Oct ’16 Meeting Recap

Happy Halloween everyone.  We hope you enjoyed our October meetings.  If you missed either meeting, please see the notes below. We focused on examining where we began and where we are today, thus making up who we are now. This starts our journey into “Mapping Our One Wild and Precious Life” and we will move into self-care starting with our next meeting on Nov. 3rd


Oct 6th’s discussion started with our roots, literally where were we born, where have we lived, what was the culture and our family life like?  Oct 20th’s topic took us to consider who we are now, what roles do we play now?
To build our awareness of our lives today, we need to know the pieces of our past, reclaim them and make mindful choices of how they will or will not stay with us and our decisions.  Our lives today make us consider the adventure of living.  Parker Palmer suggests that at times, the life I’m living isn’t the same as the life that wants to live through me.
TO PONDER – Who did your parents NEED you to be? Who are you NEEDED to be today, the roles you now play?
As we look back, what was expected of us? What was needed from us? Today, we consider what’s it like to be more alive, to find the true essence within each of us.
There were several metaphors shared regarding the inner essence, the true nature of our being, that which often is based on our roots and developed over our lifetimes, but then hidden by the expectations we feel from others:
  • Michelangelo is quoted as saying, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” 
  • Jack Kornfield tells of a huge, wooden and plain Buddha statue in the countryside, treasured by the monks who would clean and repair it constantly. One monk saw something within the statue, through a crack. The monks started breaking the shell to reveal one of the largest golden Buddhas in existence.  Jack says we each have a golden Buddha inside of us.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert asks us if we have the courage to bring forth the hidden treasures within each of us.
  • Rachel Naomi talks about a dream she lived with, of a daffodil bulb in the earth with a rock on top of it. This particularly connected with me – the rock represented that which she was putting on herself to hold herself back from blooming, from thriving.
    TO PONDER – What stones have you placed on yourself, that may be keeping you from moving forward, taking just a single step toward what you want? How can you access your Inner Golden Buddha?
TO PONDER – How are you living – are you holding life in clenched fists, or open palms? What keeps us stuck, contracted? What gets in the way of being authentic with your true self?
Much of our lives are lived on auto-pilot – commuting, brushing our teeth, etc. The brain adapts when it interprets a threat to survival.  Those threats are to perceptions of safety, connection or dignity. The reaction will then be to fight, run (flight), freeze, or appease. The brain triggers the body, creating protections to avoid the risk of repeat. Recognizing these bodily responses, we have to figure out how to make shifts in life, to remove the “shoulds”, change the perception we have and take action toward the greatness we want and deserve.