Michael Pollan just wrote a beautiful book on the “psychedelic renaissance.” He titled it “How to Change Your Mind.” And it is a phenomenally important work. He is a best selling author many times over. Many of you may remember groundbreaking books like “The Botany of Desire,” “The Omnivore's Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.” I mention these because he is one of Time’s 100 most influential people. This is what is important about this post: Michael Pollan just made “Journey Work” go mainstream.
the Vision & Justice Civic Curriculum is now freely available to you.
“How has visual representation both limited and liberated our definition of American citizenship and belonging?”
This is the animating question behind the Vision & Justice Project, led by the incomparable Sarah Lewis. Visual representation has always been a powerful tool for reshaping our culture. But social media has exploded the power of the image. We need to be aware of this power. And we need to wield it with intention.
It is too easy for the work of dismantling patriarchy to become an arena of “competitive wokeness.” A well developed analysis can actually shut down curiosity. We tend to hold it as a fundamental truth. And the work becomes about grandstanding. Everyone wants to get it right. To let others know they have it right. And to enforce what is right. I call it movement fundamentalism.
I have nothing against what is right. But I do have a problem with spaces that make us afraid to get anything wrong. The fundamentalism that underlies “competitive wokeness” can paralyze us with fear. No one wants to get it wrong. No one wants to be exiled from the tribe. A primal fear hijacks our thinking. And fear is how possibility erodes.
We are part of a global community that meditates together evrey Wednesday morning at 9:30am Eastern Time on a Zoom Video Conference Call. We support each other in our meditation practice. It is a powerful way to deepen our sense of connection.
Our work brings together shamanic ritual and the practice of emergent dialogue. We experience it as a forward facing remembering.
We tune into the aliveness of our shared consciousness. We nurture the possibility of something that can take us beyond the boundaries of ourselves and what we think we know.
This is an experiment. You are welcome to join us on any Wednesday morning over the next three months. You are invited to join us starting Wednesday, April 10 at 9:30AM Eastern time.
It is important for the “first of” women in congress to know they have our support. We show that with our resources, with our volunteer hours, with our voices in the public forum.
It’s not easy to be first. The old guard feels like you are taking their place. The old system is shaking. You are what the future looks like. And you are perceived as a threat. It is a merciless environment. You are under a national microscope. You are facing waves and waves of digital hate.
Deepening human connection is at the heart of the evolutionary leadership framework. It is a response to our times. It understands that the species is at a choice point. That we are on the fast track to an evolutionary crash. And that we need to take an evolutionary leap. A leap at the level of consciousness and culture. A leap away from the narcissism of our day. And towards the possibility of a new “We.”
We can only grow in this direction by coming closer to each other.
I turn 44 today. Samantha and I had a date yesterday, and she held space for my reflection. Birthdays are good for looking back and looking forward. I had to start with gratitude. I know that I am abundantly blessed. Blessed by the goddess. By my family and friends. By my community and vocation. By the light of my ancestors. and by the grace of life in these times, in this place and in this moment.
Stacy Abrams spoke the truth in her response to the State of the Union:
Voter Suppression is Real. “From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.”
I spent a few days facilitating a gathering of people doing work that is not glamorous or sexy. But that matters everything. Advocates. Litigators. Census Organizers. People facing down a wave that means to roll back freedom. I am proud to report back that these good people are holding the line.
Our faith in institutions has shifted. But we still long for spiritual community. My friend Casper Ter Kuile recently wrote a powerful reflection on our need for spiritual containers. I have been contemplating it ever since. Nisha Purushotham and Jen Kiok, two women from our Evolutionary Leadership Community have recently launched a powerful experiment in holding such a spiritual container. Last month I was able to participate with my family. And it was medicine. It was grace.
We are rarely called to live into the higher virtues. Grace. Forgiveness. Compassion. Love and Letting Go.
The opposite tends to be true. Our culture encourages punishment, vengeance. Tearing down. Making things right by dehumanizing the other. There is little room for error. And so there is little room for growth.
Our moral stance tends to be static. We are rewarded for knowing right from wrong. For declaring it and enforcing it. But not so much for bringing others into the fold.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. It is a rigidity that has been with us for a while. But the last presidential election brought it sharply into view. Faced with hate come into power, we gave ourselves license to hate.