speaks in tongues
we cannot translate
is its preciseness
it stirs pots
that mere words
what cannot be woven
by earthly minds,
do I not make sense to you?
drop your sense
so that your heart may listen
here you'll find
more than the pennies of our logic
here you'll find
a treasure beyond
this moment's impermanence;
a gift of something timeless
*Original poem by Summer Starr - August 2015
I hope that it is okay for me to post such a long selection from a book on my blog (please let me know if you know of otherwise, so I can amend), however below is such a complete definition - and redefinition - of Spirituality that I could not bring myself to cut it down.
I have always defined my spirituality as my "fire" - it is that thing in me that motivates me to live and do and breathe and create in the world. I never thought that spirituality is actually HOW I deal with the fire in me to live, do, breathe and create. I love that Ronald Rolheiser takes spirituality out of the mystical and into the every day of how we choose to live our "one wild and precious life" to quote another wisdom figure, Mary Oliver.
Here is the excerpt:
"For many people, the term spirituality conjures up images of something paranormal, mystical, churchy, holy, pious, otherworldly, New Age, something on the fringes and something optional. Rarely is spirituality understood as referring to something vital and nonnegotiable lying at the heart of our lives.
This is a tragic misunderstanding. Spirituality is not something on the fringes, an option for those with a particular bent. None of us has a choice. Everyone has to have a spirituality and everyone does have one, either a life-giving one or a destructive one. No one has the luxury of choosing here because all of us are precisely fired into life with a certain madness that comes from the gods and we have to do something with that. We do not wake up in this world calm and serene, having the luxury of choosing to act or not act. We wake up crying, on fire with desire, with madness. What we do with that madness is our spirituality.
Hence, spirituality is not about serenely picking or rationally choosing certain spiritual activities like going to church, praying, or meditating, reading spiritual books, or setting off on some explicit spiritual quest. It is far more basic than that. Long before we do anything explicitly religious at all, we have to do something about the fire that burns within us. What we do with that fire, how we channel it, is our spirituality. Thus, we all have a spirituality whether we want one or not, whether we are religious or not. Spirituality is more about whether or not we can sleep at night than about whether or not we go to church. It is about being integrated or falling apart, about being within community or being lonely, about being in harmony with Mother Earth or being alienated from her. Irrespective of whether or not we let ourselves act in ways that leave us either healthy or unhealthy, loving or bitter. What shapes our actions is our spirituality." - Ronald Rolheiser in "The Holy Longing"
Join me in an exploration of how successfully navigating grief can actually empower us and create a larger global change in my next installment of my World Peace Hologram series on September 13th.
In this session we will explore how our collective and personal grief over the state of the world shows up as anger...and how we can shift this.
Please add your words to the dialogue by filling out the following survey: http://goo.gl/forms/wzIxiWL5Xp
A bit of inspiration: the below clip is froma powerful wisdom figure in the world of grief. It speaks to how we actually embrace life in new ways when we confront the reality of loss and death...especially in a culture that is dying.
“Oh, don't take it so personally” - I cringe when I hear this statement. Many times this is used to invalidate someone's emotional reactions. In a world where we are rarely encouraged to really hold and interact with our emotions, this can be the opposite of what we actually need for our emotional development.
This statement is usually used to encourage more socially acceptable behavior that is deemed more “mature” in a society whose idea of maturity is one of control and perfection. But what if we redefined our idea of maturity...to a definition that is more mature?
Real maturity requires a deeper reflection process when difficult emotions or interpersonal dynamics arise. We must learn to “see through” the immediacy of the situation to what lies beyond, but also remain firmly engaged with what is, how we are feeling about it, and how it is showing up very personally in our lives.
This mature way of being connects to the Truth of the statement “it is not personal”, but still requires us to take the situation very personally – which is actually a gift, our personal “way into” working with the particular issue that has arisen.
We are in an age where we are waking up to the reality that we are a product of generations of inherited thought and behavior patterns that are part of larger collective archetypes in a “collective consciousness” that influences our personal conscious experience. This unitive consciousness is partially held in our natural and social environment and as both become more disturbed in the modern world, we find ourselves experiencing more of the extremes that exist there.
It is my belief that this is why we have so many more “bipolar” diagnoses – we are experiencing the extremes of the psyche in much more profound ways than in the past. The “veils” to the collective and sub- conscious are being tossed aside as our collective ship becomes more rocky.
This is where we can see that things are really not personal. Someone's reaction to us and our reaction to them and our combined reaction to the dynamics that arise – these things are a part of a much deeper programming that has a lot of history and much larger forces behind it – many of which are subconscious.
But if we stay at the level of “oh this is the injured divine feminine showing up,” or “this is our collective mother separation wound” then we miss the cream – our personal experience of this larger injury is actually our window to addressing that much deeper issue not only in our own psyche, but on behalf of the collective consciousness as well. The work that we do is a gift to larger society and future generations – as well as liberates past generations that were mired in these dynamics.
This is Rumi's “untying the knots.” Our generations of patterning and current social conditioning can be considered the “knots” that tie up our True Being. And somehow by seeing how interwoven our personal experience is with the collective experience, when we do the work to really deeply look at the things that personally tie us up, we help facilitate larger collective shifts.
And we see the various wisdom traditions recognizing this process and dynamic. Richard Rohr has re-interpreted the Christian idea of "sin" to be the false thoughts and behaviors that keep us from behaving in a way that is True to our True Self. In this way the "sins of the father" are really born by the son as we bare the burden of generations of false understanding. And the Christian idea that death is a result of sin is actually speaking to the necessary death of the false self that is caught up in these knots.
The work of untying these knots is about naming and witnessing the Truth for ourselves and holding that understanding with compassion for the sticky situation we find ourselves in. We create change by simply being with this situation with compassionate equanimity – radical heart-felt acceptance of what is.
The most powerful shifts are the really subtle ones – a shift that no one notices, but everyone feels. This is an allowance for each to be as they are, but with an awareness that this is all falsely constructed and there is a larger potential. This awareness provides a bit of breathing room. It provides a sacred space for knot untying to take place all on its own. You may have felt this with a trusted friend or healer who provided you with an accepting presence rather than giving you advice. If we say “oh yeah, I'm feeling – you are feeling too – and what we are feeling is huge – but also totally understandable” – in that mutual understanding something else is created without even creating anything tangible.
This is hard for our society to see as change. It doesn't immediately look different on the outside. It doesn't have a particular agenda, action, activity or timeline that can be measured. It might even be viewed as complacency. However, it is much more active than complacency. It is an internal shift – a posture or stance that one can feel on the inside. It usually leads to tangible shifts – like slowing down and localizing your activities and consumption. It allows for shifts in others that may never be associated with you or shifts in you that were gifts from others. It allows for us to take responsibility, but also share that responsibility in an empowering way. It is the real process of creating a new paradigm - something authentic for us to collectively entrain to which is real social change.
All of these words to say “its not personal, but take it really personally and then let it unfold.”
Wild Lotus Living is me, Summer Starr. Here I share my personal musings and resources on my own path of unfolding