EnHeartening the world one circle at a time


Circles of Resilience

Council is based on the ancient way of being together and learning from each other before books and YouTube, when our pre-literate ancestors would sit around the fire and tell/listen to stories.  Here we learned the skills of resilience: how to connect, how to co-regulate and how to collaborate.  Circles of Resilience uses the dialogical practice of council that creates a safe container to hold space for deep listening, at times, even with a broken heart. The practice creates heart connection with others, which is itself a resource of resilience. Circles of Resilience supports community building arising out of mutual rapport and respect. It cultivates authentic expression, the grief, and the joy.

As we move into an era of pandemics and other environmental crises, as we move toward social and economic collapse, as mental health is compromised, we need each other. In this time of Covid-19, for those who are alone, the isolation can be harmful to the nervous system and the body’s experience encourages negativity bias. The opportunity to connect through the online listening practice of Circles of Resilience is an opportunity to co-regulate each other’s physiological and emotional state and deeply listen to each other.  We then feel safer and become more generous with others, more accessible. With compassion, we tend to the emerging reality. We grieve what’s been lost, we let go of what no longer serves, we reclaim, renew and reimagine what is possible. We reconcile with all of our relations.

When we listen to people, our language softens. Listening may be the cardinal act of giving… it is the source of peace. ~ Paul Hawken

Old Story, New Story

This quote by Charles Eisenstein appeared on the School of Lost Borders Facebook page. The School of Lost Borders is a place I cannot recommend enough. It’s the place where I and several of my family members took our Vision Fasts. That vision led me here, to Vancouver Island.

What Charles Eisenstein is speaking about is something I have learned through Vision Fast and in Council too, the rite of passage that takes us from the old story to the new one. However, to get there, we must pass through the time of no story, and goodness knows, where would I be without my story? It can be a scary place.

Charles Eisenstein’s post evoked a response from my heart that I would like to share here. This time of Covid-19 pandemic is a time that is betwixt and between. It is the place of “no story.” This is the discomfort that begs to be tolerated now. The place of no story. The place in between the trapeze handholds.

The three stages of a rite of passage include severance, threshold, and incorporation, or the old story, no story and new story. With Covid-19, severance was hard. We could have prepared for this rite of passage but most of us did not. Without having cultivated and practiced skills of resilience, of personal and communal practices, this time can be frightening, perhaps seemingly unbearable. Some break out their guns and protest for freedom having no idea that they hold the jail door key. Enacting archetypes with no mirror, no mentor.

Can enough of us tolerate the discomfort with hearts listening to the other beings on this planet? Can we listen and tend to what might emerge? If we listen and tend like I witness my stepdaughter and my son-in-law tend their baby — with love, with sacrifice, what world is possible?