Since turning 50 last February, I have consciously entered an introspective cycle, listening within to sense – “where does my life energy most feel drawn to flow next?”, and “how can I follow what is calling me forward into the second half of life with ease and grace – in fact, without burnout, through high leverage actions?” Then, a few months ago I attended a public evening with Margaret Wheatley in Vancouver, and was reminded of the importance of simple conversation. “I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest, human conversation where we each have a chance to speak, where we each feel heard, and where we each listen well to our experiences, hopes and fears. This is how great changes begin.” – Meg Wheatley, Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future.
Meg’s presentation helped me realize that authentic conversation is a powerful leverage point for social change. And this sparked in me the idea of hosting Saturday Soup Salons, to engage (for now) in conversation with thoughtful and reflective women around what is drawing us in our lives. Last Saturday, January 20th, eight of us gathered and shared deeply around one of Meg’s questions, “What is your faith in the future?” Without divulging the content of our rich exchanges, I’d like to share some of the quotes and books that helped to seed our conversations.
- At the start, I read an excerpt from Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential by Barbara Marx Hubbard: “Social innovations are springing up everywhere. Thousands of acts of caring, sharing, healing and new solutions are emerging….However, will the convergence of positive innovations happen before the convergence of destructive tendencies? Will the planetary system repattern to a higher orcder, or will it fall apart into chaos, into environmental collapse that has also been predicted? This is the question. There is no guarantee that a dissipative structure will repattern to a higher order. It is merely a tendency, just as it is the tendency of each baby to survive, although many do not. It is precisely at this point that we need a new social innovation to facilitate the increased interaction among positive innovations – a new ground of the whole to facilitate this convergence – conscious evolution.”
- And I shared a quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estés, from “Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times” “Do not lose heart, we were made for these times…”
- Several inspiring books and resources were mentioned (including two written by members of our Salon). These are listed in the sidebar under ‘Books’.
- I closed the Salon with a reading of this poem, by Christopher Fry – A Sleep of Prisoners:
The human heart can go to the lengths of God
Dark and cold we may be, but this
Is no winter now. The frozen misery
Of centuries breaks, cracks, begins to move;
The thunder is the thunder of the floes
The thaw, the flood, the upstart Spring.
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to face us everywhere,
Never to leave us ’til we take
The longest stride of soul men ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
The enterprise is exploration into God.
Where are you making for? It takes
So many thousand years to wake,
But will you wake for pity’s sake?