Friday, June 13, 2014

Bedtime on the Bus: Beyond Reactivity

My old, fuzzy, worn down Care Bear sat on my bed for decades.  These days he has found a new seat -- on my couch. He sits a-snuggling in the embrace of Bunny Bear, an even older relic of days long gone.

I moved my two old companions to this new seating arrangement so they would be an audience for me while I host our Possible Society In Motion Radio Show. My co-host, Jack Slattery, manages our studio way off in another state.  Such is the marvel of modern technology.

So there sit my two audience non-participants, quietly and patiently, now for more than one year. Not much interaction but present for me, nonetheless, without one bit of trouble.

Still I do crave interaction. Not too much, mind you. I am a diehard introvert who, loving people as I do, knows when too much of a good thing is just too much.

I am discriminating, perhaps to a fault, about when, where, with whom and for how long I join in with others. If you don’t know me well, you might be surprised at how sparingly do I allot my time. And, believe me, I am not substituting that sparseness of face contact for time spent on the internet. I am, truthfully, often bored with the internet. That’s why my bears suit me so well. They are most honoring of my taking the space I desire.

At my core I have truly become a writer. I like nothing more than days spent in solitude with only my writing (and nature) as a focus.

Yet I am a tribal being by nature, as much as a lover of solitude. These two sides of the coin in me show up like this –

When I speak of the interactive I have a particular kind in mind; high contact-fullness,  rich in the sincere devotion to open-heartedness and mindedness, truthfulness, integrity; individual and collective transformation. Being with others who stretch the outer limits of my humanity.

This is what our new Sohbet/study group has brought forth.

Last week’s Sohbet/study group is a definite case in point. Here are a few hightlights.

Thursday evening,  June 5, 6:30 p.m.

Sohbet/study group main topic:  “Bedtime on the Bus” (i.e. how a small group of devoted and willing people can move from snags to synergy, thereby creating the magic of the Bus Ride Story Adventure.)

Picture this scenario.

We are becoming a working forum with a small group of people, most of whom have never laid eyes on one another. Each of us has pledged to travel on a journey that has been recommended as a small, but profound adventure, promising the potential for individual and collective transformation.

In other words we are, via conference call, engaged in a bi-weekly discussion with Murat’s Bus Ride Story Adventure as a metaphor upon which our journey is unfolding.  The anticipated destination has been identified as “awe.”  I am the participant guide of the adventure.  And, next to Sue, I am, probably, the only one present who genuinely knows where and what this place might be like.

We are now at Sohbet/study group #10. The program has been going well to date.
However, in Sohbet/study group #9, May 22, 2014, I become aware of a heightened state of reactivity in our discussion. I came away from that group meeting somewhat challenged.

Drat. What should I do here?

We’ve got such a harmonious group forming.

Should I just let sleeping dogs lie and keep my mouth shut about the “snag” I experienced?

I ponder. Should I be stretching my own compassion and gratitude etc. for others; the attributes Murat stresses as the pathway to higher humanity?

Days pass. Time nears for the next Sohbet/study group.

I decide to risk. I put myself out on a limb.

The group turns out to be intense, complicated, challenging. But we come through with shining colors; a bit of alchemy in the process!

We have “leaned in” to Murat’s “Bedtime On The Bus” practice, coming away with snags moving to synergy and the magic of the Bus Ride Story Adventure affirmed.

I am joyfully amazed!

A gentle, respectful vibration of unity has developed in our Sohbet/study group discussion along with an abundance of patience, caring and compassion – for me-- the provocateur! 

Care Bear and Bunny Bear have, momentarily, been upended. Life is truly with people.

Here’s a peek at Murat’s “Bedtime on the Bus” tradition. Like the Twelve Step approach it centers on self-assessment, making amends; heightened responsiveness, collectively.

Would you dare?

Check it out and see if you would risk joining a group of unknown people for a seven day bus ride such as this purports to be and come out so well.

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