’60-65% of all the cells in the heart are neural cells, which function in the same way as brain cells.’
A global shift is under way and more people are sensing it involves a deeper connection with their heart. This desire for more heart connection is a growing movement, one that people are drawn to by a nudge from their own intuition or conscience to listen to their heart more and to connect with their inner guidance. -Heart Math
100 Days of Creativity with Suleika Jaouad begins tomorrow, April 1st
‘Here, as I’m undergoing my second bout of cancer treatment for leukemia, I’ve decided to do a 100-day creativity project beginning on April 1, 2022, and I’m inviting all you beautiful souls to join me.
This is my fourth go-round. To me, the 100-day project is so powerful, both the sense of creative possibility and the organizing principle it affords: your day becomes centered around one small creative act. I also love the element of community, drawing inspiration and a sense of accountability from others.
There are so many shapes such a project can take—from writing a daily childhood memory to collaging, piano playing, or walking in nature. It just needs to feel exciting, a little challenging, but most of all sustainable, so you’re able to keep it up over the course of 100 days.
As someone who feels pulled by the siren call of hyper-productivity, I want to make clear: the 100-day project is not that. The point is to get into a more liberated, playful creative flow state—not to reinforce the pressure of constant striving, or the compulsion to be productive, or the idea that creative activity needs to culminate in some kind of grand masterpiece.
This time around, the 100-day project will be mostly self-directed. For those who want an extra dose of accountability, paid subscribers will have the option of getting regular pep talks from me, along with check-ins and opportunities to have your work featured.
Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions and my answers—all with the caveat that this practice is for you. Make it your own. Let it take you where it will.
In love and creative solidarity,
Her book, Lost Between Two Kingdoms, is now available in paperback. Wonderful read and journey. -dayle
Democracy is good for your health
Here’s a big reason to study the people of Ukraine: The war is showing in real-time the power of democracy, amid growing global clout for dictators.
Why it matters: Free people live better lives, a mountain of data shows. And sometimes it takes an aspiring democracy to remind us why governments of the people are worth fighting for.
Let the graphic above sink in — then share it with people who trivialize democratic erosion. Democracies are literally disappearing.
Of 195 nations on earth, just 34 are liberal democracies — where citizens have rights to free speech, free press, free and fair elections, and other liberties — according to a study by Varieties of Democracy.
Living in a stable democracy leads to a longer and more fulfilling life, the data shows:
Health: If you live in a democracy that’s at least 25 years old, you’re likely to live 14 years longer than people in autocracies, a University of British Columbia study found. Babies in mature democracies are 78% less likely to die in childbirth.
Wealth: Democratization boosts a nation’s wealth 20% over 25 years.
Education: Democratization bumps citizens’ enrollment in secondary education by 70%.
Reality check: After nuclear war, and possibly climate changes, the rise of authoritarians, like Vladimir Putin, and the decline of democracies has the most potential to shape America’s future — more profoundly than the small-ball fights we often get sucked into.
The dictators are winning. A Russian dictator, backed by an authoritarian Chinese leader and enabled by the silence of the Saudis, is killing thousands, seizing land, destroying a nation.
A Freedom House report released in February found that 60 countries had suffered declines in democracy in the previous year.
The bottom line: American critics sometimes dog — and in some cases damage — their democracy. But watching Ukrainians amplifies the preciousness and precariousness of freedom.
[Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to note that people living in democracies older than 25 years are likely to live longer.]
Glory to Ukraine ~ Their struggle, their sacrifice, is ours. -dayle
Julian of Norwich
‘She encourages us to stand up to the forces that destroy, forces she calls “the spirit of evil.”
The warrior in us can rise up, armed with trust and courage, to spread low and make justice and compassion happen. In doing this, a promise is set forth that, some day, all can be well.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” ❁
-Julian of Norwich
‘The biggest influence on Julian as an adult were Thomas Aquinas and Meister Eckhart, whether directly or indirectly. Remember that Aquinas, who was condemned by bishops in both Oxford and Paris less than a century before Julian was born, was condemned for his non-dualism (which, again, makes him a photo-feminist). But, and this cannot be emphasized enough, he was canonized a saint in 1323, less than twenty years before she was born. The excitement among the Dominicans in England must have been extreme.
