Walking the Talk

Day 14 of counting the omer–Malchut of Gevurah

Last weekend the basement of the downtown Hyatt hotel was teeming with spiritual directors, which mostly looked like a lot of no fuss hairdos and sensible shoes, and a lot of flowy scarves. (I was happy to unofficially represent the lipstick contingent.)

Converting a windowless basement meeting room into sacred space, with no natural light or airflow, is no small feat.  I think we were fairly successful with the help of a large white tablecloth, candles, and the unexpected huge kettle drum that was already in the room when I got there. 



"It hurts!" Rhoda cried.

"Let me see it," asked Stanley.

"No!" said Rhoda.

"I just want to look," said Stanley.

"Don't touch it! Don't look at it!" said Rhoda. 

–from Stanley and Rhoda, by Rosemary Wells

(another one of my favorite children's books)

When I am leading a workshop, usually the participants are doing most of the talking. What I do is create the setting, safety, and framework, and then get out of the way. My role is much more like a midwife or shepherd; I definitely did not lecture for three hours. There is nothing more annoying than a workshop leader who only likes to hear themselves talk.

The folks who attended my workshop, "Grateful for our Differences: Walking the Talk Takes Courage," certainly lived up to the tagline, and they walked their talk with courage, grace and majesty. They strutted.   

“We can practice being gentle with ourselves by
being gentle with each other. We can practice being gentle with each other by
being gentle with that piece of ourselves that is hardest to hold.”

–Audre Lorde

Are you being gentle enough with yourself right now–especially that piece of yourself that is hardest to look at or hold? How do you find the balance between being gentle with yourself and giving yourself a much needed push in the right direction?