In her book, The Seven Whispers, Christina Baldwin writes about one of her great teachers, Etty Hillesum, living in World War II Netherlands when Germany was invading. “‘You can’t think your way out of emotional difficulties,’ she wrote, ‘that takes something altogether different. You have to make yourself passive then, and just listen. Re-estalish contact with a slice of eternity.'”
“Contact with a slice of eternity” is really nice, right. I think of it as connection to a much bigger story and picture. I’ve been asking people a lot lately, as individuals and in teams, how do you source what you know? It helps dig a bit deeper and make the work more real.
Like Etyy Hillesum for Christina, Christina is one of those great teachers for me. I’ve known Christina now for close to twenty years. We met in our Berkana Institute days, helping to create together the leadership initiative, From the Four Directions. It was in that time that I was introduced to The Circle Way, that would become a primary mode for me to personally make sense of life’s complexities, and for invoking Circle as a means for groups to get clear and real with one another amidst their complexities.
The Seven Whispers is well worth reading, by the way. Not just once. And not just twice. Many times. Here’s a bit more from Christina from her chapter, Maintaining Peace of Mind. “Peace of mind is the cornerstone of spiritual life. It is the tabula rosa, the clean slate, upon which messages of spiritual guidance may be written. The only way I can receive these messages is to hold myself in a quiet, receptive state I can peace of mind.”
Yes to peace of mind. Always. It is our fundamental work that underlays most, if not all, action.