What's Up With That? ~ Katy Byrne

Katy Byrne Katy Byrne, MFT is a Psychotherapist in Sonoma, editor and animal lover. Her private practice specializes in: life transitions, couples communication, eating issues, moving forward, conflict resolution and the kitchen sink.


Radical reaching out

Posted on November 1, 2021 by Katy Byrne

We live in divided times. It seems like one group is pitted against the other wherever we turn. Sometimes we wonder if it’s possible to create more unity. But we are not powerless. Unification is possible, both personally and politically. We’ve been traumatized with uneasy panic and isolation, yet we each have greater power than we know. 

As Author Jeremy Lent (hosted by Praxis Peace Institute) writes, “The same tight coupling between global systems that increases the risk of civilized collapse also boosts the speed at which deeper, systemic changes can now occur. The world’s initial reaction to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 showed how quickly the entire economic system can respond when a recognizably clear and present danger emerges.”

This points to the most important characteristic of the future: it is something that we are all co-creating as part of the interconnected web of our collective thoughts, ideas and actions. The future is not a spectator sport. It’s not something constructed by others, but by the collective choices we make every day: choices of what to ignore, what to notice, and what to do about it.

Each of us has a part to play in weaving that web of vital synergy… An ecological civilization will emerge only when the symbiotic linkages between people become a more powerful force than the competitive impulses engendered by the dominant culture. Each of us has a part to play in weaving that web of vital synergy. 

Like an immune system protecting its host from toxins, an untold number of other caring, compassionate humans are devoting their energies to life-affirming activities. The scale of each weave ranges enormously, from fleeting, intimate moments of tenderness with a loved one to passionate public speeches that inspire millions. More important than the scale is intention: a deep, authentic devotion to the well-being of life galvanized into action.” (The Web of Meaning) 

By “radical reaching out,” whether by letter, phone, text, or zoom we circulate our messages of well-being to the earth and our bodies again.

This week I saw how this works, when a woman phoned to thank me for my column. Her call perked me up like a double latte in the middle of a bleak afternoon. While we chatted, I suggested getting together sometime, and I mentioned another woman I thought might be a charming addition. She mentioned that the woman was having severe back problems. So, with my metaphorical coffee cup full now, wanting to give back, I immediately contacted the other woman and told her how I cured my own severe back issues. She responded immediately with total exuberance: “Oh thank you, this makes so much sense to me and will help with my back.” 

I stared at the note, momentarily stunned. Just one phone call led to three more alive and energized people. We are electrical currents between each other. We can generate new designs and narratives with goodwill by extending ourselves, small or large ripples in a big pond. Imagine…


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