Offering, Gifts, & Invitations
How do I get there?
How do I get there? she asked, pointing to the furthest edge of the map.
She was in a new land. The language and norms were different here, and she was uncertain about the best way to proceed. “The path is this way,” they pointed down at a map tracing their finger along the terrain she could follow to arrive at her destination. These will be your landmarks, they said.
They pointed to tall buildings, a river that wound its way up the middle of the map, and a mountain that spanned a large swath of the terrain from east to west. “These will be the makers that tell you you’re on the right path.”
As her eyes followed their finger across the map, it was not the landmarks or objects but how the land held these forms that caught her attention. She noticed that focusing on the landmarks alone took concerted effort.
She nodded as they spoke to suggest she was following; meanwhile, her eyes were magnetized to other parts of the terrain. It was as though the map was speaking to her in a whisper that only she could hear. It was trying to show her something else, another path toward her destination.
Following the pull, she noticed how the path moved through the landscape. As she focused on the path, it began to fade. Now all she saw were the outlines of where the path used to be and the shape of the land around it. Seeing this shift reminded her of an MC Escher painting in how the background could move to the foreground, depending on how you looked at it.
Allowing herself to focus on what she was seeing, she could feel that part of her was already there on the path, moving through that landscape. She could feel the curves of the path, the steep inclines, and the temperature of the wind on her skin. She could sense the topography of the landscape within her as it rose up from the page to invite her in. She knew this process would be as much about navigating from within as it was from without.
Feeling the shape of the land, she knew she was held. Even though the journey wouldn’t be easy or straightforward, she trusted that the ground would always be beneath her feet, inviting her to put one foot in front of the other. With each step, she would feel the terrain and know how to proceed.
There are many different ways we can move through this world. Go to your friend’s house, and you’ll see an entirely different, although parallel, reality. Go to another country, and you’ll see the same similarities and differences all woven together into a cohesive fabric that is entirely unique to that place or person.
Witnessing and exploring the different ways we relate to life and reality is an endless curiosity of mine. Life, in its endless expressions and infinite creativity, is a miracle. We get to co-create with this miracle every single day.
As I embark into a new phase of my life, that of pursuing a doctorate, I am invited to reconsider how I move through the world, specifically in the realms of agency, the self, and how I discover meaning.
While there are specific pre-determined paths of how to go about living or studying, in essence, I see life as a form of study; I’m being invited to reconsider many assumptions about how I go about learning as a whole. For example, on this learning journey, do I have the agency to carve the path ahead? Is the path reaching out to carve me, or are we shaping each other?
When I was younger, I loved veil painting. Arising out of the anthroposophic tradition, veil painting involves layering sheer veils of color on the page. As the layers progress, the colors become more opaque, and forms begin to rise out of the veils. The forms become the guide for what wants to come into expression on the page.
Looking back at this process years later, I can see how this process invites co-creation and shifts one’s notion of agency. The painting can be in-forming you as much, if not more than you are in-forming it. Last week a friend spoke of impression and expression. In the act of expressing something, we have the opportunity to let the matter of the world impress upon us and, in doing so, add to that which we are expressing.
I believe that expressing what the world impresses upon us in our own unique way is what creates forms and practices that are vibrant with aliveness.
What I’m Reading:
The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas that Have Shaped Our World View, by Richard Tarnas
My colleague and friend, Christina Nielsen, founder of the Metavision Institute, has spoken of Tarnas for years, celebrating his work and how he’s engaged with a variety of complex topics. I only began reading this book recently and am enjoying it immensely. This book grapples with how different philosophies have come to shape the Western Worldview. As someone interested in mindset, fundamental beliefs, and assumptions that inform how we engage with life, I’m finding this book to be pivotal and illuminating.
What I’m Watching:
How Wisdom Can Protect Humanity from Technology, Tristan Harris at Wisdom 2.0
In this video, Tristan speaks about the complexity gap. He proposes that in the face of rapid technological advancements, our compact for engaging with this complexity is decreasing. He shares about AI that can write fact-based academic papers and create clever images via a few words shared over voice dictation.
He reflects on the god-like power of technology and how it lacks the prudence of gods and suggests that in the face of this, we are being asked to connect with wisdom.
I’ve always liked Tristan Harris. He is clear and kind, and there’s something about him that is approachable. I appreciated this video as it delves into the challenges of sense-making and offers insight into how we can navigate through what lies ahead of us.
Constellations - A 4-month group on exploring cultivating clarity and knowing.
Maybe you’re seeking clarity, feeling stuck, or you want to engage in your life and work in a way that feels more aligned. Or maybe you’ve experienced a glimmer of what is possible and want to deepen and ground into this way of being more fully.
The focus of this group will be on connecting with sources of meaning and cultivating clarity as you discover more of what is wanting to arise through you into your life. Each session will offer time for reflection, a few ideas, as well as exploration, and discussion. Learn more and register here
A new offering!
Orienting to your Mythic Terrain: A Class on Working with Life Myth
February Friday 17th & Saturday 18th, 3:30-6:00 pm PST
February Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th, 10:30-1:00 pm AEDT
Early dreams, vivid memories, and big life events shape us. They shape us and how we respond to life in obvious and not-so-obvious ways. These formative experiences shape the topography of our psyche, setting patterns for years to come.
When we work with the elements within these moments, we gain access to a creative potential that allows us to explore and reshape who and how we are. This is part of what it means to work with your life myth. In the process, we discover that our challenges hold hidden capabilities and gain a deeper understanding of our essential nature and its full range of expression.
In this class, we will explore your life myth holistically; as a network of energies, you can work with and get to know the dimension of your myth that is beyond the parts, an intelligence that gives rise to the different elements and brings the various pieces together. Learn more and register here *Space is limited!
Thank you for reading! As always please feel free to be in touch.