“When we open together to the suffering around us, we become more real to each other. Even in the midst of grief and fear, we are not alone. The mystery at the core of our existence is that simple: we are held in a web of mutual belonging.”
On Tuesday night, I led a winter solstice meditation and read excerpts from my forthcoming book, Return of the Medicine Trees: A Vision of Sound Leadership for Global Healing.
One of the participants, who has been an environmental activist for many years, shared her thought that “The earth will survive, even if the human race goes extinct.”
She seemed to be searching for another viewpoint, and so I asked if I could share a different perspective. I said, “We are actually an essential organ within the whole organism of the living earth system. Earth-human liberation and evolution are intricately intertwined.” The words of Lilla Watson, Aboriginal elder, activist and educator from Queensland, Australia, came to mind, “If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
This is how I see our relationship with each other, the earth, and all of life. We are one, and we need to continue to breathe deep, and get back up, again and again, after we fall down. All that is being asked of us is that we get back up, get back up, get back up.
Each time that I rise again, after a fall, I find that my heart is a little more tender, humble, open, vulnerable, courageous and connected to my brothers and sisters who also care so deeply about life. We are waking up to our role as stewards of the evolutionary potential of the earth. The next stage in our collective development as a unified earth-human organism.
In the words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “We were made for these times...there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for.” I highly recommend that you read her full blog, I’ve read it twice so far, and continue to refer to it.
I also feel called to share the deep healing that is emerging out of this new chapter that is proving so challenging to metabolize. Here is Wesley Clark Jr at Standing Rock, apologizing to the Lakota Nation for all the atrocities that the American government has committed against them. The Lakota Chief who offered Wesley Clark forgiveness said “We will take a step. World peace. World peace.” May we all hold this simple, powerful, focus in our mind’s eye as we grow anew with the solstice light that is now emerging.
My 2017 Mission / (New Sliding Scale Services):
Reflections on the transformative process of writing my first book - a vision of sound leadership for global healing:
Who am I here to serve? I have struggled with that question since I began the Medicine Tree eight years ago.
I was speaking to a former client this morning, who is now a colleague and dear friend. I told him that in writing this book, I am giving myself permission to write freely, from my heart. And, as I write, I am realizing that I am writing to the activists, healers, social entrepreneurs, leaders within community organizations, and people who care deeply about humanity and the earth.
In this time, I am choosing to strengthen my allegiance and solidarity with you, <<First Name>>, who care, so deeply and clearly for Life, who pray for peace, harmony and the regeneration of nature into the future.
Towards this end, in light of the unimaginable election of Donald Trump, I am feeling called to create community support for you, who, like me, are needing to find the strength in your spine, to stand up and continue on; and to find the source of light within for ever greater courage, power, and wisdom.
In 2017, I will be offering sliding scale / donation-based services for individuals and groups to support you to stay committed, disciplined, and responsible to the values, visions, initiatives and relationships that are most important to you, in the coming year.
I was first attracted to this sliding-scale model ever since my wife introduced me to her Brooklyn Acupuncture Project, which has a beautiful sliding-scale community model. When I work there, I feel so good and connected to the practitioners and the clients, and I’m looking forward to integrating this culture into The Medicine Tree.
I plan to begin these new sliding scale offerings in February, with:
weekly small group support calls ($20 - 40);
individual leadership coaching sessions:
30-min ($30 - 60) \ 60-min ($60 - 120)
intensive visioning & planning sessions for couples, organizations and community initiatives: (half day $200 - 400) / full day ($400 - 800)
All of these offerings include the use of sound healing practices to stimulate creative imagination, new vision, and to connect you with the heart of the matter at hand.
I am also available for sessions this last week of 2016 to support you to:
acknowledge, celebrate, and own your most meaningful actions in 2016
begin defining your most important work for 2017
connect with what you will need to let go of, in order to show up fully for Life, and for your most important work, in 2017
If you have read this far, please hit “reply” and share your thoughts with me. This is a new experiment, and, frankly, I feel vulnerable taking this next step. I would very much appreciate your response and perspective. It will help me to continue to shape this work, over the next few weeks. This is what I'm curious about: Would sliding scale / donation-based coaching be helpful for you? Would you be more willing to reach out and give yourself support when you need it?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read these words, for being who you are, for caring about what you care about, and for waking up each day, and giving it your very best.
Many blessings to you in this Season of Light.
Author of the forthcoming book, Return of the Medicine Trees: A Vision of Sound Leadership for Global Healing
The Medicine Tree
Leadership Coaching & Sound Healing for personal, organizational, and planetary healing