We Need Courageous Conversations
As your personal awareness of our predicament grows, does a big question keep insistently knocking at the gates of your consciousness…?
How ought I respond to the existential ecological and social crises affecting the world?
There’s another… knock knock… what might happen if you actually let it in?
We invite you to do so. Let it in and sit a moment with it. Let the enormity sink in….
How does it make you feel?
Do you feel the urgency of it?
This is the sort of urgency that also begs for a deep, clear-eyed, and heartfelt exploration of outer and inner realities. It is the sort of urgency described here:
“The times are urgent; let us slow down. Slowing down is losing our way—not a human capacity or human capability. It is the invitations that are now in the world-at-large, inviting us to listen deeply, to be keen, to be fresh, to be quick with our heels, to follow the sights and sounds and smells of the world.”
— Dr. Bayo Akomolafe —
Do you feel the depth and complexity of it?
Our predicament is so complex it really makes you wonder about the enormity of impact it will have on everything: what is meaningful for you, your life choices, your identity, your relations, and those of everybody you know.
Do you feel the importance of it?
As in ‘without any doubt this is THE most important issue of MY life-time (and of humanity)’?
If you are feeling the urgency, depth, complexity and importance of it, then
What is holding you back?
It’s scary… It’s messy… It’s lonely…
The implications are overwhelming…
You might be ostracised…
We’ve been there
So, here’s the thing…
Can you feel that cognitive dissonance? That growing chasm between your rational justification of what is the world you inhabit, how you currently inhabit it, and your gut-feeling of what ought?
Well, we can’t make it go away; yet be aware, you are not alone – it’s just that most are too afraid to admit it.
We’re in this together; and we can, together,
face reality, and live the questions.
This is what we think it takes:
- Good company. This is not a journey that anyone would want to or should have to make on their own. The very idea that we should/could do so, is one part of the root causes of our predicament.
- Knowledgeable and wise guides. Guides who are there to offer insight and compassion, point to the North Star, support your journey, and hold everyone in a safe-enough space for us to allow ourselves to feel vulnerable as we sit with the questions and lean into the answers that emerge.
- Courage. The antidote to despair is not hope – it is courage. Courage is love in action.
To be courageous, is not necessarily to go anywhere or do anything except to make conscious those things we already feel deeply and then to live through the unending vulnerabilities of those consequences.
— David Whyte —
- Resolve and commitment. If we are really feeling it, we understand, the only way out is through… so we must commit to do it anyway, even when we feel the fear.
- Making it a priority. Deciding to invest the time, attention, energy and resources the consideration of our predicament deserves, now, in a safe-enough space to focus on it and explore the implications, for us and all we love.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage
— Anais Nin —
Listening to Gaia’s call
Before we present you with our offering, we invite you to read a poem by Tara Mohr. Called You-Shaped Hole, it made us consider how we (don’t) fit and what we might have to offer to help address what she calls “The roughness of the world, the off-track-ness, the folly that you see…”
Sometimes the world feels inhospitable.
You feel all the ways that you and it don’t fit.
You see what’s missing, how it all could be different.
You feel as if you weren’t meant for the world, or the world wasn’t meant for you,
as if the world is “the way it is” and your discomfort with it a problem.
So you get timid. You get quiet about what you see.
But what if this?
What if you are meant
to feel the world is inhospitable, unfriendly, off-track
in just the particular ways that you do?
The world has a you-shaped hole in it.
It is missing what you see.
It lacks what you know
and so you were called into being.
To see the gap, to feel the pain of it, and to fill it.
Filling it is speaking what is missing.
Filling it is stepping into the centre of the crowd, into a clearing,
and saying, here, my friends, is the future.
You don’t have to do it all, but you do have to speak it.
You have to tell your slice of the truth.
You do have to walk toward it with your choices, with your own being.
Then allies and energies will come to you like fireflies swirling around a light.
The roughness of the world, the off-track-ness, the folly that you see,
these are the most precious gifts you will receive in this lifetime.
They are not here to distance you from the world,
but to guide you to your contribution to it.
The world was made with a you-shaped hole in it.
In that way you are important.
In that way you are here to make the world.
In that way you are called.
– Tara Mohr
The poem says “…(the world) … lacks what you know, and so you were called into being. To see the gap, to feel the pain of it, and to fill it”
We looked, and we realized, that despite the knowledge and wisdom available to us, despite the value of every approach that has helped us and others make sense of our predicament, there was still something missing.
We saw and felt a gap around the need for truly transformative Courageous Conversations.
Conversations worthy of our response to Gaia’s call. Conversations that weave our individual, personal and professional lifelong experiences, our love and our grief, our successes, failures and losses, our learnings, insights and compassion:
- Conversations that offer space, nourishment and encouragement for open minds, open hearts, and open wills, even as we encounter evidence and feelings that challenge us
- Conversations that seamlessly combine the inner and outer elements of our journeys, so as to build the courage needed to consider the unthinkable
- Conversations that slow-down to honour the still-point–a place of vulnerability–where we can let go to let come, without knowing, and then ponder how to live the questions together in our daily lives
- Conversations that can foster and grow the skills we need to connect and collaborate locally and bioregionally in times of fragmentation and suffering.
- Conversations that do justice to the urgency, depth, complexity and importance of our predicament and our parts in it
What the journey will do for you
The Courageous Conversations journey will take you from a place of individual concern (possibly despair) through the vulnerability that deeper recognition of our collective predicament evokes, toward a recognition that you are not alone, and in fact, are probably ahead of most people you know.
From there we explore and learn how to navigate the complexity of these times.
Then we introduce you to a post-doom stance that will help you regain meaning and agency, and allow you to reframe your priorities, actions and calling to align with what is needed in these times.
What you can expect:
This is a twelve week, online commitment to journey with a group of others.
The And Now What team provides content, process, facilitation, and support to guide you on your journey.
You will have access to:
- Weekly online video’s and links that allow you to proceed and process in your own time
- Weekly 90 minute online sessions with experienced facilitators
Courageous Conversations combine all we have to bring in the very best way we could, to be with you on your journey with you as you find your own You-shaped contribution in answer to Gaia’s call.
Do you hear Gaia’s call?
There are many ways for you to embody
The Spirit of the Shambhala Warrior.
We can help you find your you-shaped contribution
to respond to Gaia’s call.