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“Making new maps”: Placing attention on what matters

 

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“….in honor of what can be born of darkness, and care, and rooting deep in place, may we make new maps together out of hope, and fallen twigs.”  S. Lindsteadt, A Green Language

 

Leading with a series of questions is risky, but I’m going to take the leap anyway because I don’t know any other way to begin this.  Perhaps, I’ll suggest as a preface that you consider these questions when you have some quiet moments for reflection in the next few days. The end of the year, even the winter time, is a good period for rest and reflection, so we can figure out our next steps.  Don’t worry about a deadline.

What matters most to you, now?  Who and what do you feel a meaningful connection?

Do you feel divided in your energy and time because of feeling ladened with care?

Are you desirous for deeper alignment of your values and your actions/behavior in your life and in the world? 

 Do you experience connection to the sacred when you’re outside in the natural world?

Do you feel you have energy to fine tune your commitments?  Do you feel you have choice here or do you feel trapped in some way?

Are there people/dates/organizations on your calendar that you need to ‘let go of,’ ‘quit,’ ‘remove,’ ‘unsubscribe’ from?  

Who and what is missing on your calendar, in your schedule?

These questions are surfacing in my interior reflection pond in these last days of this year.  There’s both promise and pressure to a new starting point like the new year.  It’s a time to re-imagine what’s possible now, given where we are, given our individual – collective energy.  Having a fresh starting point like the new year, can allow us to re-place [place again] our divided attention/energy on the places, people, organizations/movements, commitments that are in deepest alignment with our values and what we hold as sacred.

Sylvia Linsteadt’s words of invitation and blessing to ‘make new maps of hope,’ appeals to my idealist side, the side that lives in the ‘what if.’   What if I shift attention more completely here?  What if I release this?  Who will I be making room for?

My map of hopes and twigs

As I place my hope-filled commitments in words now, I do so with an intention to honor the lands and waters of my ancestors that have and continue to nourish my bones and spirit. May they guide and direct my heart and actions.

~I commit to continue to practice as an urban contemplative, nurturing connection to the natural world, practicing embodied connection with self/others/the Divine through song, movement, story, and stillness, and sharing this journey more publicly through writing, to build connections

~I commit to be more vulnerable and open to the Divine, to “Love’s way”

~I seek to travel with others who are practicing loving, stewardship of the earth, and acting on her behalf as led to do so

You?  If you sense a desire arising for revising, paring down, shaping up, re-focusing your attention and energy, a revising of your interior map, I’m hopeful to share more questions, reflections, prayers, field notes from my wanderings and pondering in the future to accompany you.

Raising Wisdom, Raising Heart

Harriet Platt's Woman's Fall Retreat
 

By Rev. Harriet Platts and Vic Okerlund

My friend and colleague, Vic Okerlund, and I are very excited to be joining you for the Fall Women’s Retreat, Raising Wisdom, Raising Heart! As 50 something-year-olds, we’re both immersed in the fullness of life, packing and sending kids off to college or life beyond our homes, nurturing our work lives, and trying to make meaningful contributions within the communities to which we belong. There’s also the ongoing maintenance of all the ‘stuff’ we’ve assigned as a necessity to living, trying to maintain semblance of a balanced inner life, caring for aging parents – friends, and then… wondering with curious hearts about how to care for the wellbeing of our fragile world with so many people suffering such accumulative, untold loss. Sound familiar?!

Then…there’s the unexpected! We’ve all been blind-sided, surprised by experiences where we feel struck or toppled like the rug has been pulled from underneath us. “We thought we had plans in place,…that we had an understanding,…or we never expected our kid, partner, neighbor to do or say “that;” or the unexpected health challenge.” Living in relationship to the unexpected is inherent with being human. Sometimes we have no idea how to cope with the unexpected, but we naturally seek to know, to figure it out, and in time to make sense of it. Some find community and faith in God to be just what is needed to buoy them during these times. Others find help in many expressions of spiritual practices that ground and nurture the soul, resulting in deepened wisdom and a more compassionate heart.

As we gather for this spiritual retreat, we aim to support new connections with others, deepening friendships, rest, communing in the Spirit and learning from one another. We will be reflecting on: What value is there in connection with a faith community when the bad breaks come? What spiritual resources – practices meaningfully sustain you? What’s sacred to you?

In addition to lecture, discussion, and small groups, you will have time for art-making, solitude, a massage, and engagement with the natural beauty of the retreat setting at Rainbow Lodge. You don’t have to be directly connected to a faith community of any kind to participate. All earnest women seekers are welcome!

Harriet continues to be curious about how people develop and nurture their spiritual lives. She enjoys making music with her voice and cultivating her relationship to the natural world.

Vic is drawn to a place between the sacred and the secular where we all meet our growth edges and find ourselves awkward, in anticipation and often fragmented. She wonders what conversations could nurture our hearts and spirits in those places. One thing that grounds her is cycling in the Snoqualmie Valley where she is reminded of both the magnificent and ordinary. (Although she is looking at trucks in a new way).

Download flier here

FALL 2013 – InterPlay “Life Practice Program” in Seattle

Interplay Life Practice Brochure

Interplay Life Practice Brochure

My practice in nurturing relationships and spaces for curiosity, play, and reflection, is evolving to include being part of the upcoming InterPlay Life Practice Program teaching team here in Seattle!

Beginning in September, the InterPlay Life Practice Program will be launched with the opening retreat, “Secrets of InterPlay!” When I participated in the program almost 10 years ago, it was during a time of professional transition. Meeting once a month on a Saturday as part of a cohort, I found the body wisdom curriculum enriching, and the supportive relationships and space to play with the question of”What next?”

There’s an amazing cohort that’s already forming!  YES’s from artists, educators, healthcare professionals, ministers, mind/body practitioners.  Is this the time for you too?  Would you benefit from a supportive/creative place where you can land and play with, “WHAT’s next for YOU?!”

I would love to speak with you about your interest! The next Life Practice Program Information session is on Friday, June 14th, at 6:30, Queen Anne Christian Church, Seattle, WA.

You may download a complete brochure here.