We’re a society that celebrates standing and performing and speaking from stages. We love movement and sharing about what we know and being in control. Because when we have something to give, we just feel better about our, hmm, what’s the word? Position?
It’s more comfortable being in a position of speaking rather than listening, would you agree? Or sharing rather than not having an answer. Right? I mean, who wants to be in the spotlight and fumble for words, only to hold our hands up and say, I’ve nothing to give. Just open hands.
Yet, isn’t there such beauty in unclimbing the ladder to sit? To share the stage? To learn from those who inspire us? To hand the mic or spotlight or intentionally shine attention on another? To experience small as sacred?
Last week, I joined the raddest guys at Thread to share about authentic leadership at work and home. I was nervous. So nervous to speak because it had been over a year since I stood on a stage and shared. Stage-speaking gets me all weird-feeling now. As though I’m important and talking-at-you instead of finding my truest self at home talking with you; shoulder to shoulder or eye-to-eye. In a cozy living room environment. I guess that’s why Pasture is my jam. Small, intimate conversational gatherings is where I’m most alive. I believe healing begins with listening. Deep, true, I don’t-need-to-fix-you-cuz-I’m-broken-too listening.
I spoke with an amazing woman just yesterday. She applied for the Pasture Weekend Retreat in April and I asked what she’s longing for in this season. She put to words a discomfort I’ve noticed but didn’t have language for. She too is a speaker and book writer. She knows how to share from a platform. Her words made my cry: “When you said you know how to speak from stage but are intentionally descending to sit and listen in small groups, something in my spirit resonated. Listening to others, listening to ourselves, I realized that’s the kind of connection I want. One where I’m not the only one talking, but where I’m learning and listening to 11 other women.”
There’s beauty in saying we don’t have to own or control the whole stage or pie. We can enjoy a portion, a sliver of all types of people, stories, sufferings, and offer our truest selves in the space we do have.
I thought of her words as I sat this morning with coffee and avo egg toast and opened to John 6:1-15, to the oldy-but-goody story of when Jesus fed loaves and fishes. I paused at the following verses. Notice, those who sat were the ones who received:
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down…Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.” (v.10-11, italics mine).
There’s a humility in taking a seat. In descending. In sitting on the grass or dirt, shoulder-to-shoulder, eye-to-eye. There’s a we’re all-on-the-same-level connection that occurs when we go from standing to seated. Seated to receive.
What would it look like to pause from standing to sit and receive? Receive in listening to ourelves, to the voice of God, to the chatter around?
What would it look like to not have to have all the answers or wisdom or stories to share, but to cozy up in the comfort of receiving from a seated posture?
There may be something in sitting to find deeper intimacy with ourselves, others, the Divine. There may be respite and relief in descending the ladder to sit among those in the audience, the down-home souls, and to look, at eye level, and say, ‘what do you have to share? I’m listening. I’m open to receiving the value of your words and experience.
Let’s be souls who are interested in unclimbing in order to sit and receive.
Pasture, inspired by Psalm 23, is an intimate listening experience where women gather for the purpose of deep connection and soul nourishment.
Pasture is offered as a Seasonal (Spring or Fall) Experience for local Nashville friends
A Weekend Retreat (for out-of-town/state friends).
Pasture is held in our cozy living room, where vulnerable sharing, confession, and celebrating is offered while enjoying wine + nibbles.
Pasture symbolizes grace and space for our individual faith journeys and permission to be fully known and wholly loved by our Creator and like-minded women.
If you’re craving a neutral space to bring your true, in-process self and find soul care, healing, and room to be, Pasture experience awaits.