Tag Archives: Joanna Macy

Rallying for love in a world-wide blizzard

Finding ways to bond together in an age of “hyper-individualism ”

People dare to be comfortable with uncertainty if they are in solidarity with each other.”

– Joanna Macy speaking of the Work that Reconnects

My father told me a wonderful story about being in Chicago, on business, during a blizzard. He was staying in a hotel and, because everything was shut down and there was no electricity, people bonded who otherwise would not have had anything to do with each other. Beds and portable lights were set up in the ballroom of the hotel.  Meals and drinks were shared.  By laughing, joking and singing, strangers broke down that invisible wall to befriend one another.  When the snow let up and airport connections could be made, people went back to not knowing one another and went about their business. It confounded my dad, who was sure that the group intimacy they had shared would linger. Convention and profit margins magnetized the folks he had met back into being strangers as they scrambled to catch their taxis and flights.

Currently, it feels like we are in the midst of a worldwide, social blizzard. While one group is pitted against another, and commercial tactics and fear are breeding what Joanna Macy calls hyper-individualism, good folks are magnetized into becoming strangers, even to themselves.

We are in need of scenarios in which we come together to laugh, joke, sing and brake down that invisible wall to befriend one another.

With this aim in mind, my wife Julia and I started hosting a rally for LOVE in various places throughout the country. So far, we have held events in NY and CA. At both of these rallies, the intention was to bring various communities together to illuminate resources that allows us to stay connected as the world situation becomes overwhelming.

On the East Coast, there was a wide range of groups represented from an ethical culture society, a temple, a unity church, a wholeness center, Centers for Spiritual Living, The Interfaith Council, Science of Spirituality meditation centers, musicians, life coaches and even the Penguin Plungers, who brave the waters of the Hudson River in winter.

On the West Coast, the music was interspersed with acts from a network of circus performers who knew how to lighten our hearts. In the audience, there were teachers, authors, upcyclers, counselors, musicians, filmmakers, healers, potters, caretakers, and implementers of what Joanna Macy calls the Work that Reconnects.

The spirit of this rally was exemplified by Jaime Coventry, who was the M.C. for the night. In setting up the space just before the show, Jaime broke his pinky toe. He was so focused on the aim of the night, I had no idea he had injured himself. All he radiated was a gracious, gregarious and humorous benevolence.

Coventry & Kaluza

The success of both of these rallies was that the individuals who attended have continued to bond together after the event.

When asked why she does the work she does, Joanna Macy replied:             “I’m doing this work so that when things fall apart, we will not turn on each other.” To do this, she advises: “…little study groups, and book groups, make a garden together. Keep your ear to the ground. Inform each other. We have to develop the skill of finding that it is more fun to be waking up together, Sarvodaya [Sanskrit term meaning ‘universal uplift’ or ‘progress of all’], than a single lone star on the stage.”

When the daily news prompts you to run and hide, remember we are all on this stage together. We can still rally for LOVE!

 

Women marching in solidarity with all of life

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

Julia and I were grateful to be a part of the Women’s March in NYC on Saturday. I hold the conviction that marching for something is always more powerful than marching against what you do not want.  This is spurred by the story of Mother Teresa saying she wouldn’t march against the war but would march for peace. However, what we experienced on Saturday was confirmed by everyone we talked to, in DC and around the world. The feeling on the street was not one of anger, hatred and rage.  Certainly people were protesting and expressing themselves fully but good will was the prevalent feeling.  In DC alone there was 1.2 million people and as my friend Ashby said, “everyone was so kind to one another.” People were considerate to the police and there were no arrests. Over 3 million people around the world marched in solidarity to peacefully demonstrate the love of freedom, the love of this planet, and the drive to not be satisfied with less than equality for all women. For, as one of the many signs said:

“Women’s rights are human rights.”

“People are realizing that our needs can be met without destroying our world. We have the technical knowledge, the communication tools, and material resources to grow enough food, ensure clean air and water, and meet rational energy needs. Future generations, if there is a livable world for them, will look back at the epochal transition we are making to a life-sustaining society. And they may well call this the time of the Great Turning. It is happening now.”

