This last month has brought about the turmoil of feelings, discussions, processes and internal work in order to bring the question of how is my ministry sustainable to some conclusion. Formulating my lack of clarity into thoughts, thoughts into words, and words into descriptions has been a journey. The effects of this process does seem to have had resulted in a deeper strength of commitment and understanding of myself, my life’s journey and my ministry’s goals. Above all I wish to commit and walk in a world that gives support and evolves into a more loving and compassionate existence.
When Ryan initially inquired into how my ministry was sustainable, during the conference call, I was pretty much dumbfounded. How can my service be sustainable? Most of my previous discussions on sustainability have surrounded “green concepts”; the development and practice of an awareness of my impact in the global world. The consideration of scarcity, of replacing not just removing, of compassion for others needs over our own, and our ongoing support of our Earth Mother are all essential components for the conservation of energy, food, and earth management. These all make sense and have deliberated over and over to most living consuming humans.
I believe these concepts are more and more supportive by all whether these are concerns of one’s hearts or the result of financial constraints. We hear more and more about gardens being incorporated even in city dwellings, cooking and baking being considerations versus relying on packaged foods and a heightened questioning of what is in foods, medicines, treated toys and clothes. In many conversations you begin to hear an awareness of a lost world once known (richer soil, healthier people, cleaner water, more game, less crime, less addiction, more beauty, less pollution …). But I believe that Ryan was asking an even more baffling question and I relate my response to those “invisible structures” he also described.
Those unseen structures that hold and guide action, thought and forward movement. To me my truths, guiding forces, core beliefs include truth, equality, fairness, compassion, love, strength, and kindness. Why I began and continue this life with such a strong stance and have always seen the world differently than many (or so I am told) is unclear. But here I am and through all my experiences and healings, these are the energies I identify with, honor each day, wish to hold in my being and provide to others. This is my ministry whether it is in discussions, healings, prayers, or acknowledgements.
I have long fought the concepts of “this is the way it is”, “this defines what is being presented”, and “why bother”. To me there exists no “throwaways” (this maybe the connection with the green concepts). People, like objects may need support to be clarified, recycled, added to but all hold the core of substance that is important and special. My opinion, belief, ministry is to be part of the “invisible structures” described by Ryan. The views I incorporate into my healing practice that support my belief are empowerment, hope, options, acceptance, peace and relaxation.
The “Mother culture” noted in My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is so strong, that it has taken me over 6 years to reduce its voice to a mere murmur of judgments, categories and expectations. A recent client asked me “what have your gained from all your studies?’ and after several standard questions, then finally quiet contemplation, the answer which came was “to be where people are”. For this is the only stance to take in the healing arts, and more surely my ministry, it is only from this view shifts can occur. My ministry is to provide a loving and compassionate space for people and their desired shifts.
And as Ryan also reported many of us have forgotten how to sustain a culture. This is true, many of us have never lived in a family, community, government, or culture which has supported to there depths the concepts of truth, equality, fairness, compassion, love, strength, kindness and service. An example of how far we have “lost our way”, in my opinion, are businesses who report “it not personal, its only business”. I have never understood that comment and seem only baffled that the impact of such as statement is not seen.
Many of the concepts and beliefs I carry in my ministry have been with me for as long as I can remember. Even though I have live in a confusing culture, my life experiences have often strengthens my beliefs. These life experiences have included an awareness of the results of lies, the effect of not holding to one’s word, the impact of standards that only maintained roles, careers, and procedures, and the loss of not looking “outside the box”. Other experiences have included the apparent lack of seeing the impact of one’s actions, the lack of protecting our weakest members, and the decision of sole gain over a community, all of these experiences have not only highlighted my awareness but have also given me the experiences of living, feeling and seeing both sides of many situations and wonderment.
In my culture of being an American, we often speak of values but there always seems to be a turn of events, oversight, outright denial, … which only results in a view that these concepts as unattainable goals. Goals for whatever reason seem to lack the necessary “energy, invisible structure” for them to become and remain our guiding decision makers. Clearly this lack of commitment to these values has brought us to this point in time when all institutions, reputations, and statements are under constant criticism, loss of hope, and loss of acceptance. But we are in moments of prime change. Open and raw wounds can be seen in most spheres of our world. And maybe that is why many of us are here now, to hold the invisible structure that will allow for progressive movement forward. Status quo is not enough, responsibility for all is essential, fearlessness is imperative, commitment to a global community is necessary.
My ministry/walk/service is one step forward to this end. My ministry/walk/service is to move into focus the concepts of hope, optimism, and reconnection to the inner peace and being of each person I connect with. The movements to all the next steps are theirs. This is my service and my prayer.