My friend Gretchen has three questions for any situation:
What am I doing?
Is it right?
What will I do next?
Actually, a very simple tool for living. It doesn’t contain judgment but relies on wisdom and compassion to guide us in our next steps. This was the theme of our night’s exploration.
Our sixth meeting of Men Sitting By A Fire took place on Tuesday, August 27. Beginning Thursday, September 21, we meet every third Thursday beginning at 7:30 pm (new time).
Each gathering is organized around the “Five Touchstones”, based on the work of Franciscan Richard Rohr. They are:
- Centering – Show Up and Observe, We are men who are grounded in the power of the here and now.
- Gathering – Show Up and Get Together, We are men who listen deeply to each other’s stories.
- Connecting – Show Up and Share, We are men who choose others with whom to walk, shoulder-to-shoulder.
- Releasing – Show Up and Let Go, We are men who let go of the ways that no longer serve us.
- Serving – Show Up and Act, We are men who honor the earth and serve the whole human community.
In mindfulness meditation, a core practice is returning your attention when it becomes lost. You may find yourself lost in thought. And that is okay. The point isn’t to perfect your meditation or empty your mind. Instead, it is to return over and over, no matter how far your mind has traveled or how long it has wandered from the present moment. We use our breath, our body, our senses to gently guide us back to now, the only moment that there really is. We begin again.
I recently wrote about beginning again on the Your Mindful Coach blog. Check it out.
“Nothing in the universe can stop you from letting go and starting over.” —Guy Finley
With a smaller group, we gathered close to the fire as evening fell. Participants introduced themselves by sharing one thing in their lives that is exciting and one thing in their lives that is concerning. These recollections were universal, spanning from anticipation of a new job to the challenges of raising children.
With our excitements and concerns in mind, participants spent ten minutes answering the question, “What will I do next?” This week, we read our own reflections to the group.
Many of the intentions focused on how we will take care of ourselves. Recognizing that when we take care of ourselves, the effects are felt by everyone around us. They included:
- Relax and allow myself to feel confident.
- Take care of myself by taking reading breaks while traveling for business.
- Create a welcoming living space in my home.
- Reach out to family and learn its story.
- Organize my work desk.
- Read for leisure.
- Stay in touch with my grown sons each week.
- Develop a nighttime routine to sleep better.
Releasing Committing and Serving
We closed by committing to check in with each other on their intentions. Through this connection, we can evolve our own plans and receive support and accountability from each other. We meet again on Thursday, September 21 as we continue to explore authentic relationship, most specifically by examining our inventory of skills, relationships and passions and how they can be shared in friendship. Please sign up today!
Thank you to John F., our first paid member of this year’s Men Sitting By A Fire!