Friday, February 6, 2009

February 6 - Love Is The New Religion

During the campaign, a friend offered a perception that "Barack is here to open hearts." I felt immediate resonance with that idea.  This poem by Brian Piergrossi, from his book The Big Glow, affirms the wave of change that is in motion and it strengthens our hearts:  "We know that quietly and humbly we have the power of all the oceans combined..."

Poem "Love is the New Religion"

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19 - The Annointing of Barack Obama – And Ourselves

A beautiful prayer just came across the internet for our future, bringing tears to my eyes (may as well be prepared for the flow of tears for Inauguration tomorrow!).  It is written by Reverend Tilden H. Edwards, Jr., the Founder of The Shalem Institute (an organization dedicated to contemplative living and leadership).  He ends the beautiful essay with:

"Our societal time ahead is a momentous one, full of challenges and possibilities that most of us would never have dreamed of even a year ago.  May we all live into this time with a sense of being annointed in our own way to let the Spirit lead through us, as well as through our new American President."

Click here to read the Essay/Prayer:  Annointing of Barack Obama – And Ourselves

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 24 - The Spiritual Dimensions of Obama's Leadership

It is a timely moment for authors Corrine McLaughlin and Gordon Davidson to pull together a comprehensive summary of the many spiritual layers of Obama's presence and leadership in their above titled article.  

I resonate with all of it – much of it a mirror of what I have been writing on the Choose To Unite blog, and the song/video itself!  This is my favorite passage:

"Obama signifies more than the emergence of an inspired, gifted leader.  He is like a catalyst dropped into a supersaturated solution, that builds a crystalline structure around itself based on its innate pattern, and then transforms the whole solution.  The supersaturated solution is the collective spiritual awakening that has for years been calling out for a leader to unite our nation and establish right relations with the world.  Suddenly, it has crystallized around Obama.  His ideas and presence among us, speaking to the 'better angels of our nature,' as Lincoln did, has crystallized a movement that says, 'Yes we can!'  We can be better than who we have been, both as individuals and as a nation."

While lengthy, this essay is definitely worth the read:

55,000 views on YouTube of the Choose To Unite video.  An auspicious number, for a song of "universal support for the birth of our new world!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

November 10 - Reunited States of America

Our Choose To Unite videographer Grant Taylor wrote the morning after the election to the Santa Fe New Mexican; his letter was published in yesterday's Sunday November 9 paper:

"We've chosen a true leader and healer, someone who touched our hearts and the powers within us.  Our votes transcended politics, for we have truly chosen a leader of the people.  The power that elected Barack Obama is much greater than he himself, as he acknowledged in his first speech as president-elect.  It is the power of change and a profound choice for freedom that we made for ourselves and for our country.  The unity and oneness of community we are feeling, the courage to realize our mistakes and transgressions, and to change our character in the midst of difficult times – this is what should propel  our hearts into this bright open future.

There is a Barack Obama inside each of us; this is how he became elected.  Our vote represents this recognition.  And what we recognize, we can become.  Let's use this power of unity, this shared common purpose and take the hope and love that we have for the future and celebrate it here and now."

Read the other inspiring letters in the Nov. 9 New Mexican:


"...[Obama] has promised to unify our country, and we should take him at his word... there is no reason to withhold support to the man, given the challenges ahead... I urge the 48% of us who voted for John McCain to... let go of divisiveness that has prevented progress.  It is Obama's turn, and he will soon show us what he can do. We own him that chance and the opportunity that he has earned."  (Mike Young)

"...He won because he is black and white, a mix of two races, not just one... Barack knows and understands both sides in whatever issue is brought forth to our country and the world... We will no longer live in the dark and controlled by a few... Deep down, we know: We are far greater than who and what we think we are.  Deep down, we give profound thanks for this historic change in our country, our lives."  (Helen Oates)

"...We all bonded with a rare example of leadership, a candidate for president with unfailing dignity, setting an example of resolve, asking for our participation in searching out and exercising a more ennobling vision of social responsibility toward one another... As a result... [Americans] prepare with renewed hope for the opportunity of sharing the responsibility for the good health of this precious little blue marble and its inhabitants, our home in the universe."  (Tal Streeter)

Sunday, November 9 – milestone of 50,000 views of Choose To Unite on YouTube!  Sharing a comment from friend Nancy McGuire (a mother and life coach):  "The video is even more pertinent today than it was during the campaign.  It is a call to our citizenry as to what we need to do to go forward as Americans under President Obama... Choose To Unite.  This video is more brilliant in the context of where we are at right now in the transition, and the words will be used as the mantra moving forward..."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5 - Hallelujah! Our New President!

What an ocean of feelings must be washing over the country today.  When it registered that Obama had won, I had the feeling of floating down, down, down to a very safe and still place on the ocean's floor where the currents are calm – no matter how waves are churning on the surface.  I felt the depths of justness and mercy in this outcome, and the magnitude of what it means at so many levels – for individuals no matter what their race, for our country, and for the world also holding its breath for Barack's success.  

