Circles of Compassion Seize the Day, Size the World

2017 is moving so quickly it has been difficult for me to seize any day as it has waxed, wholed and waned. The cultural markers of New Year, Presidential Inauguration, Family Day, and Valentines have already come and gone.

Wars flare. Peace is threatened. Borders are breached.
For me the world outside my doorstep has passed in a blur because January 1 marked the final days of adventure in this world for my life partner of 40 years. My husband, Peter Dobson passed away on January 5, 2017. The impact of his passing has overwhelmed my sense of self, relationship to others, service to the world and awareness of the eternal Kosmos.
Grief has shrunk my world from horizons imagined beyond many tomorrows to the tasks of just today, and today and today.
I am learning that grief is a whole life experience. It does not limit itself to emotional outpourings, bodily weakness, or numb feelings. It insinuates itself into all the relationships of my life, all the expectations of my intentions and even into the things that populate my closets, household and workplaces. Grief is a first person, second person and third person experience that demands its own space and time.
It seems that grief has contracted my world to just the next step … the next hour … the next meal … the next day.
For someone whose energies are attracted to imagine the future, design strategies to serve long term purposes and rally the team to create new worlds, the journey of grief is a humbling experience.
Where once “Carpe Diem” was my clarion call to topple the barricades that restrained cities from changing into their evolutionary destiny as Gaia’s Reflective Organs, “Carpe Diem” has downsized itself to fit my altered capacities. “Carpe Diem” has transformed from a strident injunction into a gentle whisper that reminds me that today is enough. I realize that as the span of my capacity to hold possible futures has shrunk, so has the size of my present world.
But as it turns out, the size of the circles of compassion of my communities of location, communities of faith, communities of practice and global sanghas have been extraordinarily responsive. They have all extended their arms and expanded their reach to enclose me in a circle of care that affirms for me the magnificent Grace and deep resilience of the Master Code. While I have been challenged to care for myself, these wonderful communities have embraced me like family. Their continued capacity to practice the Master Code – to care for self, others, place and planet – is sustaining the size of the world I imagine returning to serve, when I can seize the day with circles of compassion that expand beyond myself to embrace others, place and planet.

I am deeply grateful.

About the Author:

HI I am the Founder of Integral City Meshworks Inc. and Chief Blogger. Working with cities and eco-regions, I ‘meshwork’ or weave people, purpose, priorities, profits, programs and processes to align contexts, grow capacity and develop strategies for sustainability and resilience in the Integral City. You can read more details about me here


  1. Robert February 18, 2017 at 7:00 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear about your loss Marilyn.

    Robert Ouellette, MESH Cities

    • Marilyn Hamilton February 26, 2017 at 1:18 am - Reply

      Thank you Robert.

  2. Tenneson Woolf February 21, 2017 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Tender to read this Marilyn. For you. For many of us. And appreciative too — thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  3. […] met Marilyn Hamilton about ten years ago, I think. She came to a leadership conference that I was hosting. I think we had […]

  4. Marilyn Hamilton February 26, 2017 at 1:18 am - Reply

    Thank you Tenneson – actually we met 20 years ago in Berkana Community of Conversations. Thanks so much for your kind words.

  5. […] Previous […]

  6. […] loss and my grief have downsized my world. The tension between who I was before the loss and who I am now and who I may become is […]

Leave A Comment