by Nancy Rushlow Bray
One of the biggest surprises and joys in my sixties is that I decided to volunteer as an education advisor for the Charter For Compassion. I had signed the Charter for Compassion declaration several years ago confirming my support for all that the charter stands for and does. It was wonderful to affirm a document that expressed so deeply all that I am about at my core. For a long time thereafter I would receive their emails in my inbox. I remember always saying to myself, “Someday I will get involved in the great things the Charter does.”
Turning Burdensome Feelings Into Positive Actions
After the 2016 United States election, I needed a place to turn burdensome negative feelings into positive actions. I opened a Charter email in my inbox and there in front of me lay my destiny. I answered the “request for volunteer” ad and soon found myself engaging with my now dear friend and mentor, Olivia McIvor, the director of the Charter Education Institute (CEI).
Working With Quality Educators and Facilitators
CEI was in its infancy at the time and I have had the pleasure of watching it grow. The plethora of quality educators and facilitators who have made themselves available to lead CEI online courses is impressive. The subjects of the courses relate to compassion in some way but are quite diverse in their offerings. CEI’s reach is global and subjects include self-compassion & emotional intelligence, interfaith, writing & poetry, nature, community involvement & becoming compassionate cities and citizens, meditation & spirituality, cooperative communications, co-human harmony and more.
I am fortunate to experience CEI as both an education advisor and a student. My exposure to the facilitators and their depth of experience and commitment to their work is moving beyond words. I have been fortunate to take many of the courses offered. I have learned so much about compassion, a subject that I thought I was very familiar with and would have very little to learn. I was wrong.
Compassionate Call to Action
The gift of CEI and my participation with all the staff and volunteers at the Charter For Compassion keeps on giving to me. I have embraced this new context of compassion and its inherent call to action. Each course I take expands my understanding and my relationship to compassion. I am different because of these courses. I have tapped a sleeping part of my core and I am alive and filled with joy.
Operating From the Heart
I recently took Gudjon Bergmann’s course on co-human harmony. His lessons regarding respecting and honoring people of different points of view and beliefs have helped me so much, especially in regards to the division in my country.
As a result of his course and another I recently took, I find myself operating from my heart and coming from love when seeing and interacting with opposing points of view. I am compassionate with leaders whom I have been angry with for so long. I am filled with love when I interact with family members who think so differently than I do and I simply note my sadness when it shows up for me.
I haven’t changed my beliefs, my agenda or my compass. In fact, I am able to hold them with a stronger resilience. I interact differently with all I come in contact with. I operate with peace, love, and joy most of the time in my life. I am grateful for this priceless gift.
Nancy Rushlow Bray
Education Advisor for Charter For Compassion Education Institute
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We are an educational and social good interfaith organization. We provide people with access to strategies, methods, and ideas that promote social harmony and enable bridge-building across divides. We use the term interfaith broadly to mean 'a strong belief in someone or something' and focus on improving interrelations between people who have different worldviews. Our primary goals are to remind people of our shared humanity and to support new and ongoing efforts.
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