🌼 The Notebook - Issue 30: Authentic Self-Cultivation 🌼

The Week of August 21, 2023

"Our deepest intuition is that there is something beyond our habitual story of a separate and isolated self: something vast, mysterious, and sacred."  Tara Brach

In the tumult of tending to our daily lives, we often shroud our spirits in the weight of obligations. The burden of tasks and responsibilities - those both real and those perceived - can mask our innate ability to authentically connect with ourselves, our communities, and our environment. 

Buddhist meditation teacher and author Tara Brach refers to our connection with our True Self as requiring a "loving awareness" - a phrase which reflects the opportunity to tune in thoughtfully to the beauty in our surroundings and the purity of our desires. We so often take on the weight of others' expectations that we deny ourselves the chance to live authentically. 

We've long been inspired by the grace of Clest Lanier whose tireless efforts to live in alignment with her calling and community reveal a reflection of the True Self -- a self that has defied societal expectations, has organized in the face of obstacles, and has moved mountains to offer the city of Louisville accurate and authentic reflections of what's possible when you say "yes" to your own tenderness, creativity, and resourcefulness. 

Recently Mrs. Lanier was awarded the Kentucky Preservation Award to honor her exceptional accomplishments in the field of preserving cultural heritage. Decades of perseverance and her effortful community-building led to the creation of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, a site which predates both the African American History Museum in DC and the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati. Despite any self-doubt, Mrs. Lanier endeavored into the embodiment of an authentic life. We encourage you to take a moment's inspiration from her, too. See the Clest Lanier Showcase video celebrating her life's work, her loving awareness for Russell and Louisville here

"Yet even when we cannot see the gold, the light and love of our true nature cannot be dimmed, tarnished, or erased. It calls to us daily through our longing for connection, our urge to understand reality, our delight in beauty, our natural desire to help others." - Tara Brach

Richard Rohr closes our meditation with a timely thought that we hope you can carry with you in the coming month: "Even though the gold of your true nature can get buried beneath fear, uncertainty, and confusion, the more you trust this loving presence as the truth of who you are, the more fully you will call it forth in yourself and in all those you touch. And in our communities, as we humans increasingly remember that gold, we’ll treat each other and all beings with a growing reverence and love."

Labor Day, September 4

Join Mayor Craig Greenberg for the Labor Day Hike, Bike & Paddle at the Waterfront Park Great Lawn! Festivities kick-off at 8am on the Great Lawn with fun, free classes including yoga, Tai Chi, and Zumba. The Hike, Bike & Paddle portion of the event will begin at 10 a.m. after remarks from Mayor Craig Greenberg and Norton Sports Health. Free t-shirts are available for the first 2,000 attendees. No registration necessary. For more information and activity related routes, visit the event website.

Growing multi-racial power in rural communities takes the work of skilled community organizers who recognize that rural politics are not what’s expected. Barnraiser reports that despite the predominant narrative of monolithic whiteness, rural America is growing increasingly diverse “with people who identify as Black, Latino, Native, Asian and multiracial comprising up to 24% of the rural population.” In fact, nearly one third of all young people in rural areas 18 and under (32.5%) come from racial or ethnic minority populations. Recently, the Rural Democracy Initiative hosted a panel at this year’s Netroots Nation conference entitled “Building Multi-Racial Power (and Winning!) in Rural Communities.” To read the thoughtful and hopeful transcript featuring Kentucky’s People Union organizer, Celina Culver, check out this publication

 Firearms in America: The Most Important Test of our Democracy
               Event at The Filson Historical Society on September 12 

The Theodore Sedgwick Distinguished Lecture Series presents Ryan Busse – a former firearms executive who helped build one of the world’s most iconic gun companies who later recognized the industry he strengthened was being twisted by an NRA extremism radicalizing an entire nation. After fighting the tide of extremism from the inside for two decades, Busse retired in 2020 and authored his memoir, Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America. Praised on the national circuit as critically important, the University of Louisville’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute is thrilled to host Busse at the Filson Historical Society on September 12. Registration is required for this free event.

Since 1866, the American Printing House For The Blind has been a cornerstone not only of our city’s contributions, but has remained a nationally leading non-profit creating accessible books, products and learning tools for people who are blind or have low vision. One hundred and sixty-five years since opening its doors, the campus has announced a $55 million expansion, including a new museum - The Dot Experience. The massive renovation will showcase the manufacturing of braille resources and pay homage to braille’s legacy locally and across the globe. For more on what’s to come, you can check out articles from LEO Weekly and Spectrum News

Tula Pendleton: The Life and Work of a Forgotten Southern Writer (Sept 14) - The Filson Historical Society presents Barbara Pendleton Jones on the fascinating and tragic story of her great-aunt, writer Tula Pendleton. Unearthed in a recent biography, the volume chronicles Tula’s journey from small town Kentucky Belle and, later, accomplished short story author, to a deeply troubled end mired by  infertility, debt, and mental health woes. In 1924, she and her husband carried out a suicide pact, an event covered by more than 120 American newspapers at the time. However, soon after, both Tula and her work were forgotten. Jones recounts her great-aunt’s remarkable story,  now offering new generations the chance to discover the work of this extraordinary Southern writer. || September 14 - In-Person and Zoom Options. For registration ($15), click through to this link
Louisville Grows is hosting a 5K Run & Walk to support the Louisville Grows mission to grow greener, healthier neighborhoods by reducing the urban heat-island effect, increasing our community’s urban tree canopy, and supporting recreation along shady routes that tree planting can create! Registration is $35 and includes unique medals + sustainable swag for participants. To read more about the race and festivities, click through to this link

More than half of Earth’s species live in the soil, study finds: Imperiled and oft under-appreciated, soil is affirmed to be a critical habitat for a majority of the world’s species. Researchers recently published the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, estimating soil to be home to 90% of the world’s fungi, 85% of plants, and more than 50% of bacteria. Previous estimations concluded soil to be home to only 25% of living species. As the Earth’s most species-rich habitat, this latest scientific finding underscores its crucial need to be protected from the detrimental impacts of climate change and non-sustainable industrial practices. 

Montana Court Rules the State Must Protect the Right to a Healthy Environment for Present and Future Generations: The Center for International Environmental Law reports that this first-of-a-kind trial has the potential to influence “the rising tide of climate litigation cases in the US and around the world,” while also setting precedent “regarding judicial enforcement of the global right to a healthy environment, which is already legally recognized in the vast majority of countries.”
Festival of Faiths - Sacred Hearts, Sacred Minds: Embodying Love - November 15-18
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