When I was in high school, student protests against the Vietnam War were everywhere in the news. College kids, just a few years older than I, were camped out in classrooms and administrative offices all over the country effectively disrupting business/school as usual. While I dutifully colored maps of Europe and mended my Pointe shoes, they were attempting to change the world.
Why do I bring up long haired, patchouli-scented, free-love peaceniks of the late 60’s here, now?
Because those ordinary kids weren’t just trying to make change, they were doing it non-violently. They were hoping to influence our culture to include other approaches to conflict. They were staging Sit-Ins. Sitting. In.
I bring them up because this blog and my sweet itty biz (Naomi Dunford’s name for a small business), are all about change. As in, move into it – change, of course.
I don’t know what got me thinking about Sit Ins, but I started to ask myself;
What if we choose to sit in with ourselves?
What if the goal of my personal sit-in was to be with the conflicted inside parts of me (thoughts, feelings, criticisms, body aches, injuries, emotions) non-violently?
What if I changed my inner culture? What if you changed yours?
How would our lives transform? How would we make changes in the world?
Yes, all well and good, you say, BUT didn’t those hippies end up dirty, jobless, dropped out and drugged in? And, “violent?” Isn’t that a bit extreme?
Well, yes, some of those kids got lost in wonder and idealism. Some ended up rabid consumers and corporate raiders too. They didn’t dig into the “small steps” practice that makes real and lasting change. You know, the boring kind, the kind that takes a bit of perseverance, willingness to be curious about discomfort and courage to sustain.
And, maybe “violent” sounds extreme to you, but so many of us struggle with harsh and punishing inner critics.
Luckily, every one of us has the capacity to cultivate Curiosity, Gentleness and
Will. And it doesn’t take more than ordinary courage (thank you Brene Brown) to take steps toward change.
If you want, you can stage a Sit In now – it’ll only take 2 minutes and I’ll do it too. I call this one, Exploring the Perimeter.
- Find a quiet place to be.
- Put your feet on the floor.
- Become aware of the air temperature on your skin.
- Come inside to your breathing – but do nothing to change it.
- Become aware of the outline of your body. Slowly, with your inner awareness (your “mind’s eye”), trace the outermost edges of your body starting anywhere you like. Do this with the care and gentleness you would use if you were tracing a baby’s foot.
How was that? Get lost? Have some parts that you couldn’t sense? Me too!
One more thing, those protesters, they were in it together.
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If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or see if we can stage a Sit-In together, just comment below, or visit me at Move Into Change, you’re welcome anytime.