Over the last several weeks, I have been listening to a short podcast series from OnBeing about their “Foundations.” As the OnBeing Foundation makes a bit of a shift of their show offerings, they wanted to start this shift with four foundational ideas that have emerged through their decades of being on the air. You can listen to the podcast episodes here
I am going to reflect upon each of them in the coming days because each podcast was deeply meaningful to me and I wanted to process them a bit. The first of the foundations was “Seeing the generative story of our time.”
What I hear in this statement is to have ourselves open to a story of growth and possibility even in the midst of the very real trials that our societies and world are going through right now. It isn’t denying the struggles and pain of the world but it is not getting stuck seeing only that. It is seeing these struggles and pain as part of the larger whole all around us.
In the contemplative photography courses that I lead I often use a simple two word phrase…see more. My experience with photography over the last nine years has helped me to recognize this truth. My practice of exploring life through the lens of a camera has, ironically enough, helped me to see more, see wider, see bigger. It has deepened my experience of my emotions and depth of faith and spirituality. But it isn’t the photographs per se but the experience of being intentionally aware of what is around me. It isn’t simply going through life on auto-pilot but being mindful of the choices of what I focus upon.
This foundation feels like this photograph that from a few mornings ago.
I don’t see this photo as an either/or – which are you? Are you the tree that is still in full or the one that is down to the branches? Instead, I feel this photograph is a both/and – both trees together, both trees silhouetted by the morning sun, and both trees parts of one story. I loved what Krista Tippett said in this episode…
Even with the magnitude of what is before us, we are equipped in a way previous generations of humans have not been, with knowledge that can be a form of agency: to become more conscious, to become more aware, to take ourselves more seriously, to act like the ecosystem the world needs us to be — sharing what we are seeing, finding ways to share what we are learning, joining our vulnerabilities, and joining our flourishing.
Joining our vulnerabilities and joining our flourishing. Yes. Both are a part of the generative story of our time.