September 7, 2010

what lies ahead in revelry and grace

Following this post, I will begin the process of labeling each post as either a "restoration", "reflection", "creation" or "connection" (hence the tagline) so that the intention of this site can be more clear for myself and others. below is the long-winded story of how this blog came into being and what I hope for it to be.

I needed a place to put all of these thoughts so here goes ( I don't really expect you to read all of this but would of course be honored if you did):

In the fall of 2009 what began as insomnia and a cold, snowballed into a grueling episode of viral meningitis, including hospitalization and a lengthy recovery. as I worked to restore my physical health I also became aware of the inner work that was calling to be done in order to regain balance and recover from profound exhaustion, intense medical therapies, and long term pain.

Serendipitously, during my first ever blog surfing episode, I discovered Susannah Conway’s Unravelling course and through photography, writing, and connecting with others in the journey, I began to peel back the layers, and started the process of reconnecting and honoring myself, and breathing new energy into my creative endeavors.

During this journey, two words began to follow me, their intertwined, all-encompassing spirits continuing to catch my attention as I looked back, within, or forward. I committed them to paper and put them aside. it wasn’t until mid-summer that they knocked on the door again and asked for new life in their union- hence the birth of revelry and grace. parameters undefined, I granted them full access to my heart and mind, and soon afterwards decided that this space would be where their connection would come into light.

For me, what lies at the site of an intersection of "revelry" and "grace" are some of the greatest treasures we can stumble upon. it may happen when looking upon something as seemingly simple as sunlight and gentle breeze making its way through tender branches, or experiencing the moment when you can finally play a long practiced piece of music, or you witness yourself or someone else ascending into a handstand with ease. These moments often appear as fruits of our own labor or when acknowledging the hard work of others.

And yet at other times, these intersections are precious gifts from the beyond, a reward offered to us for simply being present, or “showing up”, no other “work” required. though it is challenging to capture the spirit of these moments, the intent of revelry and grace is to remind us to trust in the existence of such moments, commit to seeking them out, and invite them to take up residence in our lives. this site is not a place to only honor the celebrations of life but also the sometimes painful or complicated journey towards these celebrations.

As a small business developer, or as “someone who helps to birth and nurture dreams” as I prefer to call it, I am often helping clients to convey their mission, purpose, vision, etc… through the language of mission and vision statements, taglines, and bios. I generally ask them a series of provoking (agitating) questions to get at the heart of what is motivating them in their business and how they want to relay this to their future clients.

I would often tend to see this process as a relatively simple step-by-step procedure until the amorphous beautiful shape/meaning of revelry and grace began to visit me. These conventional processes of defining a vision that had worked for me in the past were now calling to be thrown out of the window. Instead, the language and meanings begun to visit me in their own time through dreams, in between states of consciousness, during walks in the woods or splashes in the bath tub.

I remembered how much I loved the (lengthy) process of naming my child, allowing myself to become completely entangled in webs of alliteration. joining words together to create what a new precious being would be called- it had to be a name of meaning, of beauty, part nature-part lullaby. and so the process of generating the tagline for revelry and grace was much more reminiscent of this type of experience. The following four simple words came to me finally, and sat down in front of me with remarkable ease and confidence: Restore. Reflect. Create. Connect. It was as if they were saying, “you need us. you have needed us, you will need us, and we are here to help you move your tired butt forward”.

I soon realized that within, and between these words, lay the vehicles for my heart’s intention within revelry and grace. I could begin to use them as filters through which I could process the swirling content of my inner life and translate it in a way that makes sense and adds meaning. I don’t hold any expectation or desire for life to fit neatly and only into one of these four realms. rather, I am looking for a way to identify, and give voice to, life experiences. I feel as if once we give them permission to “take up home” in one of these realms, then the experience is free to travel and gain more light through the other three, and yet each experience can still maintain a sense of identity and confidence in their own standing. for example, a work of art may be labeled as a “creation” while the process of creating it can be honored as an opportunity for "restoration”. A story of an interaction with a stranger may primarily be serving as a "reflection" but then becomes an opportunity for "connection".

On brene brown’s ordinary courage site, one day she shared that her counselor had helped her approach life through “integrating, not altercating” between various components/facets/experiences. I would take that a step further to say that revelry and grace advocates for working towards integration, while maintaining respect for boundaries and obstacles and the support/clarity that they can offer.

whew. it felt good to commit those words to screen and now ready to move on. the next post will start the cycle and be dedicated to "restoration". stay tuned....

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