Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Dreamdoor Series: Part 2 – Take a Stand

“…Facilitation is everyone’s responsibility. “Leader” types without facilitator-ship are old fashioned, thinking awareness+power are theirs. Yes, 99+1, all please take a firm stand, then all, please use awareness+
OCCUPY EVERYTHING . This helps the world change from power to awareness paradigms.”

~, December 2011, Community??



In the back of my mind I heard Arny Mindell say, “Take a stand.”


I love to watch the CBS Sunday Morning nature segment.  Being transported to some beautiful place on earth with beautiful sounds of the elements and the flora and the fauna makes a good start to the week.  Overtime, my lazy Sunday morning TV-watching habit expanded to include the whole 90-minute show and then the following program, Face the Nation.  What juxtaposition:  the beauty of nature and the ugliness of Washington, DC.  I could hardly watch Face the Nation, but I did.


Take a stand.


Like many progressives, I get a lot of political emails.  Two organizations caught my eye.  The first presented political content that aligned with my world view.  The second presented a collaborative, respectful political process that aligned with my stand that “everyone is right…only partially,” so let’s work collaboratively together to get our growing list of frightening problems handled.


It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of our political system.  That’s probably why I liked being a government bureaucrat rather than a political staffer.  Contrary to popular belief, bureaucrats transform legislation into programs and projects.  Politicians…not so much these days.  So much nastiness.  What can one middle-aged woman, living comfortably in educated, affluent Davis  do that could possibly make a difference?


Take a stand.


But who am I?  Someone trained to “sit in the fire” like Arny Mindell.


Take a stand.


But who am I?  Someone trained to be present as a response-able Shambhala “spiritual warrior.”


Take a stand.


But who am I?  Someone certified as a systems coach who can listen and call forward both the majority and marginalized voices of the system and hold a space for “deep democracy” to happen.


But it’s soooo much easier to stay hidden and safe.


Take a stand.


On one side of the Political Dreamdoor was someone upset about our political system, watching from the sidelines.  On the other side of the Political Dreamdoor was someone who actively works to bring about the “what’s next” of our political system.


In April, I stepped through the door and made my first Congressional visit for the group wanting to change our political process.  Despite my three decades in government, I was surprised how nervous I was, just talking to a legislator’s field representative.  In May I took another step by joining my first political protest sponsored by the political group that aligns with my world view.


I took a stand…and walked from the sidelines…through the dreamdoor…into the fire…challenging myself to be aware.


Judith MacBrine dba The Mirror Group © Copyright 2012

Dreamdoor Series: Part 1 – Blue Jays and Pheasant

Dreamdoor – those events that catch and hold our attention…a potential opening to another world, another realm.  It is a door, an opening, an invitation that can be taken, or not.

~Arnold Mindell, PhD, The Dreammaker’s Apprentice, page 159.



It was New Year’s Day 2012.  I was in my office.  The window shade was up to let the sun from the front yard stream in.


Screech!  Screech!  Screech!  Screech!  I looked out the window and saw three bright blue jays.  One was in the tree squawking emphatically down at the two other birds in an epic blue jay battle.  One jay was on top of the other.  Feathers were flying.  The jay in the tree was screeching, seemingly cheering on the blue jay gladiators.


I’d never seen anything like this before and it shook me.  I ran to the window and began banging on it to get the birds to stop.  I even threw the window open to yell at them.  They finally flew away leaving feathers on my lawn and me in distress.


I couldn’t shake the feeling of this bird battle.  For some reason it reminded me of our political system:  two parties battling each other to the death and the media sitting up in its pundit’s perch, enjoying the battle, urging it on, providing commentary.


An hour or more went by and I still could not shake my feeling of discomfort.  In times like this, I turn to my bicycle and ride my four-mile circuit to exorcise my demons.  Often, when I’ve gone two miles or so, something lifts and I can find some new perspective.


It was at that two-mile mark that I caught sight of a female pheasant.  I’ve seen male pheasants in the open field further up the street, but never a lone female.  She was hiding between a fence and some plantings near the sidewalk close to the greenbelt.  I slowed and made a big circle back to the pheasant’s hiding place for a second look.  The pheasant flew away.


I don’t know what it was about that pheasant, but the discomfort of the blue jay battle lifted and I was filled with hope.


Somewhere, hidden from view, discrete women are busy nurturing the “what’s next.”  The time of loud squawking blue jays is coming to a close.  Despite the continuing squawk that fills our airwaves, something fertile is being nurtured away from the noise and glare.


Judith MacBrine dba The Mirror Group © Copyright 2012