Some people are travelers. They love going out into the world, seeing new places, learning new languages and discovering different cultures. When I see the photographs from other lands, I find myself curious and interested. However, I seem to be someone who is more inclined to travel the vast inner landscapes of the world.
For more than thirty years, a significant amount of my time has been spent sitting in a circle, listening to people reveal and share their stories. A majority of those circles have been in the same room. Sure there has been some refreshing of the carpet, the art on the walls and a new paint job. Plus, the ages and faces have changed over the years. But that circle has stayed the same.
For me, it has been the center of amazing journeys. The stories people share have taken me to dark caves, vast oceans, difficult interactions, impossible circumstances. The joys, sorrows, demons, and angels of those that come to the circle, are profound.
Out in the world, differences seem to be dividing us, separating us and there doesn’t seem to be a path to connect. Yet, whenever I arrive for the first night of a Come Alive at The Haven, I am reminded that we as human beings are innately relational. My experience has provided me with proof that people can, and do, find ways to courageously connect, even through immense pain and insurmountable differences.
Often someone will ask, “Why don’t you move the circle outside?” There are days where it would be quite wonderful to sit out on the land. Nature is an amazing healer and does often play a significant part for people during the breaks. However, I get sometimes it is the simple act of sitting, without distraction, in a circle that can lead to an opening that otherwise is all too easy to avoid, focused on the beauty of nature, we might miss the beauty of nature in another human being sitting right across from us.
Though we long to connect and relate, as adults, have too often learned to protect, guard and hold back. As people arrive the first night to the circle, it is clear that it takes time to relax that habitual armor. Then someone throws open a door to their soul, sharing a long held pain that simply can not be kept hidden anymore, and we are off on a wild ride.
Whatever is presented is much like the picture travelogues. I see, hear, touch and deeply feel the rich, deep wonder of the human soul, longing to express, be seen, and be acknowledged. We are each invited to hear our own deep calling and response.
The sounds in the circle are never quite the same, yet there is a melody that plays through, and weaves each circle together to hold and reflect the wonders of being human. The journey is worth the effort, and always adds depth and new possibility to my own inner landscape.
Yes, I too am a traveler.
Here is a short video, click here to learn more about Come Alive at the Haven.
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