Order, Disorder, Reorder: Part Two
Saturday, August 22, 2020
Summary: Sunday, August 16—Friday, August 21, 2020
There will be a death, a disease, a disruption to our normal way of thinking or being in the world. It is necessary if any real growth is to occur. (Sunday)
We must actually be out of the driver’s seat for a while, or we will never learn how to give up control to the Real Guide. It is the necessary pattern. (Monday)
Our only chance at dismantling racial injustice is being more curious about its origins than we are worried about our comfort. It’s not a comfortable conversation for any of us. —Austin Channing Brown (Tuesday)
Jesus was calling for a radical disruption of his religion, a great spiritual migration, and a similar disruption and migration are needed no less today in the religion that names itself after him. —Brian McLaren (Wednesday)
Life-threatening illness may cause people to question what they have accepted as unchanging. Values that have been passed down in a family for generations may be recognized as inadequate; lifelong beliefs about personal capacities or what is important may prove to be mistaken. —Rachel Naomi Remen (Thursday)
We only become enlightened as the ego dies to its pretenses, and we begin to be led by soul and Spirit. (Friday)
Practice: Being Present—The Greatest Challenge
While we may not be able to control if or when we are taken into a period of Disorder, we can prepare ourselves for it—not by tightening up our mental security system, but by releasing our need for control. We can, in the words of my friend James Finley, adopt “an inner stance that offers the least resistance to being overtaken by the God-given, godly nature of myself just the way I am.” We invite you to consider these suggestions from spiritual teacher Dr. Carolyn Baker.
[During chaos,] being present means that one is paying attention to what is happening in the moment. This does not mean forgetting about the past or future, but rather in the moment, fully attending to what is taking place right now. Being present also means being observant, listening carefully, not judging the situation or people in it, and being less occupied with thinking and more engaged in consciously being with whatever is occurring. It also means being embodied which does not mean that one must be aware of every body sensation at the time, but simply conscious of inhabiting one’s body. What is most useful in supporting that awareness is the breath. . . .
Breathing deeply assists us in centering ourselves in the physical body and staying in the moment as opposed to becoming lost in the mind, thereby disconnecting from our physicality. . . .
An especially helpful tool that can be utilized in present time while still available is body work. Body work can range from everything from martial arts, to yoga, to Rolfing, to Reiki, to bioenergetics, and more. Simple daily exercise, although extremely beneficial for the body, is not the same as therapeutic body work focused on fine tuning the body-mind connection. . . .
Disconnection from our bodies also compromises our ability to cope with emotions that will be evoked amid chaos. Conversely, grounding ourselves in the body is an extremely useful, even necessary skill when dealing with the upheavals of a world in crisis. When we are grounded in the body, we are more likely to be present to our own emotions and to those of others around us.
I hasten to add, however, that a treasure trove of emotional preparation in the here and now is available to us so that we may become increasingly embodied and familiar with our emotions. This means that well in advance of crises that have become ubiquitous, we begin now to cultivate emotional resilience and develop the skills necessary for navigating a vast social landscape that may be filled with internal and external psychological minefields.
Carolyn Baker, Navigating the Coming Chaos: A Handbook for Inner Transition (iUniverse: 2011), 78–79.
For Further Study:
Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness (Crown Publishing: 2018).
Brian D. McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World’s Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian (Convergent Books: 2016).
Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal (Riverhead Books: 2006, ©1996).
Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging (Riverhead Books: 2001).
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life (Jossey-Bass: 2011).
Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe (Convergent Books: 2019).
Richard Rohr, The Wisdom Pattern: Order–Disorder–Reorder (Franciscan Media: 2020).