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The Appreciative Way News      Easter, 2020

In this newsletter

   Seek Resurrection this Easter Season
      And Not Getting Back to Normal

   Metaphors of Movement
      Level III and Masterclass
Live Online Training with Andy Austin
April 24-27, 2020 (Friday – Monday)
Great Continuing Education Possibility
      for Those Sheltering at Home
   Online Appreciative Way Classes
Stay tuned for online versions of Appreciative Way and Restoring Hope Classes

MoM Training

Live Online April 24-27, 2020


Seek Resurrection this Easter Season and Not Getting Back to Normal

Happy Easter!

I imagine many have joined me in the past few weeks saying: "when things get back to normal." But as I reflect on that current sentiment I think it is very short sighted.

First, if we are saying, "I will be happy when the Stay-in-Place is lifted," you are consigning yourself to a miserable few weeks. Why postpone your happiness? From my experience you can never be happy tomorrow, you can only be happy right now. Why not wait in happiness for this to pass?

I recall one of teachers, George Markham teaching me: "Rob, you think you will be happy when you get what you want. Happiness comes from giving up wanting." I will be eternally grateful to George for teaching me the art of happiness.

And the giving up of wanting, the self-surrender, is at the heart of what must die if we are to experience the joy of resurrection, of new life and inner freedom.

Second, I think the pandemic has given many a wonderful opportunity and time to reflect on their lives. I can imagine many saying, as they contemplate going back to work, I don't want to go back to that job, or I don't want to go back to that way of living.

In John's story of the resurrection, he tells Mary not to cling to him, not to cling to that old way of knowing the earthly Jesus. I think the same is true for us. Don't cling to your old way of being and doing in the world. Don't go back to normal.

Now if normal was great for you and the world you lived in then I would say, just hang in there and wait for that normal to be resusitated.

However, if normal wasn't great for you and the world you lived in then the task is to ponder what needs to die. What part of that normal life do you need to surrender. We remember that Jesus actually died. There is no resurrection with death. Jesus wasn't dormant, or in need of resusitation, he died. He needed resurrection.

If we simply endure our forced isolation and then go back to the way things were we will have experienced reincarnation. Contrary to trivial understandings of reincarnation, the followers of the Buddhist way see reincarnation as a curse. It is the endless cycles of perpetuating misery. The outer form may change but the inner life remains miserable.

We see it in miserable people endlessly getting divorced and remarried, repeating the pattern of misery as they reincarnate their miserable life over and over again. The solution for such suffering was not reincarnation but enlightenment.

For Christians the solution is resurrection. Both enlightenment and resuurection require death, and perhaps some time in the tomb, a period of darkness, of isolation. It may also require unbinding, as in Jesus comments to Lazarus' friends that they need to unbind him.

I wonder how many will come out of the tomb of social isolation only to remain bound up in resentment or grief or the cultural and social binds of racism and poverty. We have much work to do if we want to agents of transformation in our society and not agents of reincarnation and the status quo.

Here at St. Peter's Ladue, where I have just started serving as Interim Rector, I am inviting the congregation into fifty days of Easter. Lent got very disrupted, but I think now that I have a better handle on the technology of working online, we have an opportunity to engage in some of the self-reflection and discovery that these times offer and could truly lead to resurection and new life.

I wish you all a joyous Fifty days of Easter



Metaphors of Movement Level III and Masterclass with Andy Austin
Live Online April 24-27, 2020

As many of you will know I have long been a champion of Andy's Metaphors of Movement training which has powerfully informed my understanding of the Appreciative Way.

Because of the pandemic the Level III and Master class has been converted to a live online intensive workshop April 24-27.

For those familiar with the Metaphors of Movement approach this program will deepen your understanding of how to work with client and parishioner metaphors - especially for those interested in spirituality.

The Level III training is of particular interest to me, because of its spiritual implications.

When people have "darkness" in their metaphorical representations it often indicates that a person has often had to "hide their light or understanding" as a child until it becomes an ingrained pattern. Imagine a child who knows the truth about a family or social system and has to hide that truth because it just got them into trouble.

This raises the possibility of enlightenment, of coming into the light, of shining one's light, as a potential solutions. Even though I have done this class several times I am looking forward to doing it again, because I still have much to learn, and I have found Andy to be continually honing his understanding and application of his work.

Andy has posted a series of metaphor interpretations on his facebook page and you tube channel. You can find it at and search for: "Andrew T Austin Metaphors of Movement." They are great refreshers, and or introduction to Andy and his work.

I look forward to seeing you during the Online Training.
You can find registration for the Masterclass at:
Metaphors of Movement Details and Registration

I hope to see you there!


Seek Resurrection this Easter Season and Not Getting Back to Normal

Now that the rigors of preparing "Holy Week from Home" has finished I am working on a series of online versions of the Appreciative Way and Restoring Hope Classes.

I will keep you posted as they are scheduled.


With Easter blessings for your life and work.
Rob Voyle,
Founder of the Appreciative Way and
Director of the Clergy Leadership Institute

Coaching Appreciative Leaders for Today's Church

Copyright © 2019 Dr. Robert J. Voyle

Sent by Rob Voyle: robvoyle @
The Appreciative Way, 24965 NW Pederson Rd Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
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