Greetings, Friends –
This morning I reread MLK’s “I Have a Dream“ speech and was reflecting on what has changed from 1963 to the present 2018. I was feeling sad that the dream is still one to which we aspire and have a great deal of work to do in order to realize. And then I reminded myself of Aleut Elder Larry Merculieff’s wisdom and watched It’s All About Relationship to redirect my thoughts. I highly encourage you to watch his six minute piece before reading on.
What are you choosing to focus on?
Are you choosing to focus on what you’re trying to move away from? … Or are you choosing to focus on what you’re trying to move towards? No matter how well-intentioned I am, if I am focused on what I’m trying to move away from, I’m compounding the negative energy by participating in it in a negative way – I’m adding to that destruction. – Larry Merculieff
My most recent employment was coordinating a wellness coalition in Homer, AK. It’s pretty cool to get paid to do what you enjoy doing – thinking and learning about well-being, working at the community level to improve systems for everyone’s benefit. Soon after starting this job, I gave birth to Olivine and HOLY COW! Got my very own 24-hour experiment in well-being to figure out ‘off-the-job’ at home. This juxtaposition of investigating community-level wellness while simultaneously living my crash course in individual+family-level wellness created the perfect segue to farming in Illinois.
How so, you might ask? Well, long story long… while I value the role of community-level efforts (and still have a hard time turning systems-level thinking off in my brain), I realized that it can also provide a lovely distraction to the first order of business – taking care of your self. (Cue the flight attendants so they can remind us to put our own oxygen mask on before assisting with other’s). It’s a lot easier to try and fix other peoples’ problems than your own, right?! It doesn’t help that we are bombarded with media that constantly reminds us of the problems in the world and states of being from which we are trying to move away.
Being in the parent role gave me a fresh new mirror that reflected quite a few things that I didn’t like. As Larry eloquently articulates, You can’t create anything on the outside until you’ve created it on the inside first. Shucks. I could not ignore the realization that I needed to get to work on my self. And Wow! What headway we could make if we all knew how to take care of our selves – to reactivate our inherent intelligence, as Larry puts it, tune in to our emotions and reconnect with our spirits!
So, here I am. With my incredibly supportive husband (see! he’s even willing to sport some pipe-cleaner heart glasses!) And our two kiddos. And two farm cats. And my parents down the road.
Conducting an experiment in self and family-care and focusing on the things that I want to move towards. It’s helpful to start paying attention to the things that are beautiful instead of the things that drive me crazy… as I am frequently reminded how much beauty there is.
Thanks to Dr. Becky Bailey and Conscious Discipline, I have a prop to remind myself to see the best in others and to see the best in my self (heart glasses). To see through the eyes of spirit. This is my dream! And I believe would enable us to realize MLK’s dream, too!
This post topic was truly inspired by reading MLK’s speech this morning and had not made the draft list of blog topics. In true Megan fashion – it’s not unlike me to show my cards. Everywhere you go, there you are! Steve will be posting soon on the process/philosophy of renovating an old building – so if spirit and beauty talk doesn’t grab you, then perhaps dealing with raccoon poop will. Just kidding… it is so much more than raccoon poop. Hope you’ll join us!