We are excited to share with you the inaugural edition of Growing Edge. Our hope is to support your grounded and engaged spirituality as you take on the challenge of bringing about personal and cultural transformation–whether it is through your inner work, your ministry or your business. In it, we provide insight and practical opportunities to both nourish your spirit and encourage you to follow your dreams.
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by Denise Rushing
Sun, my sail and moon, my rudder,
As I ply the starry sea,
Leaning over the edge in wonder,
Casting questions into the deep.
Drifting here with my ship’s companions,
All we kindred pilgrim souls,
Making our way by the lights of the heavens,
In our beautiful blue boat home.
Blue Boat Home
Compassion is a gift, and thus both to offer and to receive compassion is a blessing. Paradoxically, by cultivating compassion, we also experience the pain of our world and the pain of others while at the same time living life more fully.
Cultivating compassion, as a practice, creates the conditions for positive change in our own lives. The decision to cultivate compassion, and the powerful practice of noticing but not judging, in itself creates good benefit.
Many communities around the globe are endorsing the International Charter for Compassion as a way to bring awareness to their own community and promoting the cultivation of community compassion through action. The Charter for Compassion is a worldwide effort launched by noted religious scholar Karen Armstrong and elaborated in her book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. The Charter for Compassion document, now translated into more than 30 languages, transcends religious, ideological and national difference, and is supported by many leading thinkers from many spiritual traditions. From the Charter:
As I see it, we need to ask ourselves in our deeds and in our language: What are we teaching our children about what it means to be human?
…The wide universe is the ocean I travel,
And the Earth is my blue boat home.
Denise Rushing has been empowering organizational and cultural transformation for over thirty years as an author, environmental engineer, entrepreneur, community leader and ecological designer. Visit her on the web at: www.DeniseRushing.net
by Loretta McCarthy
I decided to spend a few minutes each day being attentive to this circle and noticing what I saw with openness and wonder. Because I usually eat at least one meal each day at home, I chose to take my “cypress tree circle” time immediately after eating a meal. Varying the time of day literally brought a different light to each observation.
This is what I noticed:
- Spending five minutes outside after a meal can be as good as dessert. Maybe even better!
- Looking at the same space with open eyes and a soft gaze allowed me to see diversity within what seemed uniform. Rocks and twigs and walnut shells hidden in the midst of the more evident decaying leaves.
- After four days, the line I had drawn had almost disappeared.
- The choice to include this simple practice in my daily routine filled me with a new sense of anticipation and delight.
- Making a decision and faithfully following through with my choice brought a couple of surprises. An example is in the picture of my circle below:
You are invited into a SoulWork Adventure of your own!
Tell a friend about your experience. Invite them to embark on their own SoulWork Adventure.
Loretta McCarthy is deeply engaged in tending and cultivating the garden of her own soul and empowering others to do the same. For decades, Loretta ministered as a spiritual companion and retreat facilitator, primarily in urban settings. Today, she cares for the trees, the chickens and other living beings at Dancing TreePeople Farm. Loretta offers SoulWork Adventures for groups and individuals.