Looking Forward

Over the next three quarters of 2018 and possibly the first quarter of 2019, conversations will continue to be sought.  Reflections by the project leads (Tu and Oh) will be shared on an open blog site that will document how the engagement in conversations shapes their understanding of where and how change in terms of knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and heart/spirit are possible. 

In 2019, a series of community conversations will take place to expand upon the themes that emerge from the individual conversations that take place in 2018.  To date, invitations to contribute to this collective effort have been extended through personal contacts, building upon experiences that have intersected with different people, in different places within the state.

Emergent ideas about social change movements, leadership development opportunities, and integration of diverse experiences  related to health in this state will be presented by the end of the Mirror Project’s two-year cycle.  In addition, the project will include original works of art (portraiture and video) that will serve to reflect the energy that comes from a higher purpose that is manifest in the choice one makes to be in service to others. 

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Developing a Shared Narrative

The following poem was shared with the Mirror Project in an early conversation about developing a shared narrative on health in California.  Inclusion of diverse views and experiences makes this project at once, challenging and exciting.  We don’t know what California’s shared narrative may include, and yet we trust that something clear and true will emerge as each conversation takes place with people who are leaders in the state.  Thanks to Omar Brownson for offering this as affirmation of the learning process that is the Mirror Project.

The Woodcarver

 Khing, the master carver, made a bell stand
Of precious wood. When it was finished,
All who saw it were astounded. They said it must be
The work of spirits.
The Prince of Lu said to the master carver:
“What is your secret?”

Khing replied: “I am only a workman:
I have no secret. There is only this:
When I began to think about the work you commanded
I guarded my spirit, did not expend it
On trifles, that were not to the point.
I fasted in order to set
My heart at rest.
After three days fasting,
I had forgotten gain and success.
After five days
I had forgotten praise or criticism.
After seven days 
I had forgotten my body
With all its limbs.

“By this time all thought of your Highness
And of the court had faded away.
All that might distract me from the work
Had vanished.
I was collected in the single thought
Of the bell stand.

“Then I went to the forest
To see the trees in their own natural state.
When the right tree appeared before my eyes,
The bell stand also appeared in it, clearly, beyond doubt.
All I had to do was to put forth my hand
and begin.

“If I had not met this particular tree
There would have been 
No bell stand at all.

“What happened?
My own collected thought
Encountered the hidden potential in the wood;
From this live encounter came the work
Which you ascribe to the spirits.”

– Chuang Tzu

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Welcome to Reflections from the Mirror Project

This space—Reflections from the Mirror Project—is to capture how the conversations in the last year and 2019 are shaping the shared narrative emerging out of California’s experiences of health, wellness, and well-being.  Hopefully, questions that will help leadership training, support new policy ideas, and create new collaboration models will be a part of the sharing of conversations.

We wait to see what the journey presents as people, places, and insights begin to merge in this unique and vibrant state, California.

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