Since I can remember, I’ve marveled at the stars that shine through the darkness of the night sky. They are always there. Yet, their radiance isn’t available to the naked eye until darkness. Their presence reminds me that I’m not alone, that there is something beyond what is visible. I don’t need to know anything about the stars to be in awe of our expansive universe. But if we choose to learn about them, the pleasure is infinitely greater and they can serve as a guide of time and a sense of direction.
Deep Living Lab began at the end of that tumultuous year, 2020, when we could not escape the blinding smoke from the wildfires in northern California nor the pain left by generations of racism, bitter politics, and a pandemic that had beset our planet. As we processed the personal and collective pain, we realized that we are as good as standing on the sidelines unless we take skillful action to stop the destruction to our souls and the planet. And yet skillful action must first begin within us. Our willingness to sit with the deepest parts of ourselves, allowing and accepting our thoughts, experiences, and sensations is our path.
Roxanne Howe-Murphy reminds us, “When we deny or judge any part of ourselves, we create a war within. We become divided against ourselves.”
No matter how removed we are from violence, destruction, or the harm of innocent individuals, we hold collective responsibility for these acts of humanity that polarize us from ourselves and from each other. We are in a unique moment of global conflict, yet when I look up at the sky I am reminded of the expansive beauty within and beyond the inhabitants of our precious home.