What Inspired Me to Write Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage
Author: Carla Woody
My inspiration for this book actually came first out of my own search—and then the lifework that resulted from it. So parts of the book have been with me for many years.
I’ve been mentoring people for over twenty years on how to live through their deeply held values. Most people don’t. I had to come to that myself. Depending on how out of sync you are, it can cause great emotional turmoil and feelings of loss. Over many years of mentoring, I’ve been fortunate to build relationships with such people who offer themselves as powerful conduits. It takes a lot of courage for people to engage that way. You can rediscover what you forgot. It’s life-changing.
The book tracks phases of spiritual development I call the “Re-Membering Process” that people tend to go through and offers tools to use in the process, as well as a primer on the esoteric areas that are usually shrouded in mystery.
I traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia in 2005 where I had the privilege of presenting workshops and sitting on a roundtable discussion at the 13th Annual Conference on Conflict Resolution whose theme was “Engaging the Other.” Aside from Russia and the US, there were participants and presenters from Israel, Serbia, South Africa, Palestinian Authority and a number of other countries.
I told the workshop group that I knew the “Re-membering Process”* to be true in my own culture. But I didn’t know if it would be valid for them and invited them to give me feedback. As I led them through the phases of spiritual evolution that I had identified, the issues that tended to arise and the path of progression, I saw a lot of heads nodding in agreement.
A number of people shared their stories. The outcome of that workshop deepened a certain meaning for me. There is indeed a common thread that runs through us all. We want the same things. Some of us find ourselves in horrific situations in which we feel helpless and hopeless. Yet there is a resident resilience in the human spirit that whispers to us: Something else exists.
In the prologue of Standing Stark I use the metaphor of tall pines, shorn of their bark, still standing in the forest. Here’s an excerpt.
The lightning strike oftentimes comes suddenly, a bolt unexpected. But there may well be a stirring before the charge and those who have grown the tallest stand most ready to receive.
In order to be ready, we do for ourselves what we know to do as best we can. Yet, there must be no striving. The striving of the material world has no place in this transmission. We need only send our willingness up as a prayer and merely stand waiting. This book is for those souls who hold themselves available—to be struck.
“The gift we have been given is the one called possibility, whose intent offers to tie all together, creating strands of a whole life rather than a disintegrated one.”
With these words, Carla Woody sets the stage in this groundbreaking guide toward leading a rich, authentic life. This remarkable book not only offers means to engage the paradoxical nature of spirituality, it suggests pointed questions that accelerate transformation and inner peace.
Through poetic stories and teachings, Woody incorporates her many years of esoteric adventures with Peruvian mystic Don Américo Yábar and shamanism, her intensive work with others incorporating NLP, and learning gained by balancing community and solitude.
Navigating through such diverse geography as healing with energy, bliss states, dark nights and the challenges of personal growth, she presents ways to integrate the compassion of the heart with the clarity of a mind made wise. In this honest, explicit accounting, the committed traveler of the Hero’s Journey is empowered to develop their own capabilities toward nurturing a direct relationship with the Core Self⎯and the mysticism that permeates everything.
The author donates 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit she founded whose mission is to help preserve Native traditions in danger of decimation.
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Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality
Rating – PG
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.