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2020, a year for living InsideOut

A long long time ago, a few days before Christmas, my friend and listening buddy Yannis Angelis announced in his seasonal greetings card that for him 2020 would be The Year of Being Enough. Sounds good I thought - what could the year be for me?

Hit by the UK election result (even longer ago, on 12th December) I had fallen painfully silent, as if hit by a truck. I was thrown into some inner place, a bereavement of sorts.

But it didn't feel right to linger too long in that lonely inner place abandoning my life long interest in what goes on in the world around me. Working with, for and in civil society has been my life’s personal and professional preoccupation since I was a teenager and now didn't seem like the time to stop.

So here’s a clue I thought. Inside. Outside. 2020 could be my year of living InsideOut.

For much of my life I have tried and often struggled to hold my inner and outer worlds together. I could live in one or the other, but both at the same time seemed too much of a stretch. So now in the year of my 70th birthday, is as good a time as any to bravely step into my InsideOut space, the space holding the two.

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This drawing by Steven Appleby published in Meeting Together in 2006 offers me a hint of what living in this InsideOut space may be like - I cultivate nice stuff inside and trot smilingly to offer it to the waiting world outside?

But what are those spikey things I see - nasty explosions or are they gently welcoming palm trees? Yes most probably both, so I’ll need an inner refuelling sanctuary place in order to boldly go where I have been before but to venture out in a new way, and, perhaps, to know it for the first time.

So I am refashioning my old office space (from what it was long ago, before Christmas) to become my InsideOut space. For when I focus inside, I have my cushion for mediation, an armchair for contemplation and screen and books for edification, all living alongside decent internet and lighting for worldwide virtual conversations for when I focus outside -my own little sanctuary to help me be active in the world.

So in 2020, I embark on a new adventure in which I and get2thepoint collaborators are ‘close by and right behind you’ as you fight on the civil society front line.

Breathe in, breathe out, InsideOut.

Posted on 01-01-2020 at 01:19

To listen is to hear, with attention.

With this blog I invite you to listen with me - to life wherever it may be found: within self, society, our natural environment. My intention is to nourish the life in and all around me and, if you so choose, in and around you too. [More...]

‘Listen for life’ means listening to life (as in ‘is there a pulse?’), listening for all of life (for whatever time we have left), listening to enhance life (so we live more fully).

Our ears are our primary, but not only, organ for hearing. By choosing to attune our brains, we practice listening, and will hear more. And as we hear more we will think, and act, powerfully from that place.

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