Honoring Stories and Integrating Curriculum™ Part 1: Creating Room for An Expansive Heart to Dwell
Last night, my neighbors and I stood on our shared balcony and gazed together on the beauty of the moon. The moon reflects the sun’s light. In a lunar eclipse, the earth blocks the sun’s light. When we watch a lunar eclipse, as we look at the moon, we see the shadow of the earth as it moves in front of the moon.
Last night, the majesty of the moment captivated us. I am especially grateful to Wenjie (Harry) Wu who had a magnificent telescopic camera that helped us compare what we saw in the sky with what appeared in his pictures (his photo is above).
One of my neighbors asked me – “do moments like this make you more overwhelmed by how vast the earth is or do they bring you peace?” In truth, moments like this simultaneously fill me with wonder, awe, fear, comfort and peace. I step into an expansive and creative mind, heart, and spirit that lines up with what I feel in my own heart.
I feel the immensity of the earth blocking the sun’s light and sense in the awe and fear that fills me how I and the entire world are at the mercy of something much larger than ourselves. The earth’s shadow moving its way across the bright reflected sun’s light on the moon reminds me of the unnecessary suffering of so many people across generations of time because of the selfishness and brokenness of humankind.
And yet, simultaneously, I also feel a deepened intimacy with the creator of this much beauty. I feel like I am locking eyes with my creator. I feel like my creator is making Himself known to me, being fully transparent with me, filling my soul with life so expansive it never ends. I feel seen. Known so completely. Held. Loved. Covered by the one who knows the darkness well and has made a way for me to see that my creator holds the world in His hands, no matter how dark it gets.
And all I want to do is gaze into my creator's face and bask in my creator's beauty and hold onto my creator's generous love for me, learn again how to live for the rest of my life from this place of awe, gratitude, and love. I sense that even though the earth is blocking the light from the sun, the light has won. The darkness cannot put out the light. The light will always make its way to me.
I begin to hear again the inner dialogue that passes between me and my creator, and I open to how my creator’s spirit is showing me more ways to live and love so deeply that no matter what darkness I encounter, when I turn inward, I will always find the light and know how to let my creator’s reflected light reach through the earth’s shadow to those around me.
There is a Bible verse that has always been my guiding light. It has always spoken to me, called me into the expansiveness of my creator’s heart, spirit, and mind. It is the inspiration behind Community Allies and Honoring Stories and Integrating Curriculum™. It is this Psalm from King David.
Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” A few verses later, in a way I totally resonate with because I too often need to speak to myself this way, David writes “My heart says of you, “Seek his face! Your face, Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8).
So much of my training from the world has oriented around self-sufficiency, independence, and individualism. So when trouble, confusion or hardship come, my temptation is to dig in, take it on, solve it myself, and triumph over it. It is in fact what the world would say is a healthy go-getter mindset.
For me, this training casts a shadow over who I am called to be and how I am called to create my life. When instead of intellectualizing every challenge I face, I build a life where my creator can dwell, I am freed up to root myself in hearing my own voice as it is intertwined with my creator's.
I can lean into my creator's spirit in what I create for every area of my life (friends, family, work, career, etc), and I am freed up to root myself in more and more of the expansiveness of my creator's heart, to step into the protection my creator's light brings, and to reflect more of my creator's light as I go.
This is my story. It is the spirit in me and behind the work I do. My faith and my worldview are not something I impose on others or on organizations who invite me in, but just as I invite others to share their stories in all I do, this is my story of the heart I feel beating through me that fuels my passion for people and for organizations.
I love to facilitate change-making teams who together create room for something larger and more expansive to appear. Inevitably, the change needed in our industries, in our communities, and in our families makes itself known through the team’s collective gifts and insights that are revealed as we learn what it means to build thriving communities.
The change-management approach Honoring Stories and Integrating Curriculum™ comes from many fields, the core fields being ethnodrama, literacy, teacher research, and community development. Each of these fields points to the power of intentionality, thoughtfulness, care, and reflection in building our lives and communities.
Each of these fields points to the individual as a member of a much broader collective, a broader collective than in our worldly training we often have yet to see or consider. Each of these fields helps us see more dimensions of ourselves, our families, and of the many communities who are shaping our lives and vice versa.
Each of these fields helps us get better at creating our lives in step with a more expansive mind, heart, and spirit. In the process, we discover the special gifts, talents, cultures, and skills we bring to the larger collective, and vice versa – all that people who may not look, talk and act like us bring.
When we slow down to build communities rooted in this kind of intentionality, we together step into places of transformation. We expand our inner and collective capacities to engage in change-making with those who see the world much differently than we do. We start down the path of building and sustaining communities and organizational cultures that support each of us individually and collectively in thriving.
In Honoring Stories and Integrating Curriculum™ Part 2: Cross-Sector Change-Making, you will learn how this change-making approach is taking hold in the mortgage industry.
Sarah Hobson, Ph.D. specializes in supporting teams, departments and schools, businesses, and government agencies in building inclusive innovative change-making communities who understand how to connect well with and join diverse populations in providing needed sustainable resources for all youth and families.