As Aquinas put it, one person can do more evil than all the other species put together.’ -Matthew Fox
Yep. Still. The 21st century is no different. -dayle
New Moon in Aries is Friday April 1 at 12:24 AM, just after midnight March 31. In some time zones the New Moon is on March 31.
‘This is an extremely potent New Moon, full of fire, opportunity, and inspiration for starting something new. It marks the beginning of a new cycle and should be honored as the set up and foundation for new commitments, goals, confidence, clarity, change and attitude. We are called to action, to be better, to be more conscious and aligned with spirit. It’s a great time to revisit goals and intentions and either reset and confirm them as they are, or refine and improve them if they feel too limited.
A re-evaluation of your relationships especially your relationship to yourself and to spirit is also supported at this time. Are you doing the work? Are you committed to having a good life? Are you taking responsibility for it? Are you ready to embrace the power that awaits you and change all aspects of your story that point to disempowerment or being wronged in some way? This is a very good time to step into power and to do so takes being proactive and not reactive.
You cannot be ambivalent or in blame of others if you wish to be proactive and take advantage of what this time has to offer. Step into the grand adventure of life and receive the gifts of spirit that are available to those that do. Happy Spring. Happy planting of seeds, dreams and wishes.’ ☆
For the Bees
by Dan Rather, author and journalist
What I find so inspiring about this article and the larger No Mow May movement is its recognition that we humans are foolhardy to try to control nature — that in our homogenization of our landscapes, our search for tidiness and uniformity, we not only miss out on the beautiful wildness of Earth’s diversity, but we also do real damage to its function.
At Steady, we are always on the lookout for different kinds of news stories that inspire, provoke thought, and, yes, induce some hope and steadiness.
We came across just such an article recently in The New York Times. It was written by Anne Readel, who is described as “a photographer, writer, biologist and lawyer.” It’s quite the list of credentials and a reminder that many of us wear multiple professional and personal hats.
During an era of momentous events, this story could be considered “small” or “quaint,” but that scale of size is part of what makes it so powerful. I would argue that in a world that often seems out of balance, we can build progress from small individual actions that are transformative in their collective impact.
The article is titled, “In Wisconsin: Stowing Mowers, Pleasing Bees,” and it asks in its subtitle a question that pretty much explains its central idea: “Can the No Mow May movement help transform the traditional American lawn — a manicured carpet of grass — into something more ecologically beneficial?
‘Appleton became the first city in the United States to adopt No Mow May, with 435 homes registering to take part. For the last few years, Appleton has spearheaded the movement to save the bee by asking community members to leave their lawns alone during May.’
Lastly, on this final day of March 2022, sharing writer Alexandra Stoddard’s words of contemplation for our ‘next’ as democracies weaken, devastating wars continue, the ubiquitous plague waves in and out, and global corruption, i.e., greed, power, and patriarchy, corrodes even the simplest of lives.
When do you feel you are most in touch with your spirit, the core of your being? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? Who would you want to be with? How does this make you feel?
“We were all indoctrinated into a disenchanted world, and we’ve sacrificed a lot in order to live here. The world isn’t better off for having forfeited its tenderness. The meanness and cynicism of our age, the reflexive sarcasm that passes for intelligent reflection, the suspicion and judgment of everyone and everything – such are toxic by-products of a disenchanted worldview.
Many of us went off that wheel of suffering. We don’t want to accept that what is is what has to be. We want to pierce the veil of illusion that separates us from a world of infinite possibility. We want another kind of life for ourselves and for the world. We are considering that there might be another way – a door to miraculous realms simply waiting to be opened. Today I consider that there might be another way.”
“What you don’t surrender, the world strips away.” -Bruce
From historian Michael Beschloss:
FDR gave “Four Freedoms” speech to Congress on eve of US entry in World War II, 1941–here are his changes on the fifth draft:
‘At all times, day by day, we have to continue fighting for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom from want—for these are the things that must be gained in peace as well as in war.’
