One of the narratives that I most appreciate from Fire & Water, the Rite of Passage program that Quanita Roberson and I created, is the narrative that invites wisdom and soulfulness. I appreciate it because it lifts up a fruitful way of being. Because it points to a reality of the human condition — that we are more than the narrowed stories and distortions of contemporary pattern. That we are meant to open our hearts and to welcome life and love to live with and through us.
This book above by Pema Chodron, Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change, remains one of the most helpful books I have encountered. It helps me to live with more wisdom and more soulfulness. It helps me to do so in many circumstances. It helps me to grow inner courage and practice that I can then invite with others — be that in friendships, in teams, in committees, in formal organizational leadership, and in everyday acts of common participatory leadership.
Pema’s energy (I know her through words and voice; not through meeting her personally) inspire me to find simple clarities that help navigate paths of uncertainty learning and of change learning. It isn’t resolved problems. Rather it is real-time principled continuances and clarity, including these words that I wrote in my journal this morning.
Act on it, even if in the smallest of ways.
That which arises to move from one step to the next.
From one moment of being to another.
There is life that so adores each of us.
What a thing to be alive in these times. Living with what is sometimes the deep and painful churning, and then also with the sweet claiming.
Pema Chodron finishes Living Beautifully with this paragraph:
“May we all learn that pain is not the end of the journey, and neither is delight. We can hold them both — indeed hold it all — at the same time, remembering that everything in these quixotic, unpredictable, unsettled and unsettling, exhilarating and heart-stirring times is a doorway to awakening in a sacred world.”
May it be so. Fruitfully. And beautifully.