– Joanna Macy

I believe The Great Turning is happening and what we are experiencing now is a reactionary clinging to the old age.

We are being told to fear.

If we really want to combat terrorism around the world. Educate girls and honor all women.

Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by the taliban for daring to stand up for a girl’s right to education, is still standing.

“The extremists are afraid of books and pens, the power of education frightens them. they are afraid of women.” – Malala Yousafzai

This country was founded by brave people who were willing to face down tyranny,

“…in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”- Preamble to the Constitution

As Gloria Steinem said at the DC March on Saturday:

“The Constitution doesn’t begin with, ‘I, the president, it begins with, ‘We, the people.’

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

– Malala Yousafzai

You make the difference. We, the people, have the power to usher in the change we wish to be.

Mary Oliver asks: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I will sing in solidarity with all of life. Not just for its right to be here but in harmony with the love that it gives form to.

March on!

Rebecca Trobe- Impacting the Great Turning

Perimeters change as we contemplate who we are and what we can achieve.  Level the obstacles by mapping out a sure course and following the love inherent within your path.  Match unlimited aspiration with unlimited service.  We are the generators of positive change and benevolent reconfiguration.  The steel structures of binding separation weigh heavily on the shoulders of mankind. We are here to promote the memory of a balanced humankind with emphasis on the kind. To recognize one another and especially the role that women play for the true healing and reclaiming of this planet, we can shift away from our charade of domination and relax into a merging of our individual streams into an ocean that reflects the infinite.

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rebecca-trobeYesterday Julia and I got to have lunch with our friend Rebecca Trobe who is incredibly delicious. Some friends give you a natural battery charge. My uncle Jeff used to say that if you run on your own, no matter how charged your battery is, you will run down. But if you plug into the wall socket you can keep going. Rebecca is plugged in. She is the founder of Impact Coaching & Consulting. She works with individuals, couples, families and philanthropic organizations to help them invest their wealth generationally towards things that will benevolently boost their communities and the world.

She talked about the circuit that is completed when folks with money who don’t know what to do with it are connected to things that really help foster positive change.  It not only lifts their esteem and gives them purpose but it ushers in hope. 

She talked about the circuit that is completed when folks with money who don’t know what to do with it are connected to things that really help foster positive change.  It not only lifts their esteem and gives them purpose but it ushers in hope.

Look at the Medici family in Italy. They might have been just a bunch of old rich villains but because of people like Rebecca, the Medici helped to bring us the Renaissance.

It’s all about using intelligence, charm and a juicy heart to direct people towards what is really possible.

She talked about the author Joanna Macy and The Great Turning, which is something that is taking place right now. It is a transition from Industrial Growth Society to a Life Sustaining Society.  The mindset of our society dictates what happens to the planet and all of us on it. This is determined by the way we set our goals and measure our success.  Success is measured in terms of growth and growth of what?   “Health, longevity, wisdom, beauty… or profit?” Ms. Macy points out that our economy is just trying to maximize one aspect, namely profit so we can’t sustain balance.  Actions that slow down destruction of the industrial society (soup kitchens, protest marching, legislation etc.) are not enough. We need alternative structures, ancient ways of growing foods, new education to wake each other up. But that is not enough.  Change must be deeply rooted in our values, in our belief of what is worthwhile.

The shift in consciousness is happening. Wisdom traditions are coming forward; science is coming up with new ways of seeing the interconnectedness of all life. (Quantum theory, Holographic theory, Chaos theory) There is a scientific and spiritual revolution that is bringing about this Great Turning and we are a part of it.

“It means that life can go on and that can be an exquisite reason to get out of bed in the morning.” – Joanna Macy

joannamacyPQ3

Knowing Rebecca as we do and how right on she is in terms of her authenticity and intention, we know that she is working for the Great Turning every day. Not only when she goes to work but when she is hanging out, wherever she is.  We are always encouraged and inspired when we see her because we remember that is our aim as well.

You are obviously a Great part of what makes life here so sweet.  Thanks for being here!  Let’s carry on together!