CCJ Heart Circle – Let’s Share Travel Stories!

Painting on old door for the 500th anniversary of Trinidad, Cuba. Painting by Jorge Cesar Saenz.

Last night, as I sat by our fire pit and saw the large pink super moon rise over the Seattle skyline, I hoped that its glow would provide some comfort through the windows of the hospitals and clinics where front line medical staff are working to promote some form of relief. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are struggling, their family members and loved ones. 

Instead of jet-setting to faraway lands, I’m adjusting and enjoying a slower pace with myself here at home my French bulldog Lola, and my son Mateo, who is now out of school now til’ the end of the year. I have cleared out corners of my house I never seemed to get around to before. I’m journeying inwards, to a place that has also has needed ‘tender loving care’ for a while. The quiet rhythm of breath and heartbeat.

Walking on the beach in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, July 2016.

A very busy life has slowed down, and it occurs to me it may never go back to how it once was….in fact, I’m not sure I want it to. I saw a nice quote the other day….“in our rush to get “back to normal”, let’s consider what parts are worth rushing back to”. I think about that a lot. 

My slowing mind allows for easier access to both breath and heart, and it’s peaceful. I avoid the daily news. In a way, a sense of hope has emerged. Like a pilot light that had been out for a while. A full reboot and upgrade that may keepsake some of the old, but that will also let go of what is not needed. Most importantly, may it leave us all more space, peace and quiet to feel what matters most.

Watching the sunset in Essaouira, Morocco, 2019.

My routine has shifted to a more full time introspective journeying. Coffee and poetry hour in the morning sunshine, with my neighbor lady upstairs (8 ft apart!); a daily yoga practice; healing circles via Skype and Zoom; sunny walks with my dog to the beach and the forest. Online happy hours with colleagues from the office. The days when we really let our hair down are when we go to the grocery store or order take-out food. All of a sudden, after such mundane activities I feel like I’ve had a very full and busy day! Our world travels are out of reach…for now. But we have sweet memories, right?

I would love to hear about your travel memories!I would love to hear about your travel memories! Some of you have been traveling with us to Italy, Scotland, Cuba, Iran, Guatemala or Morocco, where we once every other day or so shared travel stories by passing a heart shaped rock around the circle, as a talking object. We shared deeply what moved us on that day, what was new, what was surprising….our hopes and dreams for the people we had met, or for our time together. We create a field of trust on our journeys, that unless you have experienced it, is hard to describe. And we always said we’d keep in touch, and alas, our busy lives at home makes that a hard promise to keep.

Cheese! Presidio Graduate students of Cooparative Management visiting the Parmesano Reggiano (yes, that parmesan cheese!) facility in Emilia Romagna, Italy, 2018.

Since we are all are cooped up at home, I thought it would be nice to go down memory lane, and do a CCJ Heart Circle via Zoom? What do you think? And no worries if you haven’t been part of a Heart Circle before, or traveled with us before. Anybody is welcome! Share a travel story from your favorite place on the planet. Or your most interesting cultural encounter…a favorite meal. Or tell us how you have traveled inwards in the past few weeks. We would love to reconnect with you. 

Here we go:

Three Cross Cultural Journeys Online Heart Circles:

Cilla Utne is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: CCJ Heart Circle – travel memories!

Wednesday, April 15 @ 1 pm Pacific (4 pm Eastern)  (US and Canada)
Wednesday, April 22 @ 1 pm Pacific (4 pm Eastern)  (US and Canada)
Wednesday, April 29 @ 1 pm Pacific (4 pm Eastern)  (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 610 797 662
Password: 7D2azV

No cost. No preparation needed. Come as you are! Join one or all three. I look forward to seeing you online!

And I’ll have my heart shaped rock ready to pass around <3

Semana Santa “Holy Week” in Antigua, Guatemala. Photo by Julio Bernard.
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