Jutta Shaw just recently stepped into the leadership of our Contemplative Response to the World initiative. Our SoulStream mission is to “nurture contemplative experience with Christ leading to inner freedom and loving service”. We are grateful, Jutta, for the passion you bring to help us become more mindful of the acts of loving service that are in each of us to do. And thank you for opening this window into your life so we can get to know you a little better. Peace to you.
What gives you joy?
Hiking in the Canadian Rockies and smelling fir and pine trees. Watching my 16-year-old daughter, Amanda, engage in her passions such as making music videos with her friends, playing jazz trombone, hosting backyard campfires and sewing elaborate creations. Seeing dogs play on Nose Hill near my house, as well as seeing animals in nature. Laughing with friends. Listening to alternative music.
What is your greatest fear?
Staying stuck in my head with patterns of self-criticism, fear and negativity.
What inspires you?
Acts of compassion and beauty (many kinds). They can make my heart soar.
I am always moved when I think of Father Gregory Boyle and his work with gangs in Los Angeles. (Described in Tattoos on the Heart and Barking to the Choir)
I love the early episodes and seasons of the British TV show, “Call the Midwife”. They are based on true stories written by Jennifer Worth and are available in print. Through the interactions of nuns, midwives and patients, Worth reveals deep insights about compassion and human dignity. Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End
Richard Wagamese is perhaps one of the most compassionate writers that I have ever read. Both Ragged Company and Medicine Walk took my breath away.
What is your favourite pastime?
I enjoy various types of exercise such as hiking, fitness classes at the YMCA, swimming, walking and running. I like to read a variety of material and listen to podcasts. I love learning and Sudoku.
What living person do you most admire and a bit about why?
I admire Father Gregory Boyle because of his compassion for those who grow up in harsh and desperate circumstances, and his work to provide them with opportunity and jobs. I believe that he works with God to transform lives.
What qualities do you most value in your friends?
I value kindness and empathy, authenticity, a sense of humour and enthusiasm.
Who are your favourite writers? What is the next book you will read?
Henri Nouwen, Anne Lamott, Brene Brown, C.S. Lewis, Richard Rohr, Stuart McLean (I like hearing him read his stories), Richard Wagamese, Louise Penny, Jan Karon
Next I will read “Light from Heaven” by Jan Karon, “A Trick of the