As compassionate, sensitive, open people, we can all be overcome by the magnitude of the losses we
see every day. Even the most optimistic among us will be affected by the staggering losses and the daily affronts to our values, sensibilities, and even our sanity.
It is painful. So painful that sometimes we are tempted to close up rather than live from the heart.
Joanna Macy and her "work that Reconnects" asserts that we ought not be afraid of the pain of the world.
If you are not afraid of it, then NOTHING can stop you.
Just days after we returned home to Lake County, we were evacuated for 12 days due to the Ranch fire. We worried about the loss of our place and struggled with the nearly unbreathable air.
I was reminded of the greatest gift of all from the jungle--the gift of LIFE.... of breath, remembering how easy it was to breathe there. The comparison will inform my work for years to come.
Which future world do we want to create?
Charles Eisenstein (author of The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible) says this:
“Is it too much to ask, to live in a world where our human gifts go toward the benefit of all? Where our daily activities contribute to the healing of the biosphere and the well-being of other people?”
The lessons from Pachamama suggest that it is possible to live meaningful life and create a just and sustainable planet. To create "the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible," we must commit to it and embrace the adventure.
How would we do this? …
Renee died very peacefully this evening at 8:44pm Thanks to all for your love and prayers as we send her on her way.
In love and gratitude,
Below is her obituary and here is a brief clip of Renee's own thoughts on death and dying...
Born: March 11. 1944 Died: May 12, 2007
Renee Shields, resident and teacher in Upper Lake, CA, died on May 12, 2007 from cancer. She was 63 years old.
Renee was born Lorraine Gail Shields, in Merced, California on March 11, 1944. She entered religious life as a Sister of the Holy Family in 1963, taking the name Sister Mary Renee, and remained in religious life for 30 years. She left the convent and entered into a committed partnership with Denise Rushing in 1993 and helped raise two children: Brian Rushing, now 24, and Teresa Rushing, now 22.
Renee taught Special Education at Upper Lake High School and was a licensed family counselor. She held two Masters Degrees: One in counseling fr…