Virginia Swain for America's Soul
Calling for a Spiritual Renaissance for America's Soul
with Virginia Swain
A troubled America's soul is crying out for a Spiritual Renaissance.
When the soul is neglected, it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence and loss of wisdom, says author Thomas Moore in his book Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life. Moore writes that "we have lost our wisdom about the soul and even our interest in the soul."
My soul friend, Thomas Banyacya, a Hopi Elder, delivered the Hopi Prophecy at the UN in 1992 on the need to change the way we live. Now is the hour, Thomas says, to find the leader within each of us and to develop and sustain a relationship with the Great Spirit and reverence for the earth.
I assure you this is a joyous process! I invite you to become a stakeholder in my process of celebration-both to bring hope to join with others inclined to knit together the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans in a very divided time and drawing on our longtime commitment to Culture of Peace Initiative through the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace at the United Nations , we commit to build a culture of hope and practical achievements in the American Culture of Peace.
A Spiritual Renaissance for America's Soul would occur when everyone knows why they're here and willing to claim their patch on the patchwork quilt of America's soul destiny. Our destiny will not be fulfilled until everyone's patch is on the quilt and we are all working together in equal partnership.
The late Vaclav Havel, author of the politics of hope when he led his inaurgural conference in Hiroshima, says "hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good".
Calling for a Spiritual Renaissance for America's Soul is a project of the Center for Global Community and World Law), a 501C nonprofit in consultative status at the United Nations. All donations are tax exempt.
One of my goals is to strengthen the United Nations through my own country, America. If you think the UN needs changing, you have to go back to your own country. I will re-focus my 25 years of experience developing and training Reconciliation Leaders in the United Nations to the United States and implement the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will, the will of the people
My spiritual renaissance began a long time before I met Thomas about five years before I lived on Mt. Tamalpais, Mill Valley, California, for nearly a year and a half in 1986-87. I had a spiritual emergency in 1979 that led me to Mt. Tam. Ten years later, when I was in New York City during the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11/01, I had a dream of a Phoenix rising from the ashes of Ground Zero. The Phoenix is a transformative and regenerative bird-- resurrecting America's soul purpose. My dream showed me a new way to look at my renaissance in 1986-87 and 9/11, encouraging me to heal and address the soul needs of the United States as told to me in my dream, to create a spiritual renaissance for America, one by one, soul by soul.
The World Café is a powerful social technology for engaging people in conversations that matter--offering an effective antidote to the fast-paced fragmentation and lack of connection in today's world.
Based on the understanding that conversation is the core process that drives personal, business, and organizational life, the World Café is more than a method, a process, or technique - it's a way of thinking and being together sourced in a philosophy of conversational leadership.
This greater unity of spiritual traditions will be the ground upon which America's Soul Café stands.
In Stephen R. Covey's popular book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People , he writes, “Begin with the end in mind.” In all the courses I led at the United Nations, including Designing and Implementing Interventions for Local, Community, National and Global Challenges, I use the imaging process (see collage at top of page) where we image a solution to a challenge and then can make a timeline and follow an action plan. My mentor, the late Dr. Elise Boulding, taught me the imaging process, where a problem cannot be resolved without imaging the solution first.
Eighteen years after Stephen Covey published his seminal work The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a hugely impactful book, selling millions of copies, he wrote The 8th Habit.
In the 8th Habit, he opens up more potential for us all – by moving from “effectiveness to greatness”. The world today is different, with more challenge, ambiguity and complexity and while the 7 Habits form a strong basis upon which to start, it is this next step – the 8th Habit –that will take us to true fulfillment in what Covey describes as the age of the knowledge worker.
Covey's 8th Habit is to find our voice. The essence of this habit is that you will find your voice when you can say you are 100% involved with what you are doing in your life, so that your body, mind, heart and spirit are all engaged in whatever is important to you. To find your voice, you need to examine your natural talent, what you absolutely love to do, what really interests you. And you must listen to the confirming inner voice of your conscience that tells you what is the right thing to do.
America's Soul cafés is a way to practice confirming your inner voice and examine your natural talent, what you absolutely love to do, what really interests your.
The American Soul Cafes began on Saturday, January 14, February, 4, March 4.
They continue on April 8, May 6 and June 10 on zoom from 11:00-1:00 ET, 10:00-12:00 CT, 8:00-10:00 PT . Subsequent Cafes will be announced in late May.
All donors are invited to join me in building the Spiritual Renaissance of hope.
Join donors Eileen Epperson, Jamshid Faryar, Elva Casteneda de Hall, Betty Poynton, Anne Burling, Lisa Stiller, Donna Talman, Robert Kauffman, Joanie Ciardelli, Nanri Tenney, Tom Patterson, Lisa Tener, Kim McCoy, Gene Bellinger, Wendy Driscoll, Chip Wood, Gioia Persuitte, and several anonymous donors who sent checks to me, to co-create a plan of action to facilitate America’s Soul Purpose at home and in the world, in a respectful, caring way by building relationships through America’s Soul Café.
Ø Peacebuilders $30-$98 receive an e-book of My Soul's Journey to Redefine Leadership: A New Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/11 in early February.
Ø Peacekeepers $99-$598 will receive one-hour consultation and my e-book.
Ø Peacemakers $599-$999 will receive a hardcover, e-book and a 2.5 hour consultation.
Ø Reconcilers $1,000-$2999 will receive a hardcover, e-book and 6 hours of consultation.
Ø Culture of Peace Diplomats $3,000-$4999 will receive a hardcover, ebook and 9 hours of consultation.
Ø Global Citizens at $5,000 or higher will receive a hardcover and an ebook and 12 hours of consultation.
My book is My Soul Journey to Redefine Leadership: A New Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/11. Contributions through the services of VirginiaSwain.com are donated to the Center for Global Community and World Law at l/3 our regular fee $50/hour.
