Listening into Existence

Listening into Existence

One can, I think, listen someone into existence, [and] encourage a stronger self to emerge…” Mary Rose O’Reilly

This quote was on the wall during a seasonal Circle of Trust at Bishop Booth Conference Center.  Listening is such a powerful piece of each Circle of Trust I’ve been a part of, over the past 17 years. We listen to each other. We don’t chit chat back and forth, making small talk. We give open-hearted listening and acceptance. What a gift to offer, and what a gift to receive!

Seventeen years ago, I was led to these retreats, and I keep coming back, as I continue to explore who I am in this mysterious life I’m living. Here’s another wall quote that I love, from Thomas Merton: “The issues of life are not problems to solve, but mysteries to be entered.”

Extending Welcome: Living Courage

Extending Welcome: Living Courage

Our life journeys include wide & interconnected circles.  "Living Courage" is a monthly invitation to pause, reflect, and align your courageous heart through living the principles and practices of Courage work.  In 2018, each month will focus on one of the 12 Courage & Renewal Touchstones in order to integrate them into our daily lives.  This is about practice, not perfection - and extends beyond the boundaries of a circle or retreat.

New Year Blessing

New Year Blessing

WholeHeart Board President, Trish Alley, offers her poetry and well wishes as she dives deeply into a three month leave of absence to focus on her writing.  

New Year Blessing for WholeHeart

May you shine with the brilliance of the full moon

and bring light into the cold darkness.

May you always reflect beauty and warmth—

Finding Tempo Giusto

Finding Tempo Giusto

I’m what you would call a typical morning person. My energy peaks before noon.   For night-owls, this behavior is a total mystery.  I’m equally in awe of those who are able to have intellectual conversations after 9 o’clock pm.   I prefer watching the sun rise.  Ideas flow easily pre-dawn, and I treasure the spaciousness of uninterrupted time when most people are still sleeping. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a new trend: my body is wanting more rest.   The sun is rising later too.  At first, I resisted this idea.  I’m a morning person after all!  I need that time for sipping coffee and puttering to begin my day.  I feel rushed without it.  When I open my eyes, the message is clear.  Go back to sleep.   I feel a tension, as I also hear:   There’s so much to do!  The end of the year is coming!  Holidays are here!  You’re wasting time.

The Mystery of Paradox

The Mystery of Paradox

I begin each month sending out an email to everyone who has been a part of one the Circles of Trust I facilitate.  I call it Living Courage.  It is a practice that calls me to the task of listening and keeping in alignment with WholeHeart’s tag line: “living on the learning edge.” Here is my reflection and experience with the Courage Principle: “An appreciation of paradox enriches our lives and helps us hold greater complexity.”

Ripples of Hope

Ripples of Hope

Each day, the breaking news breaks us.  And often not open, but into despair, disbelief and fear.  There is much to be done, and mending what is closest to us is a place to begin to re-imagine hope.

This summer, a group of community members gathered on Tuesday mornings in Greensboro, Vermont for a WholeHeart Community Conversation called “Hope Reimagined.” 

Leadership Rooted in Place

Leadership Rooted in Place

The word “leadership” can cover some tricky territory, inviting the questions: what makes a leader? Who are leaders? Is there a leadership club that requires certain qualities to belong? 

Our Intergenerational Leadership Exchanges welcomes emerging and experienced leaders. We focus on leadership at the human being level, grounded in the belief that we are all we are all leaders of our own lives. Together, across generational perspectives and areas of interest, we make up the essential elements of our communities.

On September 30th, we will hold our third Exchange.  Each gathering has a unique focus, inviting people to return each season or to come for the first time. This fall our focus and guide is the land itself at the Green Mountain Monastery.

The Art & Practice of Civil Discourse

The Art & Practice of Civil Discourse

“I can disagree with your opinion, it turns out, but I can’t disagree with your experience.  And once I have a sense of your experience, you and I are in relationship.” Krista Tippett, Becoming Wise

How do we share our experiences and build community? At a time in our country when our differences in belief and opinion are dividing communities and families, many of us are wondering how to move forward and connect.  Civil discourse and deep listening seem to be lost skills.  Yet, the silver lining of our time may be that the divides are visible and the motivation to build/rebuild community is essential. 

A Taste of Courage Dinner

A Taste of Courage Dinner

In celebration of gifts and gratitudes of the land, the community and the abudance of harvest, 40 people gathered at Jubilee Farm in Huntington for a night of nourishing food and conversation. This Friend & Fundraiser, A Taste of Courage, was inspired by and in support of WholeHeart's work to convene circles of authenticity, courage and wholeheartedness - in retreats, for work teams and in communities. .  Running Stone Bakery and Krin's Bakery and local farmers provided the feast and everyone who came shared a part of themselves to make the circle whole.    We shared poems and prompts, generous listening and table conversations - stories of generosity, astonishment and connections.  In the beauty of the barn, surrounded by sawdust, sweet night air and budding friendships, we listened and collected words that resonated on butcher block paper as we ate together.  From these exchanges and those little bits of writing, a community poem was created.