Liz Johnson: Why I Do Kaleid
Good morning, friends! Wake up! Oh, how this phrase is experienced with so many different sentiments. Sometimes it’s bursting with the Christmas morning anticipation of a small child and the covers can’t be thrown off quick enough. On other days it’s oozing with dread, a quick push of the snooze button and rolling back over with hopes of more slumber. Sometimes it’s merely a neutral phrase, encountered with gratitude for rest, gentle stretching (echoing with creaking joints for some of us), and a methodical routine to greet the new day.
Why do I “do Kaleid”? Why did I start Kaleid? Because I sometimes need help waking up. Like our bodily circadian rhythms, our journey through life is one of continual shifting. Some shifts come like a tidal wave while others are slow moving ripples. But with each of these shifts, we have an opportunity to Wake Up!. Where we may have begun to fall asleep, we are invited to see ourselves, see others, and see the world with new depth, with more of Christ’s restorative vision. We are invited to be transformed and participate in transforming the world in ways that our former familiar ways of being did not allow.
Life's shifting nature has beckoned me to wake up again and again... Some shifts brought pleasant surprises (like the day all my children were of school age and I gained a little margin to finally shower and get a hair cut). Some shifts brought dread (like the hormonal chaos that has come in my 40s-seriously, my older, wiser ladies...will I ever feel normal again?!). Some shifts brought connection and excitement (like the forging of a “i just met you but i feel like I've known you forever" friendship). Some shifts brought uncertainty and fear (like beginning to understand my role in the racial pain all around us). Some shifts brought angst and confusion (like leaving a vocation and uncertain how I fit in God's story apart from it) And, well, other shifts I've resisted with all my might, overwhelmed by the pain and loss of my sense of control (like my journey into depression, disordered eating, and unraveling the PTSD of my past).
While I wanted to push the snooze button to avoid some of these shifts, when I began to welcome the disruptions, the uncertainties, the risks, the questions, the unfamiliar, the pain, and the grief I began to discover that perhaps it is these very shifts that provide the pathway to transformation. Via the shifting of life, I was becoming more rooted, confident, free and AWAKE to life. I began knowing Christ to depths I had not yet ventured. I discovered life not only in the light but in the darkness and not only in the obvious but in the ordinary. I became willing to linger in the shifts, knowing that I would be awakened to new beauty in myself, in others, and in our world. As poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning reminds us... “Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only [s]he who sees takes off h[er] shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.” When it's obvious earth is filled with heaven and when it feels it is but a distant dream, will you boldly welcome all of life and be transformed? Don't fall asleep plucking blackberries. Wake up and see!
Kaleid is a community of women who are intentionally leaning into perspective shifts about ourselves, others, and our communities that the transitions of life inevitably bring. We recognize shifts as invitations to go deeper. We appreciate you being on the journey with us, and we look forward to sharing news about what 2020 will hold soon. Stay tuned. And, while you’re at it, please share this email with a friend and invite her to “do Kaleid” along with us! Staying awake alongside you, Liz