When The Snake Bites

Photo Credit: Thinglink.com

So many good emails.
So many inspiring messages.
So many invitations to deep connection phone and video calls.

So many harvests of important insights from such calls, messages, emails — I’m glad for them, for the way they stir soul. For the way that human beings can’t help but offer creativity.

A part of me wants to share them all in this blog. Perhaps in days to come, because I’m committed to offering Human to Human resources, wonderings, wanderings that invite myself and others to be in commitments of kindness, consciousness, and flow with life itself.

These CoVid Times are bringing forward so much good. Yet pain, grief, and fear also, right? It is quite a thing to live with an awareness that things will get worse, yet better — and that the meaning of these words, “worse” and “better” might evolve significantly in the coming days, weeks, and years. Well, perhaps this is part of the meta invitation of these times.

I’ll offer something a bit different today, a dream. Not an “I have a dream,” Martin Luther King Jr. style. It’s last night’s dream for me. From the sleeping night time, when the individual and collective subconscious has room to claim more of its voice. This dream came on the heals of a two hour men’s group zoom call, with a group of six of us, just before going to bed.

My orientation to dreamwork is not one of objectifying meaning. The human psyche gives us much wider horizon to cast our eyes and hearts upon. I’ll offer a snippet of my sense-making and how it relates to these waking life times for me. Please feel free to choose your detail and offer your sense-making and associative super power.

I am in a small and plain room with a man. It is mostly dark. The floor might be dirt. There is some natural light coming in through a window opening. This man is an advisor to me. We live in a time that feels like two-three millennia ago. The man is advising me about a snake that is on the ground floor in the room. I am walking in a circle watching the snake. It is crawling in a circle opposite me, watching me. The snake is 2-3 feet in length; it is about 1.5 inches in diameter. The snake is bright green, multicolored, tropical looking but this geography feels more Middle Eastern or Egyptian. This advisor is telling me to kill the snake, which seems to have more relevance than just what is happening in this small room. It seems to have relevance for a much bigger group of people. I keep walking in a circle, about six feet across from the snake’s crawl. I watch it. It watches me. The advisor is telling me to act upon the snake as if it doesn’t have any consciousness or awareness. But really, the snake is listening and taking in all of the words spoken and intended. I go to reach for the snake, which appears easy enough to do. But now the snake turns to a bright gold color. I think I’m acting upon it, which the snake seems to comprehend. To my surprise, it bites at my right hand and arm, which I shake rapidly to get it off. My fearful and surprised shaking only lasts a couple of seconds in which the snake disappears. It vanishes. I wake.

One of the more attention-catching details in this dream, sense-making for me, is the relationship to the snake. In the dream it seems that I’m acting upon the snake, but really that snake has higher… something. In waking life, I continue to sense that earth itself has higher… something, and that she is biting back to interrupt this false and rather pretentious assumption that humans can be in omnipotent control (or, pulled to the personal, that I can be in control of all of it).

Here’s to the insights that any of us are finding anew, in what feels like a time of required labor, and messy birth, yet perhaps blessed, in the end, with a few initiatory and awakening bites.



Perseverance — Thx Meg Wheatley

One of the books I’m reading these days is Margaret Wheatley’s Perseverance. I’m reading one or two pages each day. It’s something about these times, these CoVid times, that has me reaching deeper to the internal with rigorous truth-telling. I’ve found myself oscillating — at times, wanting to numb to what is current. At times, wanting to wake fully to what is systems-crash reality.

Meg’s book Perseverance was published in 2010. She’s been speaking an important story for many years about the kind of change we humans will eventually face. It includes these key points and practices.

  • A systems level crash is upon us. Overdue in some way. Stunning. Impactful.  Once one system comes down, the interconnected other systems also come down. It’s negative emergence.
  • In such crash, as practice, it is important to commit to externalizing. “There is fear. There is despair. There is terror.” These statements are deliberate to nuance ourselves into what is universal, not just personal.
  • In such crash, the honest internal matters. It is deep inner work that will pull us through. Do the work on self first. Do it with community, but still with explicit attention to what is internal. What we feel on the internal will always influence what we experience on the external.

Meg has been training into a vow for many years, that I’m finding lends courage.

“I cannot change the way the world is. 
But by opening to the world as it is 
I may discover that gentleness, decency, and bravery are available,
not only to me but to all human beings.”

So here we are folks. The times call for us to be good to ourselves, to be good to each other, those on our left and those on our right. The times require an awakening that is so much more than waiting for the “old normal” to return.

The times call for what has always been called for, but perhaps more poignantly in this pandemic — our perseverance to wake and face the day as it is.


When Meaning Rests With Us

With so many things CoVid related, circumstances can change multiple times within a half day’s time. So much is fast, yet slow too, as people adapt. I’m home. I’m reaching out to both clients and family with support. I’m writing. “We don’t need to figure it all out; just be with it.” I remind myself.

I’m glad for this poem below by Lionel Philippe, a friend from the Soultime Men’s group gathering Fall 2019. With his permission, I post it below. He wrote it after the three days spent together at Soultime as a group of eleven, among trees.

Because in these days of CoVid change, we should speak of intimacies, and of things that move our hearts, and of meaning that congeals, and rests with us, right?


A Circle of Men
by Lionel Philippe

Eleven men, meeting in a circle, on an island, in the middle of a hut
Brothers, companions, fathers and sons
Story tellers and shamans
Leaders without followers, followers without leaders
Stories of men, shared and held in the presence and silence of men
Delicate tenderness and strength between men
Men at heart and men with heart
Men that love and men that cry
Men that laugh and men that dance
Men that celebrate and men that honor
No first, no last, just a circle of men
The sum of the whole is not equal to the sum of each individual; it is much more
There is an invisible and powerful synergy within this circle that unifies and connect each man
There is something real, special, something magic here
The fuck, the shit, the tears and laughters, the deep and the shallow, everything is there
The silence of men holding the presence of each man
The talking stick holding with reverence our stories, thousands of them
Strong and delicate to our touch, it is moving from one man to the other, being just a witness
It supports each of us in being able to unwrap our stories, our hopes, fears, shames, struggles, anger, laughs, wonders and all the rest.