What helps me navigate through these dark times is the process of keeping an “open” heart.
Years ago we started a coalition of Ohio peace-making groups called OPEN (Ohio Peacemaking Education Network). The range of participants was extensive. Folks working against violence at home and abroad, folks educating each other in conflict resolution, folks remembering Sadako’s story of a thousand cranes, others working on transcultural and interdenominational understanding, anti racism educators and inter generational memory keepers working to never forget the horrors of the holocaust, mental health and disability advocates, and activists working against homelessness and exclusion of gay folks. Together we worked and on addiction recovery programs and many more needed changes. Lots of people of good will, intent on transforming boundaries into bridges.
In the year 2000 some of us created the Tyrian Network, a learning community whose mission continues to be to empower creativity healing and peace.
Then in 2002, after our Danube 7 ordination, Renie and other friends began to gather at monthly First Friday agape meals to learn about heart-based spiritualities and other ways to participate personally and politically by heart ❤️.
Over time we learned that open heart process is about trading fear for vulnerability and finding the courage to soften hardened hearts. We also came to value the present moment and change, rather than fear uncertainty.
Just recently I learned from Pema Chödrön a the simple way to find my way to reality. When depressed, fearful or anxious, just pause… take 3 deep breaths. Simple breath will bring you to the present moment where we can usually find something real to be grateful for.