Reclaiming our place in the world
“I think of cancer as a teacher that was not invited, but has come to my house to visit from time to time nonetheless. It sits on my left side whispering insistent questions that I cannot answer but still must explore: Who am I when I stop doing, when I am not a caretaker as my mother was, or a boss as my father was? What have I come here to give? What is unfinished for me to learn, to experience? Am I leaving a legacy that enables others to live bigger lives than I have?…..But you don’t have to be in a life-threatening situation to want to delve into this kind of inquiry. Some of us are called to it by numbness, fatigue, or boredom. Some of us have the sense that we’re not using ourselves to the utmost. Even at their happiest moments, others feel something is missing.”
(from I will not live an unlived life, by Dawna Markova)
In this wonderful book, Dawna Markova explores questions about life and meaning. She reminds us that we can only know our truth when we slow down and be in our own quiet company.
This season of dying called Autumn, and the imminent approach of Winter provide us with such an opportunity. With this in mind, I invite you to spend a day walking, sitting and being on the beautiful golden slopes of Ben Bulben.
In his book ‘Wild Mind’, Bill Plotkin uses the term ‘Loyal Soldiers’ to describe the aspects of our personalities which are formed in early childhood in response to physical, psychological or social wounding or threat. Examples include how we learned to suppress our natural exuberance, emotions and desires so that we could fit in to the expectations of our parents and others. Harsh self-criticism, false self-flattery, placing our own agenda last, suppressing our wildness are some of the ways we learn as children to deal with our environment.
Now is the time to stop and wonder if we are still using some of these methods as adults, methods which served us well as children but as adults restrain us and stunt our wellbeing. This day together can begin the discovery for you and will provide an environment where you can ask questions and receive some guidelines on the way forward in the company of the ‘more than human’ world. The day will include input, time alone, group sharing and experimental work which will inform you as you approach the season of winter, a time to stop and look inward.
In the event of unsuitable weather conditions, an indoor venue will be available. Please dress in several layers and bring a waterproof jacket and trousers if possible. Bring a notebook and pen, and a packed lunch with a hot drink.
Date: Sunday 15th November
Cost: 50 euro or whatever you can afford
Booking: Peter Devlin on 086-3663276 or [email protected]
Venue: Slopes of Ben Bulben
Meeting point: car park of Henry’s restaurant on main Sligo-Bundoran Road, 7 miles from Sligo on right hand side,( or 3 miles from Grange on left hand side if coming from Bundoran) at 9:45.
Referring to the harsh winter of the American mid-west, Parker Palmer says: “If you live here long, you learn that a daily walk into the winter world will fortify the spirit by taking you boldly to the very heart of the season you fear.” (Let your life speak)