Peace and Justice Builders,
It was a sacred moment to spend time deepening our practice and understanding of each other at our first session on Wednesday, August 2nd!
In addition to a beautiful centering exercise by @Caren Stelson, through which we visited our shadows and brought them into bright sunlight, we shared impromptu reflections of meaningful objects that we have in our spaces - and what they tell about us.
In 1:1 breakouts that allowed time for connection, we talked about what peace means to us - and how it interacts with justice. I was blessed to have @Andrea Pope as my partner, and we had a sparkling conversation about the importance of seeing and validating one another as an act of peace and justice. Andrea talked about cultural patterns that create shame by demanding us to give up ourselves to conform - how when we do that we feel violated and are prone to rebel or "self-eliminate." (David Hawkings). So, one aspect of peace and justice is creating spaces where we can be ourselves and bring our full gifts to community.
We talked about how our systems are broken - in part, because they are created by us, as humans, with our own flaws and brokenness, but also our gifts. To break through with justice, we need to maximize the strengths (whether from culture or neuro-diversity) of each individual - and the collective strengths in the "system." Andrea and I shared personal stories of how we sought to integrate body, mind and soul in our own lives!
In our full circle, I shared Mark Nepo's poem, This Takes Time from his new book, "The Half-Life of Angels":
What you drop, I pick up. We don't even have to be in the same place to benefit each other.
As an apple draws life from the sun before it lands in the mouth of a skinny deer,
The Unnamable Spirit sets the laughter of a child in the path of someone's misfortune.
They say when painters squint, the threads of light become more visible. Just so.
As we let go our definitions, what holds the Universe together shows itself.
Our co-lead Julie shared an opportunity for the interactive online session, (Seeking Peace) Be the Change to experience breath and meditation exercises and interactive dialogue to promote peace on Saturday, August 12th, 10:00am Central.
We're excited to spend time with you again for our Wednesday, September 6th Peace & Justice meeting from 11:00am to 12:30pm Central!
May you be (at) peace,