Only One Wild Way

Here’s Episode 61 of Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by thirdspace coaching in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living.

You can join our members-only facebook group here to watch live and join in the lively comment conversation on this episode. You can also watch previous episodes there, and on our YouTube channel.

This week we begin with a source written by Lizzie:

Only One Wild Way

Being broken open is the gateway to God
Letting creation in, allowing the Divine
Means living from a truly softened heart
And it means letting life have its way

It hurts and it’s physically painful
We tried to fight to keep it closed
There’s only one wild way to live once you’ve been opened
Like a can of sardines and the metal is sliced and the lid can’t be put back on again

There’s no shutting up shop
Backing into oblivion again
Not for an opened heart
Beaten around by life
By what happened
Who I’ve become
What they did
Who they are

And everything else

A heart once opened is like that forever
And maybe that’s what grief is made of

The love becomes fully obvious when the body is removed from our touch
And it’s hard to bear how much we love each other

It hurts to go direct
It pains to be truly and messily intimate
And as we wriggle into this space
Of deep connection
In all its Individual and specific glory

We find ourselves
Unseparated
Excruciatingly aligned with life itSelf
As it sears through us
And wipes us out
At the same time as bringing us to life
As our shell falls away
And we are mushy

Smashed to smithereens
We run the bath
Make dinner
Wonder what our loved ones might like for a Christmas gift
Put the bins out
And carry on

With our broken hearts leaking out love just about everywhere

 

Photo by Honey Fangs on Unsplash

 

Foundations of Coaching with me, Jan 21-22 2019, London

On January 21-22 I’ll be teaching our two-day introduction to coaching, an inspiring, moving, deeply practical exploration of ways to work compassionately in support of the development of others.

We meet in a lovely venue in London, in a small and intimate group, to enter into the possibilities of ‘integral development coaching’. There’ll be conversation, the philosophy of being human, music, coaching demonstrations, and a chance to practice. Many of the hundreds of people who’ve learned with us over the years say the two days are eye-opening, heart opening, and sometimes life changing.

And it’s a wonderful opportunity to get to meet some of the many of you who read, watch and follow here.

I’d be delighted if you chose to join me.

All the details are here.

On the economic narrative, and its limits

Behind any life, and any society, are numerous background narratives that give us a sense of who we are, who other people are, and what’s possible for us. They tell us how we can live, what’s of value, and how to relate to one another. And they tell us what’s important to pay attention to, and what’s marginal.

Sometimes the background narratives are visible and explicit in a family or community, such as the way in which biblical narratives give a sense of belonging and orientation to people who are part of some religious communities. But most often – even when there are visible and explicit narratives available – the narratives we actually live by are invisible, and we see them clearly only as an outsider entering a society for the first time, or when the narrative runs into trouble and starts producing unintended consequences.

For the last century or so in the West, we’ve lived in a background narrative that’s directed our attention most strongly towards what’s measurable, particularly what’s financially measurable, and has discounted almost everything else. The bottom line, financial return on investment, this quarter’s results – all have been taken for what’s ‘real’.

And at the same time, we’ve considered what’s not measurable largely ‘unreal’ – the quality of our inner lives, our relationships with others, supportive and close-knit communities, the care we give and receive, our capacity to nurture and appreciate beauty. We can’t pay much attention to these, we say, because in the ‘real world’ there are tough business decisions to make. There are profits to be made.

I’m not arguing that profit is somehow unreal, while beauty and care are real. That would be an equally narrow way of looking at the world. But it’s becoming clearer and clearer how our narrowness – our failure to appreciate and include all dimensions of human life in our businesses, institutions, and in our public discourse – is wreaking havoc in our present and seriously limiting our capacity to respond to the complexity of the future we’re creating. The shocking rise of inequality in even the richest of the worlds societies, the shaking of our financial systems, our seeming inability to respond creatively to climate change – all ought to have ourselves asking whether what we take to be unquestionably true about how to live is, really, deeply questionable.

We urgently need to expand our horizons – to start to take seriously that which we’ve marginalised in the relentless colonisation of all aspects of human life by the narrative of economics.

Photo by Freddie Collins on Unsplash