8 February to 8 April 2015 (171 to 172 B.E.)
Mulk* | ‘Alá’** | Bahá ***
Objective: Participating in the liminal with courage and grace
Select Lines of Action
- Compile list of professional and educational opportunities
- Compose Wills
- Establish Creative Commons
- Initiate Home Life Chats
- Building A Fortress begins to follow Badí’ calendar
Be not dismayed if your endeavors are dismissed as utopian by the voices that would oppose any suggestion of fundamental change. Trust in the capacity of this generation to disentangle itself from the embroilments of a divided world. To discharge your responsibilities, you will have to show forth courage, the courage of those who cling to standards of rectitude, who champion the cause of justice, whose lives are characterized by purity of thought and action, and whose purpose is directed by love and indomitable faith.
~The Universal House of Justice, 20 July 2000
The liminal—of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process—can be nerve-wracking. You know those moments when you feel you are on the verge of something and you cannot seem to put your finger on it? Well, that is where we were, on the verge of something quite remarkable. And, although it took us quite a long time to identify our objective for this cycle, it turned out that we were both feeling quite nervous as we looked to the horizon. So, we thought deeply about what it would mean to infuse our institution with more courage and grace. As we all can attest, life is busy—tasks pile up, work requires our attention, and we are always preparing for the next meal—and it is for this reason that every couple of weeks we decided to hold what we call a creative commons (i.e. a space where we spend quality time together, creating art). Expressing oneself creatively is an act we found life-giving. Further, we noticed that there are certain forms of artistic expression that we were each inclined to. So, we used our creative commons to explore and share with each other various outlets that we found fulfilling. And, the result was a space we could call on to let out some of our anxiety and live into more courage and grace. And, to be transparent, sharing art with one another is not the easiest thing to do (i.e., especially when one partner has a pretty good handle on the creative process). In any case, having such a shared space helped both of us to use parts of our brains that our daily service did not lend itself to. And, we (each of us and our institution) is better off because of this decision. One last thing, we initiated HLCs or “Home Life Chats”, bi-monthly consultations on how to best “run the home” so-to-speak. We have been so pleased with this decision, as such a space is an ideal environment to take a 30,000 foot view of our marriage. For example, in one of our HLCs we discussed systematically reading books that inspire and empower us to self-sacrificially serve our fellow human beings. So, we set-out to read God Passes By, by Shoghi Effendi—a historical summary of the first century of the Bahá’í Faith, from 1844-1944. Also, in another HLC, we systematically reflected on finances. That is, we implemented a once a month a meeting to discuss how our material means can further align to our spiritual development. Therefore, in learning cycle #3, we commented time and again on how amazed we were at how much can be accomplished when we have a shared vision and purpose. Finally, we acknowledged that the framework itself seemed to be on the verge of taking on a new shape—and although it was still in its embryonic phase, we were interested in how certain consistent lines of action began to transform and further support us. We recognized that it is important to reflect on past cycles and reflections, as it helped us to remain in a learning mode—specifically when similar life circumstances arise. Additionally, we felt positioned for the process to take on new meaning in relation to the greater community, appreciating our current environment for the safe, sacred place it is—for it provided us with such a fruitful space to begin the process. The organic nature of this process continually infuses spirit into our marriage. So, it turned out, participating in the liminal with courage and grace was exactly what we needed.
*Dominion **Loftiness ***Splendor