Staying Through the Storm

Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,

 
The holiday season was honestly an amazing miracle at SANCTUARY NYC. We were able to allow ourselves to midwife the birth of something new – in the midst of a freezing cold meeting space. And now we have HEAT in the sanctuary!! Amazing…
 
On Feb. 29th, we will be launching our 64 Day Gandhi- King Season for Nonviolence, along with with Association for Global New Thought. The national theme for this year’s season is “Global Peace- There’s An App for That!”.and has to do with exploring the power for good and connection through social media.
Our sub theme for SANCTUARY NYC is “Connecting the Human Family” and we will be organizing that in three 21 day sections.
 
The sections are:
Youth- Cultivating Compassion and Dialogue Across Generations
Adult-  What is Nonviolence How does it work? What is its’ history? How do we become Spiritual Activists? how do we sustain our efforts?
Sacred Elders-   Highlighting the importance of elders to our collective health. we are honored to be showing a film on the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, and hosting a Q&A with the Producer Carole Hart as the centerpiece of this 21 day section.
 
We have a great team of leaders and presenters and teachers joining together to make this happen, and to join us during this period of deepening.
The 64 Days of “The Season” span the time between the birthdays of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.
 
I don’t know if you are feeling it but the glow of the holiday “season” seems to have given way to a bit of a re-grouping kind of energy. I hesitate to say a “post holiday depression” but honestly that is what it feels like.  I don’t want to give it too much power. I for one am so deeply grateful for the creativity and excitement which are also a part of every day these days, that i don’t want to give in to the other energy.
 
But as I think this through, and as we are immersed in the planning for another ‘Season”- I realized that this is really exactly the point isn’t it? 
We are cyclical beings. The seasons come and go, relationships come ‘for a reason, season or lifetime’, we find ourselves constantly in a process of weeding the garden of our lives in order for the great fruit to come forth. And that involves a loss of sorts…if we see it as such.
 The weeding, the ‘letting go’ seems to always be met with some internal resistance at first. There is something about the known, which makes us want to hold onto it. But as we become aware that the Divine Dance is pulling us into a greater conversation with life, we develop the habit of embracing change, with it’s losses, its’ surprises and its’ gifts.
We have to let go of the good for the greater to emerge, if we are to be a part of the real evolutionary edge. 
And we also have to grieve the loss of places in consciousness, old houses if you will, and of companions along the way…even as we rise to greet the new day.
It’s all part of the flow ofd the thing.
 
So as we announce to you the Season for Nonviolence, I also acknowledge that the energies which are being marshaled to step into that project are being gathered in the midst of an awareness of loss…a seasonal shift from the holiday lights to another kind of moment. And this is the way of life.
We have to honor all of the parts of the journey. 
 
In her wonderful book, “Broken Open- How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow”, Elizabeth Lesser says, “To be human is to be lost in the woods. None of us arrives here with clear directions on how to get from point A to point B without stumbling into the forest of confusion or catastrophe or wrongdoing. Although they are dark and dangerous, it is in the woods that we discover our strength.”

Stephen Sondheim’s wonderful musical about the creative process is called, aptly, “Into the Woods”.
One of the songs from that show describes how our inner artist approaches the work of art which is our life: “Putting it together…bit, by bit”
And there is no ‘putting it together’ without also ‘taking it apart’.
Letting go of what no longer serves is a critical part of the creative process.
 
This week we are looking at the topic “Staying Through the Storm.” (In case you forgot, we are looking at the overall theme for the month of “Daring to Dream” and the music of Yip Harburg- Somewhere Over the Rainbow- is the inspiration for that idea.)  
“The dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
Daring to dream connotes courage, daring to dream means realizing that to leap into the world of our greatest good requires a willingness to be off balance, daring to dream means loving deeply and letting ourselves feel the loss which comes with the seasons..rather than loving shallowly and living a life of “safety”, 
 
Staying through the storm takes tenacity, resilience and grace…and a deep knowing that the Creator of the storm is also the author of life.
The storm comes to clear the air. The brittle dead wood on trees is blown away, the forest and even sometimes houses are uprooted in the storm…and when the morning sun re-emerges…the Yellow Brick Road is suddenly visible.
But if we don’t stay through the storm…we miss the whole thing.
 
I look forward to sharing the next “season” with you. The energy of 2012 is one of Transformation…personal, planetary, evolutionary.
And of course, we look forward to seeing you Sunday at 2 pm in the warm sanctuary.
 
Oh, and there will be a film being made during the service this Sunday.
If you are willing to have yourself as part of the shoot, there will be release forms at the doors. If not, we understand and look forward to seeing you anyway.
We will make sure you are seated out of the hot zone:)
 
Have a great rest of the week.
I’ll see you in the woods!
 
With love and thanks,
Rev. JaneImage
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