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The Plan

Hello Fellow Traveler,

 

Do you ever wonder, “What is this life all about?” “Where do I fit in?”

 

If so, you are not alone. As part of this play, written long before we were born, both inclusive and transcendent to us, we are included!

 

We hold power and live within a power system that includes but transcends us. As we sink into this awakened level of knowing, we realize two important things that are undeniably so. At the spiritual and social levels, we are! At the differentiated, intimate individual level, I am!

 

Within the mysterious universe, an Infinite Presence has created us and sent us here in our lifetimes with enormous personal power to be realized and fulfilled through experiential learning, experimenting, and integrating. This Lifetime School is designed with both pains and pleasures to awaken us to a unique purposeful mission. As we learn, choose, practice, and integrate our lessons into our daily lives, we develop the characteristics that will be needed to fulfill our mission before exiting our physical lifetimes. This process is not easy. But, it works. Too, once we realize that it is filled with meaning, it becomes less overwhelming and increasingly helpful to allow this purpose to guide our choices, focus our strategies, and help us become fully genuine, empowered, creative, compassionate and respectful of others as well as ourselves.

 

This may seem overwhelming as you read about this Universal Plan. And, it would be if we had to wiggle our noses and so it would be. The plan calls for years of going beyond our comfort zones to fulfill multiple opportunities to choose power, wisdom, and love over fear. Once we submit to this plan, we can relax a bit. Play, dance, listen to the music, plant our gardens, come together to enjoy each other, learn with each other, and help each other. The details of how we do this will depend upon our choices as we are faced with the two outstanding universal strategies to lead us to transformative changes. It is profound and yet it plays out in simple daily, seemingly innocent experiences.

 

Take this morning for example. Just as we started our day together, my husband was in a playful mood. We had just finished our morning protein smoothies when he lifted his glass to  his ear to hear the sounds. Continuing with these antics, he brought his glass for me to lift to my ear. And, what da ya know? I heard a sound as well.

 

This started our more serious, conceptual conversation. We talked about how it is our energy that we were hearing. Since kids, when at the beach, we could lift large shells to our ears and hear the sounds. As children we enjoyed these unexplainable, magical occurrences. But, for many of us, it resonated as both curiosity and acceptance of things existing beyond what we experienced on a regular basis.

 

But, as we’ve grown chronologically, we’ve continued to have these experiences that seemed quite unexplainable as logical or predictable phenomena that we consciously set in motion. These were synchronicities that surprised, delighted, and stretched our worldviews.

 

To us, even though it might be hard to describe to others, we knew them to be real. Sometimes they were validated by others’ presence with us when they occurred. For example, this morning as my husband, Dennis, and I continued our discussion, he recounted an ear-to the glass moment that he had just read about in an older magazine that he’d resurrected in some re-organizing of his WWII memorabilia.

 

Martin Bowman, writing an article titled “Return to Thorpe Abbotts” in WARBIRDS INTERNATIONAL, July/August 1993 issue shared such a surprising, even jolting moment shared by three men.

 

As part of preparations for a 1977 (thirty plus years after WWII) salute to the efforts of American service members during WWII who had been assigned to the air base, three painters were refurbishing the base’s control tower that had guided the ascents and descents of B-17 bombers. One of the men, Sam Hurry, recalled that about 1:45PM he was alone, paint brush in hand, when he first heard noises like aircraft engines, radio signs, and then men shouting. Hurry left the tower and headed home. His wife, Jane, was surprised to see him earlier than she had anticipated. Hurry when on to share that only later did he share with Jane what he had experienced. Later, two other persons working to restore the base for the upcoming celebration corroborated with Hurry that they had experienced the same kinds of “unusual” things during the same period.

 

Numerous stories of accounts like these demonstrate that we are living and finding our meaning in a universe that transcends our visible, material understanding of things but that is also inclusive of us.

 

We live in a time when we have the benefit of learning from centuries of mystics, philosophers, and spiritual teachers who have shared their conscious awareness of an invisible world that underlies all of our visible, material world. Even better is the reality that we have scientists who have introduced us to quantum physics, systems theories, and to ongoing discoveries that challenge our awarenesses of what “isness” is.

