The Work That Reconnects

“Active Hope is waking up to the beauty of life on whose behalf we can act. We belong to this world.” -Joanna Macy

The following is excerpted from the website of the Work That Reconnects Network

The Spiral of the Work That Reconnects

The Work That Reconnects, based in the teachings of Joanna Macy, unfolds as a spiral journey through four stages: Coming from Gratitude, Honoring our Pain for the World, Seeing with New/Ancient Eyes, and Going Forth. Each of these stages leads naturally to the next. The journey helps us experience first hand that we are larger, stronger,  more creative – and more deeply interconnected – than we knew.

The Spiral begins by coming from gratitude, because that quiets the frantic mind and brings us back to source, stimulating our empathy and confidence. It helps us to be more fully present and opens psychic space for acknowledging the pain we carry for our world.

In owning and honoring our pain for the world, and daring to experience it, we learn the true meaning of compassion: to “suffer with.” We begin to know the immensity of our heart-mind. What had isolated us in private anguish now opens outward and delivers us into the wider reaches of our inter-existence.

Experiencing the reality of our inter-existence helps us see with new/ancient eyes. We can sense how intimately and inextricably we are related to all that is. We can taste our own power to change, and feel the texture of our living connections with past and future generations, and with our brother/sister species.

Then we go forth into the actions that call each of us, according to our situation, gifts, and limitations. With others whenever and wherever possible, we set a target, lay a plan, step out. We don’t wait for a blueprint or fail-proof scheme, for each step will be our teacher, bringing new perspectives and opportunities. Even when we don’t succeed in a given venture, we can be grateful for the chance we took and the lessons we learned.

And so the Spiral begins again, with gratitude. There are hard things to face in our world today, if we want to be of use. Gratitude, when it’s real, offers no blinders. On the contrary, in the face of devastation and tragedy it can ground us. Especially when we’re scared, gratitude can hold us steady for the work that must be done.

In addition to forming the container for Work That Reconnects workshops, the Spiral may also unfold naturally over the span of a project, over the course of a day, several times in one day, or even over a whole phase of one’s life.

The Spiral is fractal in nature. The sequence can repeat itself in ever new ways. Sometimes the whole sequence plays out within one particular stage. We come back to it again and again as a source of strength and fresh perspectives.

From the Work That reconnects Network (see below for link)

For more information please visit the website of the Work That Reconnects Network

See here for Deep Times, a Journal of The Work That Reconnects

  • Profile: Joanna Macy
    Joanna Macy PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. The author of more than twelve books, she is the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects.
  • SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022: Online Workshop of “The Work That Reconnects”, with Inna Alex
    SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022 AT 2:30 PM – 4:45 PM UTC+10 How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy? DEEP ECOLOGY Online Workshop in the Work That Reconnects facilitated by Inna Alex. Join us as we build community exploring the complex nature of our times! TIMING: 2.30-4.45pm AEST / 4.30-6.45pm NZST Register via… Read more: SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022: Online Workshop of “The Work That Reconnects”, with Inna Alex
  • Practice: Breathing Through
    Joanna Macy offers the following practice as part of the preparatory work for the “Honouring our Pain for the world” component of The Work That Reconnects. Basic to most spiritual traditions is the recognition that we are not separate, isolated entities, but integral and organic parts of the vast web of life. We can… Read more: Practice: Breathing Through
  • Three Stories of our time
    Rather than offering its own analysis of causes and solutions for the crises of our time, the Work That Reconnects invites us to take a fresh look at what we see happening around us. The model of “Three Stories of Our Time” helps us do this. Each of these stories reveals a profoundly different lens… Read more: Three Stories of our time
  • Thinking Like a Mountain: PDF
    We ask for the presence of the spirit of Gaia and pray that the breath of life continues to caress this planet home. May we grow into true understanding — a deep understanding that inspires us to protect the tree on which we bloom, and the water, soil and atmosphere without which we have no existence. May we turn inwards and stumble upon our true roots in the intertwining biology of this exquisite planet. May nourishment and power pulse through these roots, and fierce determination to continue the billion-year dance.