The Wisdom of Pivot

We set out to launch our new school of ancient wisdoms with our {Opening} class on March 31st.  Then the aggression on Ukraine happened – and it hit our hearts so deeply, and retraumatized those of us with war in our pasts.  In our last Wisdom Circle meeting with Elders and Master Teachers we all felt the call to pivot.  Now, the times call for something else.  We are answering the call.

Instead of talking about ancient, indigenous and Earth  wisdoms – we are pivoting to practicing them, today.  Instead of teaching, we are organizing.

What do the times call for you now?  What would the wise Elders tell us to do now about Ukraine and this act of barbarism?  We asked our own Elders and Indigenous leaders to refresh us.  Here is the beginning of the call we heard.

Pivot from talking to practicing, and from teaching to organizing.  In a good way.

We talk at UpEnd about the four ancient ways of being – commonly recurring archetypes – Warrior, Lover, Mystic and Lightheart.  Wisdom is not just knowing what to do, but when to do what, and how much.

For the people on the ground in Ukraine, now is not the time for us to philosophize, offer alternative points of view, debate who is right and wrong, and what could have been done differently. They are being shelled and killed today, children and all.

First, now is the time for the Wise Warrior to wake up in all of us and take concrete action.  The killing must stop now.  The Warrior way of being, as taught by many ancient traditions, is one of honor, presence, awareness, choice and decisive, tangible, thoughtful action.  We may not take up arms and fly to Ukraine, but we can and will take action now – call our representatives, get the facts, verify them, share and educate, take a stand, protest, collect aid and ship it.  There is no debate that we must take action now to stop the bleeding, today.  Do it.  We are.  Warriors are also leaders.  Engage your communities, invite, challenge, persuade, cajole, lead by example.   Organize. Amplify. Lead. With a brave heart. No time for shame or giving up or thinking we don’t matter and there is nothing we can do.  We can, and today!  Step into your Warrior and take honorable action to protect the sanctity of human life.  You’ll know what to do, and if you don’t ask for guidance – inner, spiritual, ancestral, Earth, Elders, Indigenous, ethical – the guidance is everywhere and it’s very clear.  Protect the sanctity of human life, of all life.

At the same time, open your heart and show empathy and compassion for the people being attacked right now, like so many ancients describe in the ways of the Lover.  With prayers and well wishes, but also listening with the softest part of our ears, as one of our Teachers at UpEnd tells our team.  Encourage our sisters and brothers in Ukraine (and Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and so many other places) to stay strong, promise that we will support them in the long run and keep our word, they are not alone, we are listening and feeling with them.  We love them and feel their pain in our hearts and bodies.  Especially those of us who’ve experienced war directly or from afar in our own lands, let our retraumatization open our hearts.  Remember also the mothers of soldiers who will be shipped home in body bags.  Remember also the Ukrainans not in Ukraine right now, who are suffering from afar.  I know this one really well.  It really hurts to be 5,000 miles away and powerless, watching your neighborhood where your Mom, Dad and brother are on CNN getting shelled.  There are no winners here.

Like that.  It’s a start.

What is the wise thing to do right now, without debating, rushing to judgement, dismissing, hiding, or changing the channel?  These are our sisters and brothers.  If there is anything that all the ancients, religions, cultures, indigenous and scientific people agree on, it’s that we are all one, love is the way, and life is sacred.  While as a humanity we keep taking steps back, we do move forward.  Let let this last attack on Ukraine be the last one – it can be.  Always remember that there are a lot more of us who care about the sanctity of all human life and of all life, than the little Napoleonic despots who whip up a few thugs into the ways destruction, violence and death.  Yes, it may have always been this way, but IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY for our children.  Let’s let this mindless aggression on Ukraine be also a wakeup call to all of us.  First, make it stop for Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and others, and then let’s make it stop for all.  We can.  It’s not humanity’s destiny to keep hurting each other.