 

We are in a universe that invites us to see ourselves as nonphysical, nondual, beyond finite time and space creatures who are here in “Earth suits” with very specific purposes and opportunities to expand, to create, to love and to be loved, and to keep on transitioning, ever into the mysteries. Further, this is a universe that has demonstrated its faithfulness to resource us with all we need. But, paradoxically, this same universe has made us volitional creatures, free to choose the nature and speed at which we will spiral forward, advancing the quality and potential of ourselves and others.

 

It takes courage to answer this invitation with a “Yes”. It requires that we step out from the masses. Yet we might agree with Henry David Thoreau who discovered and wrote that “the masses of men live lives of quiet desperation”.

 

So, do we individuals fade into the crowd, go along to get along? Or, do we claim our power, assert ourselves, dare to interrupt the status quo?

 

As professional change makers which we as therapists, teachers, spiritual and/or social activists have learned, the processes of change traverse multiple ups and downs, phases if you will.

One of my favorite descriptions of this process I learned from M. Scott Peck when studying with him in groups and through his writings. Peck showed how we basically follow through four phases in building community.

 

Peck’s notion resonated with me because throughout my childhood and youth, I was schooled by formal and informal teachers to fit in, to become a winner, to compete to be better than, to not ruffle any powerful person’s feathers. This formal and informal schooling in the art of not becoming a troublemaker was my social environment.  My professional “socialization” (nursing, nursing education and leadership, counseling and counseling education and leadership) continued my instruction in compliance, competition, and becoming a leader.

 

This model of duality caused me great anxiety. As I assumed multiple roles; professional, wife, mother, friend, community leader, professional shaper, teacher, the stress mounted. I was blessed with a strong, resilient constitution and an enormously strong desire to succeed, so I tried hard to play by the rules. There was just one BIG problem. Within me, was a trouble maker. I always skewed to questions, probing down multiple layers of meaning. It was me. I was my message. I couldn’t hide it. But the path of seeing, believing, and being me from a place of confidence/faith as well as humility, compassion, respect took time and still takes time and focused change.

 

M. Scott Peck stands out among my most influential teachers. Even though he is now beyond this lifetime, his teachings are classic/timeless.

 

Among the reasons that I continue to hold M. Scott Peck in high regard, is that he introduced me to a different model when I desperately needed one. He helped me to realize that there is a place for me. I am here to usher in or support people, groups, organizations through their own life journeys. In other words I am here to be a change maker. The implications are many.

I’ll go into many of them in later blogs. But in this one, I want to list the four phases of building community that Peck presented. They are as follows.

-       Pseudo community – acting kind and socially appropriate but masked

-       Chaos – courageously speaking out in ways that challenge the prevailing worldview

-       Emptiness – letting go of needing to be right or in control of others

-       Community – patiently waiting, trusting for wisdom to emerge within the space and relationships

 

In upcoming blogs, I will describe and give examples of how each phase is essential if we are to create a life affirming, sustainable kind of social system. This can be a system of two or two dozen, two hundred, or on and on infinitum. It honors that we are energetic beings at the core while valuing and experiencing the fullness of this human experience.

 

For today, hopefully you enjoy this seminal quote by Peck in his book, THE PEOPLE OF THE LIE, Toward a Psychology of Evil (1983).  Simon & Schuster.

 

The whole of community may depend on a change in heart of one solitary and even humble individual. For it is in the solitary mind and soul…that the battle

between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost.

 

As I leave you today, please take time to reflect upon where you are in your life journey. Do you know your power? How often do you claim or experience gratitude for it? What life energy stirs within you?

What if our current social structures, from local to national to international are waiting for you?

 

Watch for my next blog as I take us into current writings such as  those of Parker Palmer, whose newest book, HEALING THE HEART OF DEMOCRACY, The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit (2024). Updated Edition with Study Guide & Author Notes. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

More resources to share with you are coming as well. Today, is a wonderful day to be alive. Do stop to hear the music in your outer and inner ears.


 

 

With deep regard,

 

Margaret         6/12/2024

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