There’s no doubt about it. These are times that try our souls. Remaining compassionate and open, conscious and present, in the face of what’s happening here at home as well as globally, is a daily challenge. And yet it is what we are being called to do just by nature of being alive in this moment of history.
Will humanity survive? Will the earth survive humanity? In the revised words of an old folk song: “Will we ever learn?” These are the questions that I live with everyday.
Sometimes I marvel at how we all keep living as if nothing out of the ordinary is happening. And, of course, in some way, what is happening has become ordinary, because it’s not like it just started yesterday. But it’s important that we not become numb.
In the face of overwhelming experience, with no one to help us process it, we will go numb. That’s the definition and effect of trauma. In this case, we’re talking about collective and cultural trauma. So how do we cope?
Just as with individual trauma, it’s important to undo the aloneness, and to help the person gradually process and feel what couldn’t be digested at the time. We need to do that for one another collectively now.
In order to help that process, I have been called to offer free workshops called Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy. Based on the Work That Reconnects developed by Joanna Macy, these workshops draw from deep ecology, living systems theory, new developments in psychology and consciousness as well as ancient spiritual traditions.
The purpose is not only to undo our aloneness in these times but also to grow our courage, resilience, and solidarity for the healing of our world. I offered the first workshop at my house on May 13th to ten people, including myself, and it was received with immense gratitude by everyone who participated.
I will be offering it again at my house in late August, so if you are interested in attending, let me know. And, alternatively, if you feel called to gather a group from your own community of friends, colleagues, and/or family, I would be happy to show up and offer it that way as well.
The takeaway from these workshops is positive as the name Active Hope implies. Every crisis, whether personal or collective, offers a commensurate opportunity, and this one is no different. We stand at the precipice of momentous change and how we respond to it, both individually, and collectively, not only matters, but will determine which way the wind blows.
If you feel moved by this, comment here, or call or email me. Or share on your favorite social media. Help spread the word.