For people who are ready to co-create a solution and who are open to a new definition of politics where people of all views facilitate peaceful change in America, in which we can coexist in sacred space, I am eager to share what I have learned from the Phoenix, America's Soul, as it came to me in a dream while in New York City on 9/11 during the World Trade Center attacks. It's all in my new book.
Here's my plan of action:
1. Invite others to join America's Soul Cafe and help every person know they have a role in America's destiny. to celebrate life. We, the people of this country, all have a life mission and purpose. Everyone is needed to step up to the patchwork quilt of America's soul, the Phoenix. Every patch and mission is important to the destiny of the USA
The Cafe is built on the world café model where people will join me on the Internet with their wisdom and experience to reflect and envision solutions to heal America's soul, using the imaging process in a Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will (the will of the people).
2. A Soul Journey to Redefine Leadership: A New Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/1 is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google, Apple and other distribution lists. The Phoenix is a transformative and regenerative bird, the Soul of America. The Phoenix shown through a dream experience gave me a new lens to look back at 9/11, encouraging me to heal and address the soul need of the US that the Phoenix has taught me. Read advance endorsements and the Foreword by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury.
3. Continue my 25 years of experience developing and training Reconciliation Leaders in the United Nations to now focus on training Reconciliation Leaders in the USA who redefine leadership for themselves based on their mission and purpose. To learn more about Reconciliation Leaders , read what these leaders say about the impact of the program on their lives.
Continue my scholarship offer to train Reconciliation Leaders throughout the program.
4.Celebration has been an important way to bring people together. Listen to my reflections on my 1992 United Nations Master's Thesis project, Celebration of the Children of the World: A Model for Building Global Community.
Here are two papers authored by Dr. Sarah Sayeed and myself:
“A Leadership and Practice to Reconcile Challenges in a Post–September 11th World” Presentation at the Human Dignity and Humiliations Studies Conference, Columbia University, Virginia Swain and Dr. Sarah Sayeed, 2006
“Reconciliation as Policy: A Capacity–Building Proposal for Renewing Leadership and Development,” Presentation at the Human Dignity and Humiliations Studies Conference, Columbia University, Virginia Swain and Dr. Sarah Sayeed, 2005.
Celebrating and creating solutions through expressive art is an important part of the work to restore faith in humanity,
5. Continue to present the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will (the will of the people) interventions under the Global Mediation and Reconciliation Service, as I did at the National Coalition of Deliberation and Dialogue Conference in October.
6. Create a coalition of coalitions for the Spiritual Renaissance for America. I am now part of Parker Palmer's Courage and Renewal Network. I led a study group last year of his book, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Democracy Worthy of the Human Spirit, and recently joined the Academy for Leaders. I am attending the Invitational retreat with Parker Palmer March 31-April 2, 2017.
Groups to be invited include individuals in the following groups with whom I am affiliated: Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, Center for Global Community and World Law, Institute for Global Leadership, National Coalition of Deliberation and Dialogue, World Cafe Community Network, Spiritual Directors International, American Counseling Association, Psychology Today Therapists, Worcester World Affairs Council, World Federalist Association-Institute for Global Policy, International Torch Club, and others you may invite when you join us.
I invite you to join me in any of the categories above. You can send a check (paypal see below) make it out to the Center for Global Community and World Law at 32 Hill Top Circle, Worcester, MA 01609. Your donations are tax exempt. A receipt will be emailed.
Founder, Institute for Global Leadership
Co-Founder and Director, Center for Global Community and World Law
32 Hill Top Circle
Worcester, MA 01609
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The challenges facing post-election America require a new spiritually based vision to re-define leadership in our country. This vision is not only needed in politics but in organizations throughout our country. For me, this vision of leadership has arisen out the ashes of ground zero and 9/11, giving a new lens through which to see the tragedy. My Soul’s Journey to Redefine Leadership: A New Phoenix Rises Out of the Ashes of 9/11 (Xlibris 2017), my memoir, is an example of how each person must redefine leadership for themselves in order to overcome the prevalent egotistical way of thinking and acting. In order to facilitate the spiritually grounded change that is needed, I propose to re-purpose my 25 years of United Nations experience developing and training vocationally oriented Reconciliation Leaders to facilitate the Peacebuilding Process of Reconciliation to develop political will (PPR), the will of the people.
I use the inspiration of a dream of the Phoenix, identified as America’s Soul and a symbol of regeneration and resurrection, to guide my vision to join with the Courage and Renewal network to join with others to heal America. I had the dream the night after the World Trade Center attack, while I was in New York City. My intention and resources to join with you to build an American culture that embraces a shared moral and spiritual vision draws on my goal to work with other like-minded visionaries, leaders and people committed to the same goals.
I began hosting America’s Soul Café monthly on-line cafes in January 2017, using the worldcafe.com framework, where people from around the country can share their wisdom and experience as they reflect on questions that arise from American life, personal responsibility, institutions, and systems. They seek creative solutions that arise from our sacred relationship to the earth and each other.
New on Saturdays April 8, May 6, June 10, 2017
The Cafe is built on sacred space and is an online free community building environment called the world cafe. It is also based on a new definition of politics and politician I defined and wrote in my master's thesis from Lesley University in 1993.
America's Soul Cafe and the World Café embodies discovery tools that helps a large group understand a set of issues at their own pace. It ' s great for helping people reach a state of common understanding and alignment.
Non-participating observers are always welcome! Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by the day before. Although latecomers are welcome, please register a day prior to the event!
Drawing on our longtime commitment to Culture of Peace and Global Movement for a Culture of Peace at the United Nations, we commit to building an American Culture of Peace through the America's Soul Cafe and the Spiritual Renaissance.