A legendary hero is usually the founder of something – the founder of
a new age, the founder of a new religion, the founder of a new city,
the founder of a new way of life. In order to found something new,
one has to leave the old and go in quest of the seed idea,
a germinal idea that will have the potentiality of
bringing forth that new thing.
– Joseph Campbell
What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us;
what we have done for others and the world
remains and is immortal.
– Albert Pike
Today many scholars suggest our Earth is suffering the extinction of many living species and a serious threat to all life because of human action. A “seed idea” emerging in response to this awareness is the notion that, at our present state of evolution, too many humans are caught in the self-centeredness of adolescence. Our behaviors, individually and collectively, mirror those of individuals who do not view themselves yet as deeply embedded in relationship to the larger community of Life. Nor do we see our unique contribution to that community of Life as integral to our life purpose.
Over the centuries, spiritual masters within many religious traditions have taught that growth in consciousness toward an awareness of our interconnectedness comes to us by our making a journey that includes both struggle and joy. The journey has been given many names: conversion, breakthrough, transformation, enlightenment.
I believe we must come to know (or perhaps re-learn), both as individuals and as societies, the process by which individuals come to this stage of conscious evolution. In other words, how we come to see ourselves as living in union with the community of Earth that nourishes and provides for us.
The goal of this site, then, is to attempt to present a personal story of the journey of transformation toward maturity that I experienced. It is a journey still incomplete, but it is my hope that telling my story will aid in our collective ability to become more intentional about helping others to make the journey, too. No one person can “found” this movement. It will take us all to bring this new seed of awareness to full fruit.
How This Site Evolved
When I first began writing about my life story back in the 1990’s, my hope was to create a compilation of simple spiritual reflections to help others to gain the same sense of hope, meaning, and purpose in daily life with which I had been gifted in my own life journey. I initially gave the collection the title Can a God of the Universe Help Me Make It ‘Til Lunch? That was all I once wanted for myself and to offer to others: inspiration to get through another workday with some sense of integrity and contentment.
That draft title came from a period of struggle in my mid-20’s. I remember the day when, bored and unhappy with nearly everything about the what and where of my job, I comforted myself by speculating that things would be okay if I could “just make it ‘til lunch.” It was summer, and I decided that since being out in nature has always been good for my soul, I would go to the park for my lunch hour, sit near a tree in the sunshine, and try to carve out some space in the day when I felt myself at peace. I figured that if I could do that much for myself, the day would at least be downhill from there.
That lunchtime practice certainly did help, but there also came the day I drove most of the way home from work with tears streaming down my cheeks, wondering to myself what else I could do to make my life more meaningful and fulfilling. I know my journey is not unusual. Perhaps you, too, could find yourself in this scenario: As morning arrives, having finally given in to the repetitive nagging of the snooze alarm, you roll out of bed, already feeling grumpy. You stumble across the room and into the bathroom, burdened by a sense of dread at facing another meaningless day.
A few years later, in the mid-1980’s, I finally made a life choice that provided me with a community of support to help me gain many new insights about myself and my heart’s desire. I learned to trust what I valued. I also discovered a spiritual path and a work that brought together who I was on the inside with who I continued to become professionally on the outside.
During the late 1990’s, I began sharing some of my story and new insights with others in workshops and retreats. Eventually, I used that material to complete a first draft of reflections for what I thought would be a book. That was sometime in 2000. I began showing the draft to a few people. All responded with positive encouragement, saying they found the reflections helpful.
Then, in 2001, everything changed. It began, of course, with the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but that, as we know, proved to be only the beginning of the violent nightmare of the 21st Century. Ever since 9/11 the hard reality of the scale and complexity of the political, social, and environmental issues facing the human community has continued to come ever more sharply into view.
In the face of the growing trauma of 21st-Century living, I felt embarrassed to have once been concerned with so narrow a focus as getting through an average workday. I set the book aside. Yet, I continued to read, to reflect, to learn, to consider how the story of my own journey of growth and development might be of use to others like me.
A few years ago, I was prompted by reading The Cultural Creatives while on a week-long retreat to look back on my life and begin to integrate the various stages of it in a new way. That experience ultimately led to the structure for the “Currents of Change” on this site.
And of course, that unfolding continues with new challenges and new learnings every day. That is why this site is “a work in progress.” I will add new content periodically as I continue to reflect and write about new stages in my growth process.
I took a few of the steps on my journey on my own; but I freely admit that it was friends, colleagues, and mentors who fostered most of my breakthroughs. On this site you will find my own reflections as well as favorite quotes from resources that have helped me in my own journey of conscious evolution, a journey from despair to meaning, and from struggle to success in relationships and in my professional life.
As it is the background from which I come, many of my resources are from the Judeo-Christian tradition, but there are other voices as well, some contemporary, some from long ago; they include the voices of religious and political figures, scholars and scientists, poets and musicians.
On this site, you will meet many of the people who helped me on my journey of conscious evolution, some in quotations, some in stories, some in summaries of the books I have been blessed with on my journey.
Here I want in particular to thank Avis Clendenen, friend and former director of the Religious Studies Institute at Mundelein College, Chicago, who first defined for me the process of personal transformation. I also owe a debt of gratitude to all of the faculty at Mundelein who helped me understand the feminist critique.
I also want to thank Madeleine L’Engle, whose writing workshop I attended at Mundelein in 1989. During that workshop, she encouraged us to make the new science part of our spiritual reading. Following her advise was pivotal to my integration and growth.
Likewise, I want to thank Mary Southard, CSJ, and John Surette, SJ, whom I first met at their retreat center, SpiritEarth, near Boston in 1993. They introduced me to the work of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, and Miriam Therese MacGillis on the Universe Story.
I want to thank George Cairns, one of my professors at Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS), who first introduced me to the writings of Ken Wilber and Thomas Keating on Integral Theory; and Robert Moore, also a professor of mine at CTS, whose own work as a spiritual theologian continues to inspire me.
I also want to thank all my dear friends who have walked closely with me as we have struggled to maintain a sense of integrity in our lifestyle-choice as Catholic sisters, especially Kathleen M. Conway, BVM, who for so many years has been open to hearing my speculative ramblings, even at the breakfast table. I also want to thank Judy Cauley, CSJ, who has been a supportive companion on the journey of cosmic awareness, and who re-introduced me to the work of Barbara Marx Hubbard, a major inspiration for this site.
Finally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Carol Hohle, Website designer and consultant, who dropped unexpectedly into my life at just the right moment to add her knowledge and creativity to the process of transforming this site into its current state.
Once again, welcome to the site. I wish you all the best on your own life journey.