only entangled with pain, or suffering, or sorrow, but is also what emerges from how we care for each other through those things?

– Ross Gay –

Ross Gay: Inciting Joy

“Now that weve defined joy, and concluded it is important, there are two guiding inquiries in this book. First, I mean to investigate what practices, habits, rituals, understandings you know, the stuff we do and think and believemake joy more available to us. What in our lives prepares the ground for joy. I mean to try to find out, in other words, what incites joy. And second, I intend to wonder what the feeling of joy makes us do, or how it makes us be. I will wonder how joy makes us act and feel. Thats to say, I wonder what joy incites.” { read more }

Be The Change

Hear more from Ross Gay in this interview, “We Belong to Each Other.” { more }

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Good Bones, Pushing Water

Weekly excerpt to help us remember the sacred.

Awakin.org
Weekly Reading Nov 21, 2022

Good Bones, Pushing Water

–Carrie Newcomer

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2594.jpgWe had a small water crisis at our home this week. The break happened within a wall, and so we didn’t realize at first that a pipe had begun to leak until morning when my husband noticed water spreading from underneath the bathroom wall baseboard. We quickly pulled out the den couch (which shares the same wall) and after being a little grossed out by how much dust and detritus can accumulate under a piece of furniture that has not been moved in a good while, I started sopping up the water. The break was not huge — at least not yet. I tried using towels and a mop to push back the water, but the leak was becoming a steady flow and this was our indicator, a sign that something deep within the wall needed our attention. A small leak can become a larger break and eventually do serious structural damage to a house and home. This is when a wise person stops whatever they thought they would be doing that day and shuts down the main water line to begin the messy work of repairing what is damaged or broken. Although we still have quite a bit of dry wall repair and painting to do, the leak has been mended and the water is back on.

This story is a matter of plumbing, pipes and home repair. But there is a metaphor that came to me during this experience, and I’ve have been thinking about how many times in my personal life I chose to not notice a slow leak or inner call to attention. I’ve been thinking about all the times in my life that I tried to push back the water, or the times I did not alter the perpetual motion of my days to address what was seeping under the baseboards. Sometimes my attempt to push back the water looked like overwork (the most revered addiction in our culture) or a selfless form of not taking care of myself (a revered spiritual misconception in our culture). It has also looked like a wide variety of well-honed survival techniques and distractions. But, even though there are plenty of ways to keep trying to push back the water, there comes a time when there is little left to do but open up the wall and start working on the real problem.

Like my house, our essential spirits have “good bones”. We are born with with what Thomas Merton called the “True Self”, Quakers call “The Inner Light”. But then life happens—trauma, tragedy, loss, illness, grief, burdens that arrived as legacy from our ancestors, an unkindness or injustice that echoed for years. All these experiences have put pressure and stress on the good bones of our internal system. It is no wonder that life will brings us moments when we wake up from our sleep and notice water pooling from beneath the baseboards. Granted, sometimes with love and care healing can happen without tearing out entire walls. But there have also been times in my life when I needed to trust my spiritual good bones, tap into trusted inner and outer resources, and start the messy work of attending to what has been stressed or unduly burdened. The process of new growth and healing is ever present and always possible. I believe that. But working with what’s been stressed or harmed can require time and it can be surprisingly messy.

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How do you relate to the notion of the slow leak being a metaphor for our lives in perpetual motion ignoring small signs of a problem until it becomes a crisis? Can you share a personal story of a time you were able to see the big looming crisis in a small leak? What helps you start the messy work of tending to what has been unduly burdened?

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The Man Who Planted Trees

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DailyGood News That Inspires

November 21, 2022

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The Man Who Planted Trees

On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.

– W.S. Merwin –

The Man Who Planted Trees

“Who says a single person can’t make a difference? This Academy Award-winning short film, based on a story by Jean Giono, was created in 1987 by renowned animator Frederick Back. It beautifully showcases one shepherd’s long and successful effort to re-forest a desolate valley in the foothills of the Alps near Provence in the first half of the 20th century.” { read more }

Be The Change

Share the original text version of this beautiful story with a friend. { more }

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The Gift of Lewis Hyde’s

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November 20, 2022

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The Gift of Lewis Hyde's

The spirit of an artist’s gifts can wake our own.

