Tag Archives: Mission

Mission: Questions on Being All In

FlagsMusings on Independence Day, July 4, started this post.  What of this closing line in the Declaration of Independence?  ” . . .with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”   Two hundred and forty years ago, these 56 men were all in.

What about today?  Am I all in on the missions and responsibilities I hold most urgent and dear.  With my life, my fortune, and sacred honor?

I play with the notion of this destiny, relying on divine Providence to go all in on climate change solutions and salvaging a livable world.  But truthfully I haven’t had the courage to fully imagine the steps and the elegant possibilities.

I talk to myself of balance.  And financial responsibilities.  And relational ties.  Of my current pleasures.  Am I falsely or correctly assuming their mutual exclusivity with “being all in?”

Is my reluctance a question of historical timing and the relative magnitude of world crises?  Maybe.  Although so many issues: climate, poverty, injustice -scream for full commitment.

What about my personal path?   My personal timing?  Is “all in” what’s meant to be?   I sit in initial conversation with my Soul.

Rare are the people I personally know who have chosen the path of full immersion.    They command my respect.

Meanwhile I take a step in that direction, carrying questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission: Pushing the Envelope with Friends

CCL Washington DCIt was spring, 2016, and I knew I had to transform my grief.  My heart was overwhelmed with daunting climate change reports: bleached coral reefs, melting permafrost, methane monsters, extreme weather events, and climate refugees.  Beyond lightening my own carbon footprint, I felt paralyzed.

Then one fortuitous day, I found Citizens’ Climate Lobby via Facebook.  After reading about CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal at citizensclimatelobby.org, I decided to risk stepping out of my introverted comfort zone to check out my closest active CCL chapter, which is an hour’s drive away in Fayetteville.   That decision and the warm welcome I received from the wonderful folks who make up CCL Fayetteville, changed my life.   Becoming active in CCL has transfigured my heartbreak into hope, pragmatic optimism, and enthusiasm.

I’ve read about many courageous and innovative climate change actions unfolding around the world.  There is so much good work to be celebrated; perhaps you are part of such a group effort or are diligently undertaking your own climate mission.  Certainly both personal and broader public efforts are essential!  I would love to hear about your passion,  your vision, your message, and your efforts.

From June 19th – 21st, eleven of us (students, business people, teachers, retirees) from Arkansas joined with 1000 other CCL’ers in Washington D.C. to hone our knowledge and advocacy skills and to meet with members of Congress.  The energy of togetherness, responsibility, and possibility in the conference gatherings was electrifying!  Still, I was a little nervous. Never in my life had I envisioned myself walking through the Hart Senate Office building or crowding into a conference room in the Longworth House Office Building to speak up for the planet, myself, and my fellow human beings!  Yet there I was (despite the butterflies in my stomach)  with an inspired team of Arkansas CCL’ers  (I can’t emphasize the enjoyable, heart-full, intelligent nature of this team enough) engaging with Congressional representatives and staff in earnest dialogue.

Now here I am back home in the beautiful Ozarks.  The physical, scientific facts of climate change still stand stark.  But I’m energized to go forward, pushing the envelope of my personal comfort zone, in concert with my CCL colleagues, to bring about climate change solution legislation and a measure of healing to our home.  That feels good.

 

 

 

 

Mission: Sleeping (and living) well with the Unexpected

fire deptThe second day after arriving at my new home last November a neighbor asked me to join the volunteer fire department.  Lacking training, I wouldn’t need to do any actual fire fighting, the neighbor explained.  Just traffic control for roadway accidents and other unfortunate events occurring within this stretch of the Ozarks known as Inspiration Point.

I like to lend a helping hand when asked, but this request seemed way out of my league. I didn’t know anything about using radios or directing traffic. The many county roads shooting off like twisting branches from the equally winding highway within the Fire Department’s (IPFD) territory were a mystery to me.  Furthermore I generally tend to safeguard my non-working time, and, at that point, I definitely preferred known and steady rhythms to Unexpected’s chaos.

I can’t explain why, but on that November day, with only a few moments deliberation, I stepped beyond my comfort zone and answered my neighbor with a “yes.”

Have you recently jumped beyond your usual ring-pass-not?  What has your experience been?.

In my case, suddenly the unpredictable and I were linked via radio and phone.   My car trunk was loaded with a stop/slow sign, reflective vest, light batons, and a military surplus winter jacket from the war in Afghanistan now marked with the IPFD logo.

Initially I worried while I slept.  Worried that I wouldn’t hear the tone out.  Worried that I wouldn’t correctly decipher the dispatchers fuzzy reading of the location and event.  I wondered what I had gotten myself into.   I wondered if I should get myself out, but I’ve stayed.

In doing so I’ve developed an easier alliance with the unexpected. I’ve learned to appreciate the self-confidence and agility simultaneously required and forged in chaos. I’ve come to sleep peacefully knowing full well that my phone’s most interrupting ringtone might yank me from a dream and send me rushing into the night.

I’m glad for the small community service I’ve provided via the IPFD.  I’m grateful for the many experienced volunteers who have helped me along the way and for the transferable strength I’ve gained. After all, a chosen mission — be it responding to a car accident, cultivating a business, tending a friendship, following one’s creative passion, pursuing a spiritual path or living a meaningful existence — necessitates stepping beyond the usual and becoming comfortable with the challenges and gifts of the Unexpected.

Mission: Countering Great Destruction with Small Commitments

Carroll Electric EquipmentCarroll Electric rolled into the neighborhood last week.  With mechanically-armed saw blades whirring and spinning, they summarily cleared “their” right-of-ways of offending trees. Leaving the ripe scent and shock of countless destroyed cedars in their wake.  Mission accomplished. Power supply preserved.

Frustration abounds locally at Carroll Electric’s management and operational practices.  I’m none too happy with them. Still for the many of us not yet on solar they do keep the lights on, albeit with a profit-conscious heavy hand.

Carroll Electric Destruction

As I’ve mourned the lost trees and scarred hillsides, I’ve also wondered at my own profession.  I do my best to treat my customers well, as living individuals, not numbers.  But am I any less earth-destructive than Carroll Electric in my years of selling labor and resource-laden I Phones, Galaxies, Turbos, Tablets, Modems, Routers, DVR’s?

I have a friend who once declared that she wasn’t going to take up any job that would harm people, animals or the Earth.  She was unemployed for a very long time.  Indeed today’s economy essentially demands participation in a production/consumption lockstep that damages our planetary home and cuts ever so anonymously and lethally at our biological and spiritual connection with Nature.

I don’t have an answer for this circumstance.  Except to claim and commit daily to a counter mission.  To consume lightly. To place faith in Life’s abundance.  And to direct effort, time, passion, and care each day into something that heals, inspires, and spreads hope.  Something as small as touching the Earth and singing a prayer. Something as real as holding hands with a friend.  As frugal as finding a $4 skirt at the thrift shop. As important as speaking truth that activates change. Something that calls one back into the center of the Heart.  Into Wisdom’s Energy.

Garden Snail Shell

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