April 15, 1943 My Day ❀
From her 1963 book, Tomorrow is Now:
‘In a sense, nearly all great civilizations that perished did so because they had crystallized, because they were incapable of adapting themselves to new conditions, new methods, new points of view. It is as though people would literally rather die than change.’
History will no doubt consider this to be his finest speech at a moment it was needed most. -dayle
“For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”
“Their brave resistance is part of a larger fight for essential democratic principles that unite all free people. We stand with you. Period.”
Posted by Michael Marquardt, appointed by President Biden to the US Comm. Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad:
‘Take it from this Berliner who was there when the Iron Curtain started falling in 1989, this is one of the most consequential speeches from an American president in decades. Thank you.’
Garry Kasparov, Chairman of the Human Rights Foundation:
‘No free world leader should hesitate to state plainly that the world would be a far better place if Putin were no longer in power in Russia. A good way to make that come about is to say exactly that. Russia will be a pariah until Putin is gone.
As I Worte today, Putin’s war in Ukraine and against the world order will not end as long as he is in power. Either the war criminal is isolated or he isn’t. No more half-measures.’
Humanity with all its fears,
with all its hopes of future years,
is hanging breathless on thy fate.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
‘I don’t mean to ruin the ending for you, sweet child, but life is one long headwind. To make any kind of impact requires self-will bordering on madness. The world will be hostile, it will be suspicious of your intent, it will misinterpret you, it will inject you with doubt, it will flatter you into self-sabotage. My god, I’m making it sound so glamorous and personal! What the world is, more than anything? It’s indifferent.’
-Maria Semple, Today Will Be Different, p. 96
‘The patriarchal heart, the reptilian brain, myst dominate and subjugate, at least until it undergoes a conversation experience.’ -Matthew Fox
‘Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in her final op-ed before her death Wednesday recalled her unease after her first meeting with Vladimir Putin when he took power 20 years ago.
In the piece published in the New York Times on February 23, the day before Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Albright recalled her first impressions of the new Russian leader after meeting him in 2000.
He had just taken over from Boris Yeltsin as Russia’s leader, and was acting president. At the time, Albright was President Bill Clinton’s secretary of state.
“Sitting across a small table from him in the Kremlin, I was immediately struck by the contrast between Mr. Putin and his bombastic predecessor, Boris Yeltsin,” recalled Albright.
“Flying home, I recorded my impressions. ‘Putin is small and pale,’ I wrote, ‘so cold as to be almost reptilian.'”
In the essay, Albright went on to warn that if Russia invaded Ukraine it would be “an historic error,” and described the consequences Russia would likely face, including a determined Ukrainian resistance, crippling economic sanctions, and a galvanized NATO alliance.
‘Julian (of Norwich) is a truth-teller who shines a bright light on the need for feminine wisdom.’
“Suffering and death are everywhere, from roadkill to mass shootings to tsunamis: We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now, and not only creation, but we ourselves . . .” (Romans 8:22–23). Labor pains implies that suffering is woven into the process of creation from the very start, and it continues through the birth of the new creation.”
-Father Richard Rohr
‘Perhaps Sartre was not far wrong in saying that where freedom is abused, society itself turns into hell.’
L’enfer c’est les autres.
Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation:
“When you say you love God, you are saying you love everything (being Gaia). That’s why mystics can love the foreigner, the outsider; in fact, they cannot not love them, because they see truthfully and fully!”
“Return of the Divine Feminine (Mary Magdalene). As the late physicist David Bohm put it, ‘Something more than siren is needed.’ Values are needed, as well as the passion and courage to live them and put them into practice.”
“Meister Eckhart, “Nature is grace.” Creation spirituality. A return to love.
Gnostic gospels of Thomas, Philip and Mary, right practice v. right behavior, the Canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopalian priest:
‘Mary Magdalene’s place of honor is so strong that even the heavy land of a later (300 years), male-dominated ecclesiology cannot entirely dislodge it. […] The high position she held among the close followers of Jesus is more explicitly shown in the Gnostic Gospels where Mary Magdalene is seen as “First among the the Apostles”, not because she was the first on the scene at the ressurectioin but in a more fundamental way: because she gets the message. Of all the disciples, she is the only one who fully understands what Jesus is teaching and can reproduce it in her own life. Her position of leadership is earned, and it is specifically validated by Jesus himself.’