For me, I am overcome with tears of joy, relief, gratitude, awe and pride.  I am so proud of our country rising to meet this opportunity to "create a new day" in "the highest way" (to quote the Choose To Unite song).  I am proud that over 100 of our country's major newspapers wrote with wisdom about why they chose to endorse Obama.  I am proud of how people showed up to vote, determined that this time their voice would be heard, their vote counted.  I am proud of how vigilantly so many people worked behind the scenes for this outcome.  

How could phrases often repeated in church like "Thanks be to God," "The Lord is just and good" not run through one's head in a moment like this?  We are blessed.  May the Grace of God continue to be with us as we move forward with a grounded, caring visionary leader.  We are in this together, and together we will see this through.

"Hey, People of the USA!"  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  

Barack & Michelle Obama - Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

43,000 Views of Choose To Unite on YouTube.  Sharing a comment from Eric George, arranger and performer of the Choose To Unite song: "This is not just an election song.  If Barack wins, this song will be completely relevant throughout his time in office" (observed in June, 2008, as we were working on the song).  And another similar comment on our website:  "This is not just a campaign song, but one of universal support for the birth of our new world."

I felt this so clearly last night, looking at the crowds in Chicago.  It felt like looking at our video!  The song and video have "held the vision" through the election, and I know will continue to do so through Barack's Presidency.  We are "empowering a leader who represents our range" and we will continue to bring our strengths and voices forth.  "Diversity... Community... Unity... Love and Equality.  We are the Change."

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27 - Letter Published in the New Mexican

I submitted the below 10/15 post to Santa Fe's New Mexican right before leaving on a trip, and on the road have learned it was published. It was unedited, except for the title; theirs is a great (more direct) one:

"Let's Get It Right - Vote for Obama"

I deeply appreciate this response posted at the New Mexican online, by artist Michael Allstead:
"Thank you Susan for saying what is truly in the hearts of a lot of us out here. I read your column in the New Mexican and was warmed by the positivity of hope for our country with the help of Barack.  We the people must pitch in to make things work as they should. A great leader will need the support and trust in him to change our direction to the world we all truly want to live in." 

Sharing YouTube comment on the Choose To Unite video (33,000 views to date): 

"What a wonderful piece.  What a great unifying video.  Let's go for it – Obama represents us all. Let's pray for God's protection, wisdom and love."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15 - Character as a Foundation of Civilization

Immediately following our September 25th Los Alamos Times interview, I was inspired to write about the lyrics of the Choose To Unite song, as posted on the October 7 blogs, as well as a piece about Barack and Character.  Because it feels in tandem with Frank Schaeffer's article (see October 14 Blog), this feels like a perfect moment to post it.

 "In a time where the world is topsy turvy, certain people remind us that a person of character is still the foundation of civilization." I heard this sentence in a recent talk, and asked the speaker for permission to use it in the context of this writing.

It is finally time to plead.  "Hey, People of the USA" – Wake Up!  A large percentage of We, the American People have been in a slumber, or trance – unaware of or ignoring the degree of the nation's spiraling decline, its tenuous position in the world, the fragility of our very existence vis-a-vis nuclear threat and environmental destruction.  It is not computing that crisis contains opportunity, and opportunity has been placed in full, living technicolor view in the form of Barack Obama.

People like Obama are extremely rare and do not come around often.  But this exceptional model of a human being is here now, and this country would be literally insane not to usher him in as the leader he was brought here to be with the strengths and opportunity he offers us. Who else brings such a brilliant mind, clear communication, natural presence, hope, vision, stamina, and the ability to inspire, organize and galvanize millions of people?  Who else has such honesty, genuine human warmth and solid values as a husband, parent, citizen?  Who else has such clear seeing and personal integrity?  And who else with all these assets would be willing to take on, and capable of leading through, the utter chaos and disastrous state of affairs that we find ourselves in?  Who else has broad strategic vision regarding the overall complexity of challenges that we face?

We are certainly not the first example of humanity "going to sleep" on a gift of grace placed in our midst, right in front of our eyes.  One obvious parallel is Jesus.  Even though the ever present "crowds" witnessed and were awed by the miracles God performed through Jesus, in the end, they could not believe who he could potentially be and rejected him.  In the end, fear and an inability/unwillingness to see and trust the truth prevailed.

Barack Obama is a messenger (emphasis on the role of messenger vs. messiah).  My prayer for our country is that this time around, we do not do what we have done over and over, which is to "shoot the messenger."  Lessons keep coming back around until we can get them right, and this is truly a moment to get this one right, rather than repeating the same several thousand year old error.  Our survival depends on it.

"Let us trust God, and our better judgement to set us right hereafter.  United we stand, divided we fall" (Patrick Henry, 1799).  "United" means everyone, regardless of differences on the surface such as skin color, age, gender, economic status, religious beliefs.  Beneath these outer categorizations, humans have in common hearts, the ability to discern truth, and great capacity to love, heal and be transformed.  We have arrived, finally, at the threshold of uniting in our humanity, embracing the diversity of forms that God has created, as guardians of life and this precious planet called Earth.  It cannot be overstated how everything is at stake now.

In our choice of our next President, let us choose what we and the world need and deserve.  Let us choose a person who embodies and inspires greatness.  Let us choose a person who has the depth of character and vision that can offer a foundation for future civilization.  Let us be guided by truth and light.  May we be blessed with right action and get it right, this time around.

"He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8).  Barack Obama does. So must we.