The Starting Point

I’ve been thinking of what to write for a few days now. I find myself growing increasingly silent. Some voices need to be heard and I feel the need to do more listening than speaking.

The horror of what happened to George Floyd, the explosion of protests, and the voices of people collectively shouting …. ENOUGH … combined with the pandemic, political landscape, and the historical reality of systemic racism, have left me muddling through the days and getting lost in whirling and conflicting thoughts.

I am deeply sad and often very angry. I want to help but don’t know how. Being the “fixer” I was born and conditioned to be and watching by the sidelines without being able to see where I can be most effective, is frustrating. So, I research opportunities to contribute and do what I can. I also have moments of shame and guilt. Here I am in my safe little corner of the world while people are getting killed in the streets.

This morning, before sitting to meditate, I opened John O’ Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us and read “Beginnings” and the “Morning Offering.” I felt my heart opening and I was able to sit and breathe. Below I have included two excerpts from this morning’s reading.

We’re in the midst of profound social changes that have been long overdue. How can we help, facilitate, or at least not obstruct that which demands to be born?

There can be no growth if we do not remain open and vulnerable to what is new and different.

John O’Donohue

There’s so much we don’t really understand about the workings of this beginning of ours. Maybe accepting that and sitting in this … I don’t know … space is a good first step.

More often than not, we’re uncomfortable with not knowing. We’re also uncomfortable with discomfort. We just want things to go back to what they used to be. We want life to follow its rhythm because that’s what we’ve grown to feel safe in.

The truth is, there’s neither safety nor comfort in what used to be. There never has been for most people. We may as well give up the myth and listen to life calling us to change.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead cell of yesterdays,
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between Us

Let us not waste our hearts on fear. Change will have its way because that’s how it ought to be. It’s been the way of the world from the very beginning. It’s time.

Let’s do what we can to help and support our brothers and sisters. We each have our strengths and gifts to contribute. The important thing is to keep going with courage and conviction. Let’s do what we’re called to do and allow space for each other to do the same, in their own way.

May we come from a place of goodwill. May we find a way to walk our path with dignity and respect for one another. We may or may not see the change we wish for in our lifetime. This should never stop us from acting.

I invite you to share your thoughts below. This is the time to ask questions, share our thoughts, and support one another.


  • Kathleen

    Yota, thanks for this. It’s a point in time like nothing I’ve lived through. The anger and rage are familiar but this “unknowingness” is new and I don’t think I understood what I was feeling until I read your post.

    • Yota Schneider

      Thank you for being here, Kathleen. Not knowing is new territory for me too. I’ve always told myself I could find a way out of any situation. Maybe I’ve been foolish.
      This one is so much bigger than any of us. It’s primal and asks for mass transformation. And there’s nothing I can do for that. This ship is the Titanic and I’m not sure how it can turn around.

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