tions of shifts in consciousness; evidence that transformation was happening, that things were changing and that effort resulting in something. The past few years, as I’ve listened for how to create the work we are now doing, I’ve been gifted an opportunity to witness how the weaving of inner and outer are so connected that it’s seamless. I used to feel that if you spent too much time on the inner, you were neglected the outer world. I always thought the task was to be in the world. What I’m coming to understand more and more from my own experience is that a sense of how to continue forward is coming both from time spent in silence and in conversation. I’m listening more, and allowing myself to be surprised by what shows up, by what wants to be acknowledged and given voice. Learning and Loving So much emphasis in life seems to fall on having it all figured out, on gaining authority over life. When I was a young person in my twenties, I was sure I would have life figured out at least by my thirties. As a woman nearing seventy years of life, I’m happy to say that I feel like I’m learning more now than at any other period of my life. I think it’s because I’m celebrating, learning and embraching the joy of being in a state of openeness and invitation. I’m also allowing myself to feel fully in this part of my life, rather than trying to push away certain experiences or emotions. It’s become very important to me to give myself permission to fell fully, and to model that in the ways that I can. Acceptance and acknowledgement help us to move on beyond the limited boundaries of
Sufism: An Inquiry Vol XVI, No. 1
fear and hurtful experiences. Greater core healing helps to provide self-confidence. From the viewpoint of Jean Houston and other spiritual teachers understanding Love is the key healer and it is possible for a seeker to to find this love. I am learning, finding faith, discovering and trusting in Love. It is Love that is calling. I am reminded by the young people. They show me all of the time with passion in their spirits and their hopeful eyes. Love is calling through them, and longing to be nurtured.
In Homage to the Children I would love to offer a quote from Diane Longboat, a Mohawk, Turtle Clan woman from Six Nations, who is a ceremonial leader, traditional teacher of Indigenous spiritual ways and a healer. She is also a professional educator, has taught and lectured at Universities in Canada and many national and international conferences and gatherings on the topics of spiritual renewal as the guiding force for nation building. This is what she shared with me on the occasion of my talk with at the Sufi Women’s luncheon: “All of the children are Sacred Gifts from the Creator to humanity. The Prophets of our people speak of these new leaders as being born with all of the Gifts of the Ancestors. They are the great prophets, orators, leaders, teachers, visionaries, healers we have been waiting for, praying for and fasting for. They are the spiritually gifted ones who will create a new consciousness for humanity. Our role is to teach them, nurture them, protect them, heal them and guide them to be spiritually activated, awakened and anxious to