What is most vital to do?

Crab-Creek_98s

Written collaboratively with Restorying co-leader Jim Hall.

At the heart of Restorying is reconnection – both in the way we go about discovering new story and in the living of that story itself. At some level we all realize that the stories we currently live by leave us swinging between deep denial and hopeless despair: the story of unlimited growth, of unlimited progress, on the one hand, and the story of the collapse of planetary systems and human civilization on the other. We all live several contradictory stories at once; no wonder we feel confused and conflicted, or anxious and angry at times.

Restorying is about discovering and cultivating a new story at the largest level – the level of human presence on Earth, starting with the individual level – the deepest, most authentic story that is yours to live.

In Restorying we come home to our belonging to the sacredness of the living Earth. We come home to the wisdom we once knew, but have recently forgotten – the wisdom of the lost feminine integrated with the masculine, the wisdom of our bodies and senses, the wisdom of ancient myths and archetype, the wisdom of dreams, the wisdom of indigenous peoples who knew that mountain and river and tree have a spiritual energy that is vital to our well-being, individually and collectively. This reconnection is both the means and the essence of New Story.

This Restorying Retreat coming this September 12 – 14 invites us to stay for an extra day, from Sunday to Monday noon. Instead of jumping right back into our old busyness and to-do lists at the end of the retreat on Sunday, we can allow the new story to deepen and grow inside us. As we rest in the presence of our experiences and learning from the weekend, we can feel into, discover and experience practices that will help to keep us in a new story. This extra time will give us a chance to explore how our personal story could be expressed in mythic language, in image or poetry, illuminating hidden connections with the larger emerging story.

Mountain is not leaving. River is not leaving. They are calling us to deeper communion, to live in a greater spaciousness. Such an experience itself may be the answer to our ever-present question, “What can I do to be of any use at all?”

You might discover that your biggest gift to the world is not to do something to save it, but rather to fully belong to it. Maybe a day spent with mountain, with river, with forest, with stone, is exactly what we can do to be most deeply ourselves, to do what is most vital to do.

We might bring to that day a poem, like this one from Rilke –

…..

Summer was like your house; you knew

where each thing stood.

Now you must go out into your heart

as onto a vast plain. Now

the immense loneliness begins.

The days go numb, the wind

sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.

It is what you have.

Be earth now, and evensong.

Be the ground lying under that sky.

Be modest now,, like a thing

ripened until it is real,

so that he who began it all

can feel you when he reaches for you.

Taking this extra day may seem unrealistic or even indulgent, but wouldn’t you like to live in a new story where a day like that would be exactly the right thing to do?

More information or Register online.

Comments

  1. Diana Gutierrez says:

    I was drawn in to your post by your breathtaking watercolor. My day was stopped in its tracks and redirected by your post. Great to hear from you and hope to see you soon.

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