There’s nothing “ordinary” about decency, courage under fire, compassion, tenacity, lion-heartedness, and that is what is being called forth in a moment – a deeply mythic moment – like this.Dr. Martin Shaw
Times of intensified social change deliver opportunities for reflection, learning, and action – for each of us as individuals and for the communities to which we belong. They also carry the possibility of transformation if we bring our whole selves to meet the great fullness of life that reveals itself in these moments. We have shared the following blog in the past when it was called for, and we share it with you again now in the conviction that the teachings and values of grateful living offer us a grounded and guiding orientation that can help us turn moments of personal and systemic breakdown into moments of long-needed breakthrough. They offer a meaningful touchstone for us in all moments, if we lean in and listen deeply.
This historic moment – where the indisputable fact that black lives matter is rumbling and rippling through our institutions, streets, and hearts – is a big, wide-open door inviting us to the grateful living practice of Stop. Look. and Go. We are called to listen and reflect, learn and unlearn, clarify and revisit, proclaim and continually recommit to what we stand for as individuals and to take a stand for what our world needs in order to truly be “sacred for all.” These moments beg for intensified engagement, with all of us stepping up and into the center of the conversations, issues, and changes that are beckoning – wholeheartedly, unabashedly, with humility and vulnerability, committed to greater connection and belonging. Grateful living practices place a priority on taking action that reflects awareness, alertness, and intention. Our values offer us trustworthy guidance…when we turn to them. The path forward may sometimes be unclear. And it may be messy. But the shared heart is calling, and we have an opportunity to make lasting shifts toward love and justice in our world. How will we each show up for the immediate and long-haul work of loving this world? How might you be part of this moment and transformation? How will you contribute to the movement and momentum for change that is afoot? How do your values join ours in an ethic of love that allows no place for racism? We invite you to join this sacred exploration, learning, and engagement with us.
In our world right now, there is a siren sounding. If we are awake, we cannot help but be alert and paying attention. Fear and hatred threaten our social covenants, civil rights, humanitarian values, our diverse communities, and the safety of our planet and its global family.
Times of societal upheaval call on us to explore with conviction what we stand for, and compel us to act with courage and hope on behalf of our deepest values. When our core values are in discord with what we see happening around us, it is more vital than ever to stay connected to our “core.”
At Grateful Living, our work is grounded in a powerful mission, vision and 12 core values including respect, compassion, interconnectedness, love, and humility. Grateful Living helps us cope with feelings of fear, outrage, despair, and helplessness by steadying and sustaining us and bringing perspective — even reminding us of joy — while also freeing and moving us to act in such a way that can help to bend history, even ever so slightly, in the direction of love and justice.
Doing something that explores and expresses clarity of heart is moving; it will move those around us, and it can help to move the dial of the world.
Even if we are unsure of what to do, or we fumble and bumble our way through, we are called to protect the sacredness of what we value. Digging into our hearts and listening deeply, we may be called to do something we have never done before. Now is the time to muster our creativity, love, and courage. Doing something that explores and expresses clarity of heart is moving; it will move those around us, and it can help to move the dial of the world.
So, in the spirit of our shared values, we invite you to join us in acting on behalf of those things you treasure and want to preserve and create in our world. We offer the images and words of wisdom below to help move, inspire, and embolden you, and for you to share freely with others:
“Courage has nothing to do with our determination to be great. It has to do with what we decide in that moment when we are called upon to be more.” ~ Rita Dove
“In a time of destruction, create something: a poem, a parade, a community, a school, a vow, a moral principle; one peaceful moment.” ~ Maxine Hong Kingston
“Deep trust in life is not a feeling but a stance that you deliberately take. It is the attitude we call courage.” ~ Br. David Steindl-Rast
“One must view the world through the eye in one’s heart rather than just trust the eyes in one’s head.” ~ Mary Crow Dog
“Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity…It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free.” ~ Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals
“Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” ~ Brené Brown
“If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us energy to act and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.” ~ Howard Zinn
“It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with singing birds.” ~ Black Elk
“It is a huge danger to pretend that awful things do not happen. But you need enough hope to keep going. I am trying to make hope. Flowers grow out of darkness.” ~ Corita Kent
“Hope is like a road in the country: there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.” ~ Lin Yutang
“Ultimately, work on self is inseparable from work in the world. Each mirrors the other; each is a vehicle for the other. When we change ourselves, our values and actions change as well.” ~ Charles Eisenstein
“Let nothing dim the light that shines from within.” ~ Maya Angelou
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So good… thank you!
Thank you so much for this whole piece with its inspiring pictures, too. Each helps me live into my values, but the best ones for me were the one that encourage me to start little, one little step at a time–as Arthur Ashe says. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I don’t live in the United States, but in Europe. Many European countries should do a “conscience examination” on their past actions towards other countries, I have no doubts.
Having said that, recently, at the beginning of our lockdown, in a whatsapp chat some dear friends have spoken very badly against the people of a neighboring country, who perhaps do not love my country so much.
I barely understand that point of view, I love to know other European countries and traditions, even if there are small stones in each of our shoes.
But I felt too much anger against my friends, even if I didn’t show it up. I felt bad and that state of my soul lasted a long time. Something went wrong in my inner response. I am working on my feelings. I have to find a path, gently, with kindness to myself, but I need peace, I need to learn discernment and how to manifest it without hurting others.
This experience tells me that violence is not the right way, because even a strong and violent feeling of anger puts me in a mental state of depression.
Keeping concentration and inner peace when I see and hear certain politicians is an enormous effort. Sometimes I turn off the television.
But if I am alone, with the possibility of sharing my feelings and emotions with my dear family, I can get balance, even if not a quick solution. I would dare to think that in a crowd of angry people it is difficult to find a balance.
It’s hard to imagine where a new culture can start.
This site is a path.
Thank-you for sharing this, it’s so inspiring! What resonated the most with me was the quote that says, “work on self is inseparable from work in the world. When we change ourselves, our values and actions change as well”. I have found this to be so true in my life. May the world live as one.
Love, peace and blessings to all. ????
I don’t know anyone who does not see the injustice of our legal system. My prayers today are for all the business people who were innocently victimized by unnecessary vandalism. The police, 99.9% of whom are well-intended people. They awaken every day to maintain civility for all. They come to our aid, often putting their lives on the line in the process. It is time for action but never at a cost of peace and love.