Again, it’s right belief v. right practice. Spiritual Creation is practice. “When you love god, you love everything. That’s why the musics can love the foreigner, the outsider; in fact, they cannot not love them, because they see truthfully and fully” (Richard Rohr).
“The world will only change as we change.”
[Now on Netflix]
“America has lost its capacity to respond to an emergency. Materialism and consumerism have made us dense and sluggish and unable, or unwilling, to collectively respond to even dangers in our midst.” ❁
‘We had (have) chosen a path of domination and destruction, of power-over instead of power-with, of wars and enslavement of African peoples and other reptilian games, of patriarchy and its distorted values, of rugged individualism and the survival of the fittest, rather than a path of interdependence and compassion, of gender balance and respect, of eco- and racial and economic justice. The very survival of our species, as well as millions of others and the rendering of our planet sustainable once again, calls for Julian’s wisdom. Julian stands tall as a leader in the spiritual revolution of our time’ (p. 119).
Julian of Norwich
“Fascism can come in a way that it is one step at a time, and in many ways, goes unnoticed until it’s too late.”
-Madeleine Albright [Fresh Air, NPR, 2018]
On this day in 1919 Benito Mussolini launched Partito Nazionale Fascista, the Fascist party.
Essay from Courtney Martin, activist and author:
Maya and her buddy have been getting in some quarrels, too. They’re both very sensitive and the relationship is charged with that best friend necklace-type intensity–so delicious and so terrifying. Maya’s friend is pretty quiet, particularly when she’s upset. One afternoon, as I was pulling crumpled drawings, sticky ziplock bags, and other detritus out of Maya’s backpack I found a piece of paper with two little bunnies drawn on it with dialogue. The bunnies were apologizing to one another in various scenarios. The scenarios were labeled: this is what I think will happen, this is what I want to happen, and this is what would happen. When I asked Maya about it, she said that her friend felt too sad to talk about their conflict so they decided to draw it out. Essentially they reinvented couples therapy as cute graphic novel–their favorite genre. Kinda genius, right?
I think about the time I apologized through a short story to my childhood best friend or the time a dude in a gold chain and Adidas tracksuit sobbed through an entire yoga class. I think about all the people we give up on, including ourselves, when maybe sometimes what we needed was only a sacred shift in approach—something less direct, something roundabout, something corporeal. Sometimes we need to take the long, circuitous way home to ourselves and each other rather than following the algorithmic directions for the most effective route. Kids get that. Adults forget that. I know I do. Here’s to inefficient, artsy, childlike apology. Here’s to repair as multidimensional as we are.
‘During our conversation, I commented how so many had discovered the marvellous area of the Languedoc and its people, thanks to him and his writings. This, I believe, is the true treasure and Henry Lincoln’s lasting legacy.’
Henry Lincoln: Co-author of book that inspired The Da Vinci Code
The controversial ‘The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’ pioneered an area of research that spawned countless other works in the alternative history genre
by Marcus Williamson
Henry Lincoln in 2001. Prior to his literary career, he wrote scripts for ‘Z Cars’ and for ‘Doctor Who’ (Alamy)
Sir Henry, has died at the age of 92. [1930-2022]
I will miss you, Henry. Our Templar. Thank you for Languedoc, and Saint-Salvayre. For Mary. J’adore.
Henry said to me in this sacred space, “This is a special place, I hope you realize that.” Indeed. Transformative and indelible experience, being within the Sacred Geometry.
‘Mary (Magdalene), it is your own heart that will be the adjudicator of this, in our present are we stand at a crossroads in our history.
From the Gospel of Mary Magdalene:
‘Be of good heart; and if you are discouraged, be encouraged in the presence of the diversity of the forms of nature. Those with ears let them hear. The child of humanity is within you.’
