Happy July Daily Actors!
Are you feeling the summertime vibes or what? Halfway through the year, now is a perfect time to pause, soak in life and reflect. To provide some fodder for your reflections, we’re kicking off a four-part theme for the next four months leading into Ripple the World on Oct 27th – reverence, ripples, relations and resilience. These four words represent core aspects of our workto inspire transformation that creates more nourishing, just and resilient lives and communities. It all starts with reverence in our hearts. THIS is the not so top-secret source of our inspiration. Could you use a bit more reverence to power your daily actions?
It took some time to realize that reverence for me was true north. It’s the depth and levity of the word, how it sits on my tongue and moves through my insides like wind chimes in a soft breeze. It’s that state of awe where for a moment you are timeless and mindless, yet fully present and connect to that stunning sunset, that celebration of love and life, a patch of dappled forest light or a newborn baby’s eyes. Of the many possible ways to describe and define reverence, what has resonated most powerfully to me and has acted as a compass and guide, are the words of Deng Ming Dao who wrote, “The stately determination to make something worthy of the materials and the moment is reverence.”
The first time I read this, sitting on a small wooden stool for my morning meditation, I felt a spark. I felt reverence not just as a sublime moment, but also as an engaged state of being – aware of both the gift of that moment and the potential of any given moment when reverence is a determined intent.
In a world full of so much noise, suffering and concern about our imperiled future, it’s easy to get confused, overwhelmed or disempowered. But from reverence we can grow more aware, and better care for the many unseen things that nourish us, our relations, and life. Regardless of the concern in our heart and mind, habituating a reverent intent helps one choose our attitude and emotional tone when navigating life’s challenges. It helps us focus on the highest potential of the moment, while inviting in a sense of awe and wonder. When not fully present in this way, it’s easy to miss what is significant in the moment-to-moment unfolding of our lives and this beauteous living, breathing world around us.
Gary Zukav writes,“As you acquire a sense of reverence, you develop the capacity to think more deeply about the value of Life before you commit your energy to action.”When reverently present, we can see, hear, and think more clearly. We can better hold the hurt in our hearts, while taking action to transcend the unconscious conditioning causing so much harm.Experiencing such wonder and dismay at the beauty and hurt in our lives and world is what has long compelled us daily actors to act and share and support others to do the same. From small acts of transformation in our hearts, minds, and daily actions we begin to transform our lives, homes, gardens, relationships, and communities.
With a sense of deep of respect and awe for this precious, life-making planet, we grow renewed with an enhanced capacity to fully experience life. This infuses us with not just the power to take action but to sustain our efforts over years and decades. Since reverence found me that day on my stool, a reverent intent has become habit, guiding me through thousands of hours meditating on how to make the most of the materials and the moment in all aspects of life. But starting small helps. Pick any daily act that you habitually do, waking up, your morning tea, making your to-do list. Turn this act into a cue that imbues the moment with a sense of reverence and brings this question to heart and mind, “How can I make the most of this moment?” This second step is the routine you seek to habituate. Lastly, FEEEEEL the reward of this cued routine to help your brain know this is worthy of a new habit. Feel that sense of lightness, wonder and connection to something larger. Affirm your faith in the power of a reverential intent for making the most of any given moment. And there you have it, you’re on your way to a ritualized routine of reverence.
To make something worthy of the materials and the moment is of course a lifelong practice. But our call is much greater than that. As Wendell Berry wrote, “It is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.” What more perfect virtue than reverence for this big moment, so full of beauty and hurt, crisis and opportunity?
Is there a place in your heart, mind, and daily actions for a bit more reverence? Where might you be able to infuse some reverent intent into your moments, your meetings, your everything? Breathe this in. Smell, touch and taste it, HERE, in this moment. Can’t you just feel that little spark rekindling your reverential connection to life’s flourishing wonderment?
When we approach with reverence,
great things decide to approach us.
Our real life comes to the surface and its light
awakens the concealed beauty in things.