Nourishing aWE

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.

Here is how they framed the invitation:

With the intention of nourishing and continuing to cultivate our collective WE, and with the desire to be in awe of the Feminine Divine together, we (Jen and Nisha) offer this experiment in collective spiritual practice and community.

Seeds for this idea were planted at a gathering last spring when members of the EL community expressed a longing for a (r)Evolutionary temple/church/sacred space that would begin with the EL familia and potentially expand to a broader community.

Many moons later, we returned from #ELGP18 and began peer coaching around spiritual practices which centered self love and awe of the Feminine Divine within and around us.  This shared practice coupled with remembrance of our collective longing led to this offering we share with you now.

As we prepare for the darkness of winter in New England, we are offering to build a container for Nourishing aWE, a monthly intergenerational gathering which integrates:

shared spiritual practice that nourishes awe, joy, healing, and connectedness

music and dance

space for children to cultivate their own sense of the sacred

a potluck meal

Our community has a shared language. A shared initiatory experience. It is inspiring to witness the way people are stepping up to hold and nourish that thread. To continue to turn our attention towards the collective consciousness, the sense of a new We, that our hearts have awakened into.

Nourishing aWE meets the community’s longing to bring family into our shared experience. Children are welcomed. They are part of the ritual, and they also have their own space, held by “child whisperers.” Partners and other close ones are welcomed. They get to have a taste of the spirit that is alive between us. In fact, my wife Samantha and my son, Darshan, were part of Nourishing aWE before I was even able to participate. I returned home from work travels to glowing reports of their experience of aWE. As well as to news of Darshan reading a Nikki Giovanni poem for the budding congregation.

The Evolutionary Leadership Workshop was designed to help people make dreams real. To take an idea out of your head and into the world. Like all of my work, it was anchored by the idea of intention, connection and experimentation. Last June I chose to sunset this most successful part of my work. And I have been in the process of re-imagining my relationship to the community that lives beyond it.

This very personal process is part of a deeper shift within myself. Of my own effort to redefine my relationship to the social movement spaces in which I have done my work. It is how I’m making room for the work of Radical Responsibility. It is a shift that has not been easy. The self-righteous ideology of blame and victimization seems to permeate too much of this work for justice.

Nourishing aWE feels like a step in the right direction. We can take the ways we have been hurt and wallow in self-pity and resentment. Or, like so many of us who carry ache. Like so many of us who feel a need to protect ourselves from disappointments and from hurt. We can step into community and allow ourselves to heal.

This was my own experience of Nourishing aWE. It was through ritual, through togetherness, with family and with love, that my own heart found the nourishing I need. It was medicine to be together in this way. And I was able to experience healing that I did not know I needed.