Owning one’s own life.

I think one must finally take one’s life in one’s arms.

— Arthur Miller

I decided that the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.

— Anne Lamott

There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level.

— Jim Morrison

There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
Read more at http://www.quoteswave.com/picture-quotes/418035#ruTGQ1tPf6xAY7Kq.99
There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
Read more at http://www.quoteswave.com/picture-quotes/418035#ruTGQ1tPf6xAY7Kq.99

I am finding these thoughts to be resonant for me right now. I have had a sense of fragmentation in identity that is beginning to mend. For a very long time I have felt the Divine within myself. At the same time I haven’t been able to connect the dots between all of the parts of me and that divinity.

I had a dream where I was a refugee in rags. It was not a happy dream, and the overall tone was gray. At the very end, as I woke up, I had a flash of a very rich and colorful work of art. This I took as an indication that a new level of integration is about to happen for me. It was a sense that I was going from “rags to riches.” This means that, with increasing integration, I am able to honor all the pieces of who I am and bring them together in a perfect and beautiful way that is truly my own unique creation.

To live in denial of one’s unique wholeness, to live in self-judgment,  is a gray kind of life. I am ready to mend, to allow all of the parts to take their proper places in my Conscious awareness. As I do this, I am fully able to take my place in the scheme of things, and to serve from the heart.

I also strongly believe that many folks are having similar experiences. The sense of oneness among humans is becoming stronger as we all realize that we are part of one Whole, and that we can and will work together in concert for the good of that Whole.

A story of peace.

In 1492 two Irish families, the Butlers of Ormonde and the FitzGeralds of Kildare, were involved in a bitter feud. This disagreement centred around the position of Lord Deputy. Both families wanted one of their own to hold the position. In 1492 this tension broke into outright warfare and a small skirmish occured between the two families just outside the city walls.
The Butlers, realising that the fighting was getting out of control, took refuge in the Chapter House of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. However, the FitzGeralds followed them into the Cathedral and asked them to come out and make peace. The Butlers, afraid that if they did so they would be slaughtered, refused.
As a gesture of good faith the head of the Kildare family, Gerald FitzGerald, ordered that a hole be cut in the door. He then thrust his arm through the door and offered his hand in peace to those on the other side. Upon seeing this, FitzGerald was willing to risk his arm by putting it through the door the Butlers reasoned that he was serious in his intention. They shook hands through the door, the Butlers emerged from the Chapter House and the two families made peace.
Today this door is known as the “Door of Reconciliation” and is on display in the Cathedral’s north transept. This story also lives on in a famous expression in Ireland “To chance your arm”.



The earth arises into us.

Earth, isn’t this what you want? To arise in us, invisible? Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly there’s nothing left outside us to see?  What, if not transformation, is your deepest purpose?


–Rainer Maria Rilke
From the Ninth Duino Elegy


Human potential didn’t go away.

(The following is written from the perspective of someone born at the beginning of the post war baby boom. I was born on the East Coast at a time when the urban/suburban middle class was burgeoning in the US, and I was in graduate school as the seventies began.)


When I was in my twenties, back in the seventies, the Human Potential Movement was foremost in my mind. The basic premise was that each person has a lot more potential of soul, talent, and achievement than heretofore realized. It was an invigorating time, as people my age opened themselves to new ways of being that helped us “break out of the box” of who we thought we were.


Humanistic psychology took us out of the “Freudian box.” We went to “encounter groups” where there was (generally speaking) a safe place to explore our deeper identities and repressed emotions. We spoke out against the (Viet Nam) war. We spoke up about civil rights. We worked on causes like voter registration in the South. We joined the Peace Corps and learned about other cultures that were often very different from the ones in which we had been raised. We lived in “communes.”  We returned from a war that left many of us in a state of shock, disillusionment and openness to change. We went to schools of “awakening,” where we learned about the “inner work” that loosens up our identification with the personal ego.


After that, roughly in the eighties, there was a period of being “hit by reality.” In the final scene of the Dustin Hoffman movie “The Graduate” (1967), where the two “escapees” sat in the back of the bus– one in a wedding gown– was an act of genius. It conveyed in a nutshell what happens after the sense of euphoria/freedom from the “box”  dissipates and “reality” sets in: what next?


Did we just revert to the confines the past?


It may have looked like we “copped out,” as we toned down in our thirties. But something was gestating– something that had matured underground. Something that is again rising to the surface.


Many people, of all ages, in all walks of life, and all over the world, are now realizing that it is true that human potential is indeed vast. Human potential is very individual while at the same time bringing us into a global community.  Science is aiding and abetting this, as more studies are performed upon the human DNA. Spirituality is  peaking again, with renewed opportunities to “wake up” and enter the Witness state– the state wherein we stand outside of our “small selves”  and see things from a much broader perspective.


The worst tribulations of humanity and all life on the surface of our Mother Earth are coming to our collective attention. At the same time, more and more people are experiencing that, indeed, we can be much, much more. They are experiencing the reality of the great teachings of all traditions in their own lives: that we are One and that we are capable of living in a state of expanded awareness, of presence, and, of love. That state includes and transcends all moments, including the weird, wild, wrenching, and wonderful moments of the seventies.




Become the observer of your mind.

It is easy to stay present as the observer of your mind when you are deeply rooted within your body. No matter what happens on the outside, nothing can shake you anymore.

Unless you stay present– and inhabiting your body is always an essential aspect of it– you will continue to be run by your mind. The script in your head that you learned a long time ago, the conditioning of your mind, will dictate your thinking and your behavior. You may be free of it for brief intervals, but rarely for long. This is especially true when something “goes wrong” or there is some loss or upset. Your conditioned reaction will then be involuntary, automatic, and predictable, fueled by one basic emotion that underlies the mind identified state of consciousness: fear.

— Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

Healing the soul of the world.

This book is about restoring the soul of the world. Bringing soul back to the world means perceiving the world through a deepened imagination, one that is capable of experiencing our intimacy with the surrounding world of finches and dragonflies, creeks and woodlands, neighborhoods and friends. Everything possesses soul. It is our myopia, our one-dimensional attention to only what is human, that leads us to see the world as object, something to be managed and controlled, manipulated and consumed. The earth is a revelation, offering itself to us daily, in an astonishing array of beauty and suffering. What is required of us is living with a level of openness and vulnerability to the joys and sorrows of the world. Taking in the beauty of the land as well as the great rips and tears in her skin requires a psyche attuned to the living world and one engaged in the ongoing conversation with all things. Soul returns to the world when we attend to the movements and rhythms of nature, when we nourish our friendships with time and attention and in our daily participation with repairing the world. How well we do that will determine the fate of our communities and planet.

— Terry Tempest Williams, Introduction to Entering the Healing Ground by Francis Weller