A Global Roundtable With The Great Reset And Alight Ashram
To receive everything, one must open one's hands and give. - Taisen Deshimaru Taisuke
I am amazed again and again by the way offering oneself in service to others opens doors of opportunity that would otherwise not only remained closed but would have remained unseen. Service opens a portal into an unknown world in which possibilities previously unimagined by the giver are created by the receiver.
Kalinda Fisher noticed people could not converse for any length of time without a change in tone and feeling challenged or threatened if they spoke their views during tough conversations. Realizing that people all over want to be heard, want to be respected, and want to have their say about what they believe in a safe, humble environment, she opened an invitation on social media asking for those who wanted to join in safe conversation to meet around her dining room table. She offered the gift, and it resulted in an outpouring of people who were interested in “talking.” After the first gathering in Kalinda's kitchen, it turned out they wanted more conversations about what they had previously experienced as tough conversations (opioids, suicide, health care, racial inequality, etc.). Kalinda couldn't have known the hunger of others had she not offered up her time and her table to bring friends and strangers together.
And their gift? The collective recognition that hard conversations can be had between people with greatly varying views and experiences when the intention is learning and leaning in to know our neighbors. It only took one evening for Kalinda to decide that she needed to do more - The Great Reset was born.
Being mindful of a teaching from yoga exercise instructor and author, Donna Farhi, "Yoga does not remove us from the reality of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don't transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.", I nervously and excitedly accepted an invitation to my first Conversation of The Great Reset to talk about race and racism. George Floyd and Breonna Taylor's lives were being mourned, and the anger, sadness, confusion and despair were fresh in my heart. The evening of the event, I joined a Zoom meeting with a few friends and many strangers, but instead of the uncomfortable, awkward small talk I had anticipated, I was greeted by smiling, friendly faces of every race beaming from their kitchens, dens, living rooms and offices around the world.
In the course of just over 90 minutes I made new friends and learned that, while my experiences and attitudes are equitable and actively inclusive (there's a difference and need for both!), we are all influenced by systemic racism - all of us. No matter our melanin expression, we are either accepting or refusing the history and culture of racism in the United States and around the world. Was that uncomfortable? It was excruciating. And I wasn't alone. The conversation consisted mostly of "and" sentences that acknowledged the grey areas in which we mostly live. I wasn't singled out as a "white" WASP woman (Notice just here in this paragraph the assumptions that can be made - I am not white; I am descended from Italians and Native Americans. I am olive, and my experiences are very different from many other Anglo-European Americans.), there were no harsh words exchanged, and yes, sometimes we disagreed, but, in spite of the weight of the subject, we all parted in agreement that the conversation wasn't going to end when we logged off. In fact, every single one of us came back for at least two more The Great Reset conversations to see through what we had begun - together.
I have joined other conversations since. Some have been light and interesting; others have asked me to stretch and have brought my blind spots into focus. I have never regretted joining a single one. In fact, The Great Reset has had such a profound effect on me as a person, a teacher and business owner that I have committed the support of Alight Ashram by offering my gifts to Kalinda and her team for a conversation on May 18, 2021 on Mindfulness and Meditation. It is the first time that I will not only be participating in a conversation but will be teaching a meditation practice. I hope that you will make the time to be a part of our next head-to-head and heart-to-heart. You won't know until you show up what gifts you will bring to the table.
Join the conversation May 18, 2021 at 6pm Central/7pm Eastern by registering here, or view
The Great Reset Calendar of Events.