Words of Wisdom

When I run after what I think I want,
My days are a furnace of distress and anxiety;
If I sit in my own place of patience,
What I need flows to me,
And without any pain.

From this I understand that
What I want also wants me,
Is looking for me
And attracting me;
When it cannot attract me
Any more to go to it,
It has to come to me.

There is a great secret
In this for anyone
Who can grasp it.

– Rumi

 

After all, optimism takes courage. The main ingredients in trust are daring and audacity — not blindness. ~Mohammed Fairouz

 

No one really knows enough to be a pessimist. ~Norman Cousins

 

What makes this hope radical…it’s directed toward a future goodness that transcends current ability to understand what it is. ~Jonathan Lear

 

Awareness is a conduit, not a solution. ~Jonathan Fields

 

Potential is always bigger than the problem. ~Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith

 

Life is a collection of moments. The idea is to have as many good ones as you can. ~from the film 5 to 7

 

There is almost nothing outside of you that will help in any kind of lasting way, unless you are waiting for an organ. You can’t buy, achieve or date it. This is the most horrible truth. ~Anne Lamott

 

We are inherently lovable, we are inherently holy and we are inherently creative. ~Brené Brown

 

The universe is God made physical. ~Neale Donald Walsch

 

On any day of the year the denominator of kindness will be vastly greater than the numerator of cruelty. ~Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.

 

FLOW always undermines the illusion of the separate self. ~Tara Sophia Mohr

 

Vengeance is a […]

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A valuable exercise: treating people like individuals

In a powerful conversation about his National Book Award-winning book, Stamped from the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi made a striking point about the importance of treating people like individuals. When we don’t, we lose sight of their humanity–imperfect, complex beings with potential–and lose touch with ours, a perfect concoction for the proliferation of racist ideas.

Dr. Kendi’s point hit home for me in various ways particularly with regard to a realization I had about two years ago.

I grew up with a Peruvian mother and Dominican father. My Peruvian side is predominately of Incan and Spanish heritage and my Dominican side is predominately of African and Spanish heritage. While there was a sense of connection being latino immigrants living in the Bronx in the 70s, my parents’ getting together was problematic for my mother’s side of the family and seemingly beneficial for my father’s side at the time. It may not have been solely driven by anti-blackness, but it certainly was an integral factor.

I picked up on that tension very early on while also absorbing the cultural messaging around me: there is a hierarchical order to life where humans on the lighter end of the spectrum are superior and on the darker end, inferior. Eurocentricity, white supremacy and anti-blackness prevailed in covert and overt ways from my personal family engagement (with both sides), 80s American media and entertainment to the novelas and various latino media and entertainment I would soak up as a […]

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DEPTH Picks

From time to time, DEPTH will highlight some gems on the web that are very much aligned with its mission to feed minds, move souls and transform the world:

*An eloquent Quaker breakdown of hierarchy as it relates to culture and society.

*Louis C.K.’s hilarious explanation of the power of feeling emotions.

*Tara Mohr’s brilliant post on why we avoid what we most love and a new way of looking at “losing your edge.”

*An inspiring profile of the first indigenous woman to run for president in Mexico on The Guardian.

*A fascinating BBC piece on Portugal’s unique culture of melancholy.

Letting go of hierarchy: what I realized at my 20-year reunion

A couple of weeks ago I attended my 20-year high school reunion. I went to George School, a Quaker boarding/day school (I was a boarder) in Newtown, PA. For those that are not familiar with Quakerism, no, it does not have to do with the Amish. It is a Christian-based religion that operates on the core belief that we all have the light of God inside us, ALL OF US. As G.S. explains on its website, “This straightforward, elegant idea basically means that everyone has the capacity to do good and the facility to be great. You just have to listen to that of God within you and recognize it in others.”

This core belief manifested in several ways while I was at G.S. (and still holds true today):

Everyone and I mean EVERYONE from students, faculty and staff addressed each other by their first name. This subverted the idea that teachers/staff/adults had authority over students.

Instead of being preached to or following orders/rules, our religious service was meeting for worship where we sat still in silence for quiet reflection, and if we felt moved, we addressed the people in the Meetinghouse with the inspiration coming through us.

Everyone, no matter what your economic status, had to do co-op, an on-campus service program where all students performed various tasks to help in the daily operations of the school; money saved through the program supported the school scholarship fund.

G.S. did not promote, in fact, rejected superstar culture academically, athletically and socially; cooperation/community instead of competition/hyper-individualism was stressed, thus, there was […]

Seeing It Through

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a guide on what I picked up about bringing visions to life from my work with conscious visionaries over the years. Since then I’ve had many conversations with people and my own experiences with struggling to see visions through, all pointing to the need for us to rehash a couple of beliefs and practices I highlighted in that guide that will help us stay the course…

Be unrealistic

“That’s unrealistic.” As visionaries, we take pride in and apply our intelligence, experience and creative abilities toward our visions. We dedicate ourselves to a reimagining of an old system or an entirely new creation, making sure as best we can the vision is viable, workable and sustainable amid uncertainty. So when we hear “unrealistic,” especially from esteemed figures in our fields and communities or the intended audiences we’re looking to serve, it can trigger underlying doubt and become demoralizing if not addressed.

We need to trust ourselves and our fundamental creative impulses. We have to remind ourselves of the time and energy we’ve spent in fleshing out and tightening up the vision in light of no precedent, model or example. As intelligent, wise and creative people, we wouldn’t have made that investment if we didn’t believe the vision was possible and worth it. It is precisely because it hasn’t been done or presented before that many can’t see what we can see, give up or shun the vision, and meet us with that cutting pushback of “unrealistic.”

Despite […]

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DEPTH Picks

From time to time, DEPTH will highlight some gems on the web that are very much aligned with its mission to feed minds, move souls and transform the world:

*Martha Beck’s powerful explanation of what’s happening in our world right now with old and new consciousness

*Bryan Stevenson on championing a new consciousness for the sake of our world on Tavis Smiley

*Sharon Salzberg’s incredible column on How to Train Your Brain to See Beyond Us Versus Them on On Being

*Michelle Alexander’s profound announcement about her new tenure at Union Theological Seminary, highlighting the need to explore the moral, ethical and spiritual dimensions of justice work

*The cultural acceptance of transgendered beings in some Indigenous communities in AJ+