Click here to download the Touchstars image.

Star light, star bright,
First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

I can’t help looking for the first star in the evening sky.  

I have two granddaughters now, growing faster than I can believe. I find my heart wishing fiercely for a healthier world for them to grow up in. And the courage to make it so by living their own lives.

Each December, the stars seem somehow closer and crisper. I marvel that in spite of the oceans and borders that seem to divide us, all 7 billion humans sleep beneath the same night sky. And we always have.

In the days before compasses and maps and smart phones, our ancestors relied on the stars to orient them.

The Courage & Renewal Touchstones are what orient us in a Circle of Trust. Each principle and practice is a guideline for holding a space and creating a trustworthy container of community. The Touchstones are like stars, guiding us to know who we are and where we stand, and showing us how to listen with open hearts.

With this metaphor in mind we’ve turned the touchstones into “Touchstars,” as a reminder of these ways of listening to ourselves and each other – ways of being more compassionate, more self-aware, and more aligned with our “true north.”

My deep wish this December is that we become more adept at heartfelt listening, the way that humanitarian Jean Vanier once described:

“As we start to really get to know others, as we begin to listen to each other’s stories, things begin to change. We begin the movement from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to trust, from closedness to openness, from judgment and prejudice to forgiveness and understanding. It is a movement of the heart.”
One of my favorite “touchstars” is the practice of turning to wonder. Isn’t that what the stars invite us to do?

What’s your earliest or fondest memory of stargazing?

Which touchstar catches your attention today?

As you look up at the stars this month, know that I’ll be doing the same when the sky is clear. And I’ll be thinking of our shared sky.

With gratitude and best wishes,

Terry Chadsey
Executive Director

P.S. You can experience the Touchstones and a sense of deep listening to yourself and to others at a Courage & Renewal program.

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