You could say, Circles of Creative Harmony are bridges that can assist us to get from "here to there". They are intentional gatherings set in a conducive environment for deep listening and dialoguing with one another from the deepest part of who we already are. You could also say that Circles of Creative Harmony are pragmatic practices to rewire our neuro networks for cooperation. Imagine our first thoughts about any given situation being, ‘what are the possibilities here’ rather than seeing a problem. Much of our spiritual practices and personal development has been done inwardly. A circle of Creative Harmony is wanting to bring the inside to the outside. These circles are places where we can share, listen and be inspired by one another. We are an amalgam of all our unique experiences and we know we have a certain amount of bandwidth to choose how we respond to our experiences. I add the word bandwidth intentionally because the paradigm that we live in does dictate much of our behavior. What I am pointing to may be illuminated by considering how often in a normal public setting do you feel the words you are saying to describe an important event or experience is adequate to what you are really feeling in your heart? Our culture is not really set up for individuals to share from their heart and soul on a day-in-day-out basis, in many instances we simply do not know how. One of the foundational premises of these circles is understanding how important our use of language is to creating new ways of being together. Circles of Creative harmony wants to give more people an opportunity to practice authentically communing from their hearts and be heard doing so! This is a beginning step toward creating new agreements amongst ourselves from our own heart wisdom. We are not going to figure this out logically as that takes us into "either/or" thinking. We want to practice dropping into the deepest part of ourselves, the place that is "prior to" our conditioning, our opinions, beliefs and judgements in other words the place where new potential and creative spontaneity can arise! In this challenging time in the history of our species and our planet, common sense would say that allowing our deepest, higher inner selves to come forward to commune and be heard would have to be an important step toward changing the aspects of this paradigm that are increasingly malfunctioning, would it not? Our culture has a strong current of negative bias. Stifling our "feelings and needs" leads to acting out in a myriad of ways that are not conducive to grace and unity. Our darker emotions can be used to give us warning signals for protection and they can also be used as portals for transformation when brought to the light of day. There will more often than not be a segment in a Circle of Creative Harmony to speak to our grief and/or anger allowing these important messages to be heard and felt in a supportive environment. Together we can begin doing our part to actively shift our paradigm from one of competition and separation to collaboration and unity. The word 'creative' in the context of this practice signifies the unique contribution that everyone can make when they 'let go' and 'surrender' to their inner guidance. When a group of people can practice this together a collective wisdom can arise which can carry us to a place that is hard to reach alone. When we hear the sound of our hearts speaking to one another we realize that most anything is possible! In the words of Brene Brown "Its not that we need to change who we are we need to be who we are."
I am an Artist of Possibility! Really! I have a certificate that says so and I am so proud of it! In June of 2018, Jeff Carreira ordained about 24 of us as, Artists of Possibility or Ambassadors to a New Paradigm. The ceremony took place at the Quaker Retreat & Learning Center, Pendle Hill in Wallingford, Pa. For three years we studied from the books of some of the more profound and forward thinkers of our time. We looked at the philosophical implications of what paradigms actually are, how paradigms are created and a myriad of possibilities and directions for allowing a new one to emerge. We even did quite a few experiential zoom gatherings wherein Jeff lead us into deeper contemplation of the basic themes or ideas these authors have put forward, including three of his own books. At the end of each year we came together at Pendle Hill to present an articulation project before the class. It had been some years since I took on formal studies but I could not have been more interested in the subject at hand. Who amongst us feel we are active agents in reality rather than bystanders sitting on the sidelines?
Welcome! My name is Kathryn (Kathy) Edwards and Circles of Creative Harmony is my ongoing articulation project that I am offering to anyone who feels called to participate in shaking up our current paradigm. I am currently conducting two regular monthly gatherings one in Downtown Asheville at Jubilee! and the other in Flat Rock, at the Sanctuary in the Pines, both are in Western North Carolina. To demystify what Circles of Creative Harmony actually are let me explain what happens during a circle. The facilitator (right now I am the only facilitator) gives a brief talk in the beginning to set the context for the evening then we meditate in silence for twenty minutes. From the stillness of the silence each person is invited to speak to a topic given by the facilitator whose purpose is to gently guide us to a deeper part of ourselves. As we gain trust and embrace the feeling of safety we can sense a merging of hearts, a union of cooperation. A simplistic clarity emerges that opens us up to a sense of liberation which is a great precursor to creativity ! (The event page on this site will tell you when and here the next, Circle of Creative Harmony will be happening.) The topics for discussion vary and the overall intention is to simply enjoy being in the present moment together and to feel and sense into what is available between around and through each other. It is a practice of shifting our attention.
Every human being has the capacity to drop deeply into their heart, into their own inner wisdom, to hear the voice of their own true nature, their unique guidance. Absolutely every breathing human being can get there from here! I can only speak for myself, and please let me know if you too can relate to this, when you are there an exuberance of varying degrees can arise that is life affirming, which is one way to recognize you're not in Kansas any longer! It is a place where those who are more sure footed in reality can hold space for those who may need more encouragement due to shyness or introversion. The main ingredient is to feel into the energy of everyone present and to be more concerned about where we can go as a whole, together!
My first year articulation project for the Breakthrough Intensive course with Jeff Carreira was to write my spiritual autobiography. We were always given complete freedom as to what our articulation would be each year and the first year I was inspired by what a friend of mine was doing and with her blessing I too wrote about my spiritual unfolding. I can not recommend more highly the value when you stop to reflect on all the key moments in your life when higher more graceful insight opened up for you. I need to circle back to my self published book which I called, "Access All Area from the Inside Out" to properly edit it! But it was the process of writing it that counted.
There are varying views in spiritual communities about how much we should talk about our "special spiritual"experiences. Some say that it is really good because it helps others to realize that they too had something like that happen to them and this allows more of us to recognize those experiences so that n more of us know there are more layers to reality than what we commonly experience in our everyday cultural matrix. My teacher I believe would say, ok share your "special experiences" but do not get too caught up in them, because what we want to do is to allow those experiences to light our way and guide us in our everyday lives. Here are my thoughts about the subject, in this moment, if we allow our "special experiences" to illuminate us from within and act from that ... what does that look like, in our behavior, in our thoughts, feelings, moods? The incredible wondrous aspect to a life dedicated to its spiritual unfolding is that we each have a unique way of expressing spirit in action. I have noticed that we tend to put high expectations on ourselves and each other as to what a spiritual life 'should' look like, and when we fall short of those expectations it does more harm than good. As I am becoming more mature in years I am enjoying the continuous myriad experiences of navigating "all of life" on planet earth in the twenty-first century. For me it seems to be a path of taking two steps forward one step back then maybe three steps forward and two steps back. From what I hear I am not alone in these waves of back and forth and it seems the gig now is more about stabilizing ourselves, I feel very strongly that we need to do this together. So I am dedicated to creating Circles of Creative Harmony so that more of us have a place to practice and be seen as our higher selves via present moment dialoguing with each other. Namaste ~ Kathryn Edwards