Tag Archive: Mary Oliver

February 12, 2014

Networks for Change: Growing Gratitude

“Grateful living brings in place of greed: sharing; in place of oppression: respect; in place of violence: peace. Who does not long for a world of sharing, mutual respect, and peace?”

Brother David Steindl Rast

The research on the role of gratitude in supporting social resilience and thriving is quite compelling. According to the Greater Good Science Center, those who have a higher gratitude quotient or a regular practice of listing and thinking about gratitudes have been shown to experience the most significant boosts in happiness and fewer bouts of illness, have stronger social bonds in one-on-one relationships and with communities, and tend to be more generous. Connected to a host of other related positive emotions, gratitude is also shown to boost people’s willingness to reach out and connect with others, including across lines of difference, to see possibility more expansively, and to maintain a general spirit of openness. What’s not to like about gratitude?

Now imagine gratitude for one multiplied many times over in an ecosystem of social interactions and connections – that is, in a network. Read More

June 5, 2013

Keep Dancing

Dancing Feet

|Photo by Joanna DeSilva|http://www.flickr.com/photos/22699882@N05/3925277668/in/photolist-6YS5ib-731gRb-7xiBcx-a1ytiD-7CaEeJ-ajVWkp-98jyKZ-dpFP4y-a4Kv9w-a8mSWm-a4Kth5-c3wLoG-7UDmJg-cJkmD7-7MfYHF|

I read a quote earlier this week that I had seen before that went something like, “We need to act our way into a new way of thinking.” Indeed, increasingly what seems to be called for is the practice of prototyping and risk-taking, breaking the more linear and often drawn out process of plan-act-reflect-refine. This poem by Mary Oliver, from her book A Thousand Mornings, captures something of this spirit for me: Read More

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May 24, 2010

Poetry and Space That Matters


|Photo by cat's_101|http://www.flickr.com/photos/danseprofane/4349608/|

On the heels of a very rich Whole Measures training last week, along with a beautiful weekend spent largely outdoors, I have been reminded of the power of poetry and paying attention as means of creating individual and social shifts.  As part of our opening during last week’s training, we invited pairs to read a selected poem to one another, paying attention to any feeling they had in their bodies while doing so, and then speaking to their partners and then the whole group about the impressions with which they were left.  The exercise was a great illustration of how we can tap into the different dimensions of social space to open people to new ways of seeing, being, and doing, and to what really matters most.  So what better way to start off the week than with a little poetry that speaks to what is simultaneously obvious and often missed in our lives?
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