Yesterday I wrote of why “common memory must be created” and some of my experiences in doing that. I wrote: I encourage you to seek out your own opportunities to experience building new relationships. We need to reconnect with each other. We have so much more in common than we do differences. We have to pull back from the extreme rhetoric and actions. We have to build real community and to do that we have to work together, spend significant amounts of time with each other, building common memory, building real community.
I wrote of two ways I was able to make connections that resulted in building new relationships and community, one being engagement with the Kheprw Institute. The other walking on the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March.
But I didn’t write about how you know which new adventures are right for you to engage in. The way you know is when the Spirit or God tells you. Quakers believe God is present in everything, all the time in our world today. We speak of the “Inner Light” as the presence of the Spirit in us, guiding us. But you have to prepare yourself to hear “the still small voice” speaking to you. I Kings 19:12. I think there are so many times when the Spirit is speaking to us but we don’t hear because we are too busy with other things at the time. So caught up in the demands of everyday living that we don’t stop to listen when we hear/feel these small nudges to do what the Spirit is asking us to do. It takes practice to pay attention when we feel/hear the whisper of that small voice.
And those times we do hear the Spirit, we sometimes fear to do what it is asking of us. When I was starting out on my own in life, I kept hearing the Spirit saying “personal automobiles are destroying the environment”. My reaction was wow, that sounds difficult. How could I live without a car? There were so many reasons I could think of. Fortunately the Spirit tends to be persistent, giving you more chances. I did own a few cars early in my life. But when there was an accident that totaled the car, the Spirit said, here is your chance to do what I have been asking of you. I remember how apprehensive I was about not getting another car. I wondered how I could get to work, transport groceries home, what to do during inclement weather?
But I took that “leap of faith” and my life was immediately transformed in so many ways.
Sometimes the Spirit speaks through others. I felt a strong leading to participate in the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March. When I learned that involved walking 94 miles over eight days, I wondered if I was physically up to that. Until recently I ran about six days a week. One of the benefits of giving up having a car was my running improved a great deal, since that was substitute transportation for not having a car. When a friend heard I was planning to walk so far, he cautioned me that even though I was a runner, walking was quite different, and suggested I practice that. I was so surprised that walking was so much different from running, and grateful for my friend’s advice.
This also means you should not do something just because you “think” you should, or are bowing to peer pressure. I imagine we have all done this, many times. We feel irritated and unfulfilled to be doing things that we aren’t led to do.
My friend Joshua Taflinger recently wrote “And whether you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Red Road, Muslim, Pagan, Jewish, ect, etc, on and on…. the way to be one/connected/alignment with God/Love is speaking one’s truth, walking ones’ truth, being in one’s truth… because God IS truth.”
REDUCE DEFENSIVENESS AND BREAK THE DEFENSIVENESS CHAIN:
I could hear the light beings as they entered every cell. Every cell is a house of the god of light, they said. I could hear the spirits who love us stomp dancing. They were dancing as if they were here, and then another level of here, and then another, until the whole earth and sky was dancing.
We are here dancing, they said. There was no there.
There was no “I” or “you.”
There was us; there was “we.”
There we were as if we were the music.
You cannot legislate music to lockstep nor can you legislate the spirit of the music to stop at political boundaries— —
Or poetry, or art, or anything that is of value or matters in this world, and the next worlds.
This is about getting to know each other.
We will wind up back at the blues standing on the edge of the flatted fifth about to jump into a fierce understanding together.Harjo, Joy. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems (p. 82). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.