– Lewis Hyde –

The Gift of Lewis Hyde’s

“Gifts pass from hand to hand: they endure through such transmission, as every time a gift is given it is enlivened and regenerated through the new spiritual life it engenders both in the giver and in the receiver. And so it is with Lewis Hydes classic study of gift giving and its relationship to art. The Gift has never been out of print; it moves like an underground current among artists of all kinds, through word of mouth and bestowal. It is the one book I recommend without fail to aspiring writers and painters and musicians, for it is not a how-to bookthere are many of thesebut a book about the core nature of what it is that artists do, and also about the relation of these activities to our overwhelmingly commercial society. If you want to write, paint, sing, compose, act, or make films, read The Gift. It will help to keep you sane.” Acclaimed author Margaret Atwood shares more in this review. { read more }

Be The Change

You can learn more about Lewis Hyde’s work here. { more }

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How to Have a Community Conversation

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November 19, 2022

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How to Have a Community Conversation

We bring forth our worlds through the networks of conversation within which we participate.

– Humberto Maturana –

How to Have a Community Conversation

“A Community Conversation is a form of group dialogue that often addresses issues of local or larger concern. Participation is usually open to all, and may lead to some form of action, consensus or objective by the participants. Regardless of the size of the gathering, when individuals assemble to engage in dialogue related to self-determination, it often becomes a community unto itself. Community conversation is a collective process that has the potential to transform individual thought into collective consciousness.” Michael Ratner shares more tips and resources here. { read more }

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Take a moment to reflect on some of the most influential conversations you have been part of, and what made them so powerful for you.

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Just Be Nice

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DailyGood News That Inspires

November 18, 2022

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Just Be Nice

The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you can alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world.

– James Baldwin –

Just Be Nice

In this brief and moving glimpse into his life, Morne Pretorius shares how the experience of a car accident ten years ago which left him in a coma for a month, has impacted his perspective on life, leading him to living gratefully every day. He reminds us to make peace with what happens in our lives, realizing that our experiences do not define our future. Speaking from the knowledge gained from his life, he advises, “You are walking this life. Make sure you leave beautiful steps behind.” { read more }

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Consider what message you would write on a park bench for others to see, and explore how you can live your life according to that message.

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Just Be Nice

This week’s inspiring video: Just Be Nice
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Video of the Week

Nov 17, 2022
Just Be Nice

Just Be Nice

In this brief and moving glimpse into his life, Morné Pretorius shares how the experience of a car accident ten years ago which left him in a coma for a month, has impacted his perspective on life, leading him to living gratefully every day. He reminds us to make peace with what happens in our lives, realizing that our experiences do not define our future. Speaking from the knowledge gained from his life, he advises, "You are walking this life. Make sure you leave beautiful steps behind."
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Activating Moral Discomfort & Spiritual Community for the Earth

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November 17, 2022

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Activating Moral Discomfort & Spiritual Community for the Earth

One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken.

– Leo Tolstoy –

Activating Moral Discomfort & Spiritual Community for the Earth

“The Rev. Fletcher Harper believes that he felt God while mourning his fathers death on a solo camping trip in Montana. A violent hailstorm struck one night, and he sought shelter in the lee of a rock. “At about three in the morning, I felt this deep sense of well-being, he recalls. “I realized that I was going to be OK. I thought, ‘I can move on with my life now.'”Later in his life and career when interviewing hundreds of people from a broad spectrum of religious and non-religious backgrounds, he discovered that nearly all of them could recall an outdoor experience they perceived as spiritual or sublime. Today Harper, an Episcopal priest, is Executive Director of GreenFaith, an international interfaith and multi-faith environmental organization that conducts education and advocacy, and provides environmental sustainability services, to faith-based groups. Read more about his work here. { read more }

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For more inspiration, join an Awakin Call with Fletcher Harper this weekend. More details and RSVP info here. { more }

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Agent of Illumination

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November 16, 2022

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Agent of Illumination

When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.

– Joseph Campbell –

Agent of Illumination

“Some years ago, I was stuck on a crosstown bus in New York City during rush hour. Traffic was barely moving. The bus was filled with cold, tired people who were deeply irritated with one another, with the world itself. Two men barked at each other about a shove that might or might not have been intentional. A pregnant woman got on, and nobody offered her a seat. Rage was in the air; no mercy would be found here.” What happened next was both unexpected and utterly transformational. More in this inspiring piece by Elizabeth Gilbert. { read more }

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Discoveries And Surprises

Discoveries And Surprises