Welcome to Life in the Whirlwind

 

Please explore this space, which is here for your nourishment!
This project is dedicated to those who seek a life of
deeper participation in something bigger than ourselves.

Keep scrolling to find out more...

 

What is flourishing?

In the introduction to St Teresa of Avila's book The Interior Castle, translator Mirabai Starr writes this:

Listen. Softly, the One you love is calling. Listen... Be brave and walk through the country of your own wild heart. Be gentle and know that you know nothing. Be mindful and remember that every moment can be a prayer. Melting butter, scrambling eggs, lifting fork to mouth, praising God... Losing your temper and your dignity with someone you love, praising God. Balancing ecstasy with clear thinking, self-control with abandon. Be still. Listen. Keep walking.

This is a picture of flourishing in the everyday.

Flourishing is participation and openness in a continually unfolding process, no matter where you are or what you are doing. It involves the overlap of deep rootedness and a profound becoming all at the same time. It is dialectical, which means it can accept, hold, and observe many seemingly contradictory realities while also releasing things that no longer serve us.

Flourishing acknowledges and validates experiences of suffering, division, fear, prejudice, injustice, and fragmentation, and prompts those who benefit from the systems of this world to move toward those who are diminished and exploited by such powers. Flourishing does not permit any individual to escape from reality, but bestows dignity and invites refuge in the midst of reality. Soren Kierkegaard long ago described faith as being the practice of peace and rootedness which enables individuals and communities to stand firmly in rich, nourishing soil, even in the very eye of chaos. (This, in fact, is what the title of this project—Life in the Whirlwind—is all about!)

Flourishing is not the elevation of the individual, but the whole. Independent (for-the-person) flourishing that does not cultivate interdependent (for-the-whole) flourishing may be what we call the American Dream, but has very limited impact. We are all made to embody and enjoy both individual and communal wholeness. Just as a mother is only as happy as her least happy child, so an individual can only flourish as much as the least-allowed-to-flourish member of that community (local or global). Flourishing always embodies the truth that all lives are worthy of honor and dignity.

Flourishing is not automatic. There are practices and devotions involved, most of which connect us (again, both individually and communally) to ancient realities. Take this image of emerging fiddlehead ferns as a symbol. They need water, sunlight, and the ferns near them in order to unfurl and do well; but their flourishing also depends on nourishment from the soil and the steady rhythms of the earth itself. We, too, depend on both transient and timeless provisions to help us become who we are becoming. And because we are holistic beings, these resources work best when they incorporate all aspects of human beings– mind, body, heart, soul.

. . .

This project and all its resources are committed to nourishing conversations, which may guide you into deeper flourishing and becoming. Consider these resources an open door through which you (plural) may enter into the practice and embodiment of engaged participation in a monastic-like life. These practices will ideally yield further engagement with the life you are already living, not pull you into a more isolated, detached experience.

Since this is for you, please know how fully you are invited into participation in this space. Comment on blogs & podcast episodes. Send emails with your questions, ideas, and reflections. Enter into this conversation. Without you, it's just a monologue!

May your participation here impact you deeply and strengthen
all the communities in which you live, love, and become.


BLOG

Our blog is written by Heather Drew as well as other contributors from time to time. The original component of this overall project, the blog seeks to process thoughts, concepts, reflections, challenges, findings, etc. relevant to this community of readers & listeners. 

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PODCAST

Our weekly podcast is geared toward people who want to nourish themselves while also learning more about how to flourish & expand in the midst of the whirlwind of one's everyday life. Some are conversations, some are reflections, some integrate readings and practice ideas.

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