Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Memorial Day: Releasing the war within us

This weekend the United States observes Memorial Day, a federal holiday enacted after the Civil War to commemorate the men and women who died in military service. Yet there is no recognition of a more insidious war that's being waged globally, every day, by billions of people: the one we're fighting with ourselves.

In our civilized, industrialized, pasteurized, homogenized world, we're frozen into form, ossified in the material — and inured to the whispers of tree leaves, the murmur of brooks, the hissing of summer lawns. Now it takes a rock and roll band pounding 110 decibels directly into our ears, and still most of us, earbuds securely in place, walk on placidly. It's a false peace, and we know it. The uneasiness stirs in our bones, barely kept at bay by the jackhammer rhythm of life in the 21st century.

It's as if we've all been secretly anesthetized against the pain of those who yearn — and it's our yearning, our fear, our wounding, our wonder, that's wanting. But turning to face the music means accepting the invitation to the Dance. And most of us have forgotten how to dance — if indeed we ever knew. We find it easier to lash out in anger: rage, the undiscovered country. If being "outrageous" means getting the rage out, Americans are black belts. READ THE REST!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Marketing 101: The Heart of Money

It's been awhile since I last wrote about money — one of my greatest apprenticeships this lifetime. I discovered a fabulous local networking group with the intriguing title, "New Consciousness Entrepreneurs," and knew upon arriving that I was home. The woman who conceived of and facilitates the group, Maggie Ostara, has, in the synchronous way our lives intertwine these days, been on my What Shines newsletter mailing list for years.

Maggie's topic for the first meeting I attended was, "Marketing is Not A Four-Letter Word!" The other women seated around the table chuckled, because, while we come from diverse backgrounds, what we all have in common is an ingrained terror of taking our spiritual work public in a way that also supports us financially — something we have no trouble doing for our clients. READ THE REST!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Stand! Mother's Day Message for World Peace

This Sunday the United States celebrates Mother's Day, a holiday that was originally not a Hallmark occasion, but a call for women to put an end to war. Poet, author and activist Julia Ward Howe first championed a Mother's Peace Day in 1870. In her Mother's Day Proclamation, she exhorted, "Arise, then, women of this day! 
Arise all women who have hearts…solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
 whereby the great human family can live in peace..."

More than a century hence, women everywhere are heeding the call, thanks to Sharon Mehdi's seminal book, The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering. Written for her newborn granddaughter, the book tells the tale of two grandmothers who chose to stand silently in a local park. When asked why, they responded, "We are saving the world." People laughed at them, even as other women — and men — joined the vigil. Pretty soon more than 2,000 people filled the park, and word quickly spread until similar groups were standing all over the country.

Mehdi's book touched a chord. The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering meteorically morphed from fiction to fact as StandingWomen.org was born. READ THE REST!