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Shifting the Story - Part One

I come from belonging in the cosmos…and so do you.

This phrase mimics the impish wisdom of a friend, LaTanya Wilson, who is known for saying with just the right timing: I am God’s favorite…






….and so are you. The incongruity of the first clause surprises. Does God really have favorites!??! The right-lengthy pause before the final clause closes the circle of wisdom with God is Love, in all and for all.

So when I, with tears drying on my face, sat with a circle of Fire&Water friends, trying to name the gift of the tears that had erupted deep within me? I come from belonging in the cosmos….as so do you were the words that came out.

We were being given an overview of “spiral dynamics,” i.e. integrative work of Ken Wilber, with others’ voices in the conversation woven in. The spiral was given a fundamental, deeply resonant shift, however, which instigated the tears of recognition within me.

Instead of beginning with the basic needs of the individual, noted in the color brown, this community mama (Quanita Roberson) said the spiral begins in the collective, in the community. Most spiral dynamics thinkers track the conscious development of the individual, dissociated from the community, arguably even the body. Giving the spiral an origin’s twist in the color black, a nice nod to Mother Africa, she said, “We come from the community, from the collective. And they are always at our backs.”

This is where the tears erupted in me, which I let flow–a choiceless choice–even as I held my voice back too. She felt the emotional energy, however, so invited me to say a few words about the tears.

Separation has been the primary story of my life, undergirded by an elegant, even beautiful (Protestant) Christian architecture. Sub-structure some might call “doctrine” but that’s too cognitive, simplistic. It was/is in everything, most particularly in our bodies.

No shame, blame, guilt or foul…I was physically weaned from visceral connection to my mother at one month of age, I learned recently. My ancestral lineage is largely viscerally dissociated, enforced with imputed shames handed down for generations. I ingested those so deeply that when I was gifted with a most amazing body-awakening at age 7, I knew to hold it quietly within me. Age 7. The wisdom of which was confirmed by my father when we touched on the story four decades later. “The father I was? I would not have handled that well,” he said. I ritually dissociated from my own body at age 17, a proto-feminist even then (honoring the power of ritual).

Such is the gift, the seed, of my life’s work: reclaiming the body with a community that can witness/receive, reuniting all that's been separated. An abundant, stunningly beautiful life it’s been, and hopefully will continue to be, for as long as Spirit invites.

Except the root story is only partially True. The stars winked at me when I was born.

And none of us can stay within partial truths forever…

(Stay tuned – Part Two, “Staying and Un-Staying”)

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