I had so hoped, and longed, to see you again and share in your wisdom, in our beloved Languedoc. Gentle travels, Sir Henry. My heart soars knowing you know. -dayle
“Oh bloody hum.” “Yay.” -Sir Henry ღ
‘A cover version of the Clash’s London Calling to draw the world’s attention to the struggle of the Ukrainian people and raise money for the Free Ukraine Resistance -Free Ukraine/Resistance Channell [Youtube]
‘You can cut all the flowers,
but you cannot keep spring from coming.’
How should we celebrate your day?
If today was a holiday in your honor, what would it be about?
If we had to examine everything about you, your work, your impact, your reputation–what would be the positive caricature we would draw? What sorts of slogans, banners and greetings would we use to celebrate you and your work?
It’s never accurate to boil down an organization or a person’s work to a simple sentence or two, but we do it anyway.
We can create this honor in any moment, and shift our lives to live that honor. What will your day be about? -dayle
“Make your life a little less difficult to another.”
“Don’t quite before the finish line. Walking away from something that is bad for you is not quitting.”
Horace, ‘Never despair.’ Winston Churchill, ‘Never, never.’
“The history of the world, with the material destruction of cities and nations and people, expressed the interior division that tyrannizes the souls of all men, and even of the saints.” -New Seeds of Contemplation
From Merton’s The Sigh of Jonas
“Sooner or later the world must burn, and all things in it…for by that time the last man in the universe will have discovered the bomb capable of destroying the universe, and will have been unable to resist the temptation to throw the thing and get it over with.
And here I sit writing a diary.
But l o v e laughs at the end of the world, because love is the door to eternity; and, before anything can happen, love will have drawn him over the sill and closed the door, and he won’t bother about the world burning because ehe will know nothing about love.”
“Today will be different. Today I will be present. Today, anyone I speak to, I will look them in the eye and listen deeply. […] Today I will take pride in my appearance. I’ll shower, get dressed i proper clothes, and change into yoga clothes only for yoga, which today I will actually attend. […] Today there will be an ease about me. My face will be relaxed, its resting place a smile. Today I will radiate calm. Kindest and self-control will abound. Today I will buy local. Today I will be my best self, the person I’m capable of being. Today will be different.”
“Mother Earth and culture, the mother of mothers, are both a state, even as reverence toward Pachamama is on the rise.”
[Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous peoples of the Andes.]
“Let us apply Julian’s teachings on motherhood to Mother Earth. As we saw in chapter 4, Hildegard was explicitly in her language about Mother Earth, demanding that ‘the earth must not be destroyed.’ The destruction of the earth is the destruction of the feminine. Matricide is ecocide, and ecocide is matricide. Invasion of indigenous lands and destruction of their cultures, the spreading of viruses that killed millions of indigenous peoples…the outcomes were the same. History is filled with matricides of all kinds Genocides, too” (p. 95).
“The ancient Hindu sages, we are told, ‘predicts the age in which we are now living.’ For them Kali Yuga represents the collapse of every kind of inner and outer coherence and personal and institutional forms of compassion, concern, and justice” (p. 95).
Matthew Fox, ‘Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic-and Beyond.’
[Church of the Voyager, Coronado, California.]
Ukraine’s colors remind us of light, in so much darkness.
Pave a way for me out of darkness into l i g h t.
‘Great people are not those who have never fallen down. Great people are those who, when they do fall down, dig deep within themselves and find the strength to get back up. Today may I be someone who rises from the ashes of (the) past.’
‘I’m with Meduza’
Defend the Truth
Independent Russian news.
“We need your help. Right now.
The Kremlin is doing everything in its power to hide the truth about its war against Ukraine. Russia is under military censorship. The authorities prohibit the press from calling this full-scale invasion of Ukraine a war, and they threaten journalists who publish independently verified information about the conflict with up to 15 years in prison.
Meduza was launched in Europe in 2014, shortly after Russia annexed Crimea. For eight years, we have worked to produce independent journalism under the most unfavorable conditions. Millions of people in Russia now rely on our reporting. But a few days ago, our journalists were forced to leave the country.
Since the outbreak of this war, transferring money from Russia to Europe has been impossible. We lost 30,000 donators. At the moment, we get no money from Russia at all.
In this situation, we turn to you. We ask you to take the place of our dedicated supporters in Russia. Save Meduza for our Russian readers — and for yourself.
