A Whirlwind of Big Reflection

February 7, 2023 | Eva Whittaker

Friends on a dock by a frozen pond, after the coldest day of the year in Boston.

Winter is often framed as a season of going inward, a time for restoration and reflection, a spacious moment to really check in with yourself — mind, body and spirit. This can sometimes feel like a time that’s quiet, where we can practice being softer with ourselves. But boy oh boy — sometimes this time of year can throw hard things into clarity — and becomes, too, a whirlwind of BIG reflection, stretching and becoming.

Jen (BHFH Program Director) and I recently returned from Pendle Hill, where we participated in Niyonu Spann’s Beyond Diversity 101 workshop. I found the experience transformative. It is amazing to be part of co-creating a space with 30+ other people from all over the country that nurtures vulnerability and wholeness and challenges our deeply held assumptions in such a radically supportive way.

It is a true gift to hear people share their lived experiences and be in a space where we are held and can hold each other in our unfurling. Here at the Friends House, we strive to use the beautiful building we live in and the gifts we hold in our community to create spaces where we can grow and deepen.

What are the elements of community, a learning experience, or relationship, that help you feel held? Can you name them? I often find that hard. Though with time, I can find the words. Sometimes they’re more of an embodied sense, an emotional response, or a bubbling up of Spirit in the space.

We had the coldest day of the year here in Boston about a week ago — getting to lows of -16, with windchill bringing it down to -30. I’m thinking a lot about what makes community sustainably a place of refuge, somewhere warm and safe, from the winds and cold that we weather day to day. And when we’re facing those bracing forces inside our community or relationships, how can we hold hard things together — give each other space, be present with our anger and grief and — and grow with each other into the fullness of our beings? I am grateful we get to live into these questions together, as I don’t think I could do it alone. So, thank you for being in this reflective season alongside me.

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