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Image of the Carina Nebula

“If your heart doesn’t break by the hurt that is occurring, you’ve either become too numb or too angry. In either state, there isn’t too much that can be done…. There’s a lot territory between numbness and anger. In that territory is grief. We need to ride it, like we may on a body of water. ”

– Norma Wong

Many of us are traversing this territory between numbness and anger, “search[ing] for the boundary between lost hope and unrelenting despair,” as Zulayka Santiago named during the racial justice uprisings of 2020 while pondering the end of hope. We have our eyes on the stars and nebula, our feet skimming the distance between land and water, seeking guidance, connection, and pathways clear of brambles and thorns that curve towards our imagined future with joy. In our bodies, we may feel it, this grief we need to honor and ride with fluidity and purpose, while we bask in the possibility of ourselves and our relationships, so we may journey onward with clarity, creativity, and courage—for the long haul.  

Riding these waves takes doing our individual and collective inner work—the healing, reflection, rest, and growth that we need to show up as fully resourced people with clarity, creativity, and courage. Our staff has curated a few baskets of offerings—meditations, exercises, music, and art—that we hope help you care for yourself, build space to ride the grief, and experience joy, as we move through this leg of the journey. 

What the Planet(s) Know

Collaborating with CompassPoint and the Network Weaver Learning Lab, we developed a deck of cards, “Weaving Together a World Without Violence Medicine Deck: Invocations, principles, ingredients, and recipes.” We pulled this card from the deck, which asks us to reflect on how our relationships to self, sky, and earth, and imagine what honoring our deep connection could look like.

Find free access to the full deck here, and learn more about the Network Weaver Learning Lab.

This month Just Wonderful Space Telescope released never before seen photographs, “a glittering landscape of star birth.” What can these stars and their systems, galaxies, and nebula teach us about connection, refraction, and calling light in from the future?

Breath is/as a Portal

Drawing Your Breath practice: 

As learned from one staff member’s seven-year-old, because our descendants know the way. 

  • Notice the rhythm, depth, and width of your breath. 
  • In a continuous line, draw your breath following the rhythm. 
  • Other additions: close your eyes,  purposefully speed up, and/or shift the breath in other ways.  
  • Reflect on the image. 

Straw Breath practice:

  • Inhale normally and naturally.
  • Exhale fully through a plastic drinking straw—make sure you have exhaled all of the air out of your lungs. 
  • Inhale normally (not through the straw).
  • Exhale fully out of the straw.
  • Repeat this exercise for a few minutes.

Nourishing Tendrils

Here is a list of music, art, and food that have been figuratively (and literally) filling our cups these days!

Explore the work of Elizabeth Catlett
  • Watch Lyla June’s music video for “Time Traveler (feat. Desirae Harp).” 
  • Sign up for the “Poem-a-Day” email for a daily deposit of beauty in your inbox. 
  • One staff member shares their Auntie Irene’s Noodle Soup recipe: grab some carrots, celery, and onion, chop them up and put them into a pot with oil and fry them a bit. Pour in chicken or veggie broth and add some shredded leftover rotisserie chicken (beans or tofu could also work) and frozen peas. Add in some broken and boiled angel hair pasta. Stir in lots of chopped parsley, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.

Further Inner Work Resources from the Archives

We hope you join us in turning up the volume, grounding in the earth (and the stars), and honoring yourself and those around you as we wade through it all. We are glad to be in this work with you, however hard, the work of prefiguring a world of love, dignity, and justice for us all. 

Header image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

1 thought on “Inner Work: Intactness for the Long Haul

  1. James Webb was a notorious homophobe who led the “lavender scare” in the 60’s, ruining the lives of queer folks. There is a campaign to remove his name from the telescope. NASA refuses to change for now, so folks are responding by refusing to acknowledge him, referring to it as JWST or the Just Wonderful Space Telescope. Please show support to this campaign by removing Webb’s name from any mention of the telescope. 🙏🏽

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