We have a duty to tell the truth. We have millions of readers in Russia who need us. Without independent journalism, it will be impossible to stop this monstrous war.”
“We are, like Dante, lost in a dark forest, with no sense of orientation. An increasing process of abstraction has demolished our human values, leaving in total command that ultimate abstraction which is the general exchange value for all goods and services: money.
And it may well be that, like Dante, we will have to go through hell and purgatory in order to access our true nature, which is, all wisdom traditions teach us, love.
It will not be an easy journey. It is our collective spiritual task and It will require that we recognize not just the evil which is out there, visible and obvious, but the subtler forms of its inner counterpart, the subtle ways in which we are all partaking of the collateral damage.
We need to be inner and outer warriors, so that pure love may shine, l’amor che muove il sole e l’altre stelle (the love which moves the sun and the other stars).”
Shantena Sabbadini, Director
The destruction and murder deepens today.
“More bodies will come, from streets where they are everywhere and from the hospital basement where adults and children are laid out awaiting someone to pick them up. The youngest still has an umbilical stump attached.”
From British journalist Carole Cadwalladr:
Oh my god. You can see the words written perfectly clearly, both in front & back of the building: “DETI” = “CHILDREN”
From AP News:
By MSTYSLAV CHERNOV, EVGENIY MALOLETKA and LORI HINNANT
MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — The bodies of the children all lie here, dumped into this narrow trench hastily dug into the frozen earth of Mariupol to the constant drumbeat of shelling.
There’s 18-month-old Kirill, whose shrapnel wound to the head proved too much for his little toddler’s body. There’s 16-year-old Iliya, whose legs were blown up in an explosion during a soccer game at a school field. There’s the girl no older than 6 who wore the pajamas with cartoon unicorns, among the first of Mariupol’s children to die from a Russian shell.
They are stacked together with dozens of others in this mass grave on the outskirts of the city. A man covered in a bright blue tarp, weighed down by stones at the crumbling curb. A woman wrapped in a red and gold bedsheet, her legs neatly bound at the ankles with a scrap of white fabric. Workers toss the bodies in as fast as they can, because the less time they spend in the open, the better their own chances of survival.
“The only thing (I want) is for this to be finished,” raged worker Volodymyr Bykovskyi, pulling crinkling black body bags from a truck. “Damn them all, those people who started this!”
More bodies will come, from streets where they are everywhere and from the hospital basement where adults and children are laid out awaiting someone to pick them up. The youngest still has an umbilical stump attached.
C R I M I N A L
From President Zelensky’s address to the U.S. Congress this morning:
‘Peace is more important than income.’
‘It’s about freedom. It’s about the right of people to determine their own future.’
‘Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.’
From Pope Francis:
“We’ve all seen the heartbreak that people are experiencing. We can’t assume that if we just provide the shelter and the food and the clothing that people will be fine. As they always do when they’re forced to flee their homes, people need mental health and psychosocial support, and that’s something we’re especially focusing on.”
The Jesuit Review
THE PLIGHT OF UKRAINE’S WOMEN
by, Kevin Clarke
A Ukrainian volunteer Oleksandr Osetynskyi, 44 holds a Ukrainian flag and directs hundreds of refugees after fleeing from the Ukraine and arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Monday, March 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
“As they escape from the war, refugees will face different threats. The escalating scale of the crisis has left responders at the border struggling to keep up. Tracking new arrivals has been especially challenging. More than 1.2 million have fled into Poland; a vigorous response is being joined there and in other border nations by a number of Catholic humanitarian relief organizations, including Catholic Relief Services, Caritas, Jesuit Refugee Service and Malteser International”
Please consider Global Giving for your humanitarian support of Ukrainian refugees. -dayle
International Women’s Day
Posted on social media by Kristina Berdynskykh via Oleksiy Sorokin, Kyiv Independent
It’s amazing to see the West discover Ukrainians for themselves—and fall in love.
-Julia Ioffe, Journalist, Puck News
G L O R Y T O U K R A I N E!
G L O R Y T O HEROS!
Find President Zelenskyy’s address to the UN from this morning, and listen. -dayle