This is not a time of mere change. This is a time of transformation, and transformation comes not out of scarcity
but out of the context of possibility, responsibility, and sufficiency. ~ Lynne Twist
One year ago, as 2020 was dawning, we joined with many around the globe in imagining a year of possibility and transformation. It was the start of a new decade and the number 2020 couldn’t help but evoke a hope for new, clear ways of seeing. Looking back, it’s hard to grasp how limited our understanding was of the year that lay ahead. Most of us simply couldn’t have imagined the global pandemic that would sweep the world, making our connection to one another more poignant and powerful than ever. As we seek meaningful approaches to living through this challenging time, we can open ourselves — to the poignancy of life and our connection to each other, to the extraordinary nature of the universe and this time in particular, and to the transformative potential of love. And so here, a year later, how will we step across this threshold into the New Year when so much is still unknown? Who do we want to be — as individuals and as a collective, for ourselves and for our world? And what role does gratefulness play as we step into the New Year with all our very human hopes and longings?
May this collection of resources help to support you in welcoming the New Year with curiosity, humility, wholehearted courage, and a deepening appreciation of the transformative potential of these times.
Skywoman Falling (6:00): In this excerpt from the new introduction to her acclaimed book Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer draws upon the creation story Skywoman Falling and the wisdom of the Earth to guide us through our present moment of deep uncertainty.
A Moral Obligation to Transform (6:00): Craig Hamilton explores how the deepest individual spiritual transformation is directly tied to the “Whole,” and is indeed necessary for our moral evolution.
Deepening Our Comfort with Uncertainty (2:00): In this essay, Kristi Nelson reminds us of the liberating opportunity that comes with letting go of our need to know.
One Thousand Cranes (5:30): In this film by Green Renaissance, Kyoko shares how she looks to origami as a metaphor for life, an emergent creation that builds on the “folds” we endure through all of our experiences.
A New Story of the People (8:07): In this video, Charles Eisenstein explores how we can move from the old story of separation, competition, and self-interest to a New Story of the People.
Crossing by Jericho Brown
It looks like the sky is coming apart and together at the same time* by Maya Stein
Metta Hour Podcast Meditation with Valarie Kaur (10:00): This meditation comes at the end of a conversation with Valarie Kaur on Sharon Salzberg’s Metta Hour podcast. The meditation begins at 35:00, though the entire conversation is worth a listen as it reflects on love’s transformative potential. Valarie begins with a body scan then moves into directing energy toward receiving and giving support for what we and others need.
What does transformation mean to you? What motivates you to learn, to grow, to continue deepening and expanding your experience of life and the world?
What hopes and longings do you have for the coming year?
Who do you want to be? How might gratefulness inform and support the ways in which you move into the year ahead?
What visions do you have for the world? How might you take steps to realize these visions?
How can we boldly step across the threshold of the unknown amidst the ongoing personal and collective challenges we face?
What possibilities emerge when you open to transformation with a grateful heart?
We invite you to share your reflections below.
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Kristi’s mantra ‘There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to know’, which introduces the reading Deepening Our Comfort with Uncertainty, is a priceless gift to me at this moment. On New Year’s Day, after much preparation and clearing of decks, I begin a ‘gap year’ in my eighth decade in which my mission is to explore the transformative practice of grateful living as a way of life.
I am already clear that the practice of seeking reasons to be grateful in each moment of every day will require me to live much closer to the present moment. This calls for nothing less than a radical change in my habits, the invisible architecture of everyday life. I have always been a compulsive organiser, striving to micro-manage everything in sight, yet in my new adventure my heart’s desire is to abandon plans, expectations and goals, trusting instead that all I need will be given to me.
‘There is nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to know’ will now underpin my way of living in the year ahead and, with profound gratefulness for the right words at the right time, I take Kristi’s mantra as my own.
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We are delighted to announce the release of Kristi Nelson’s book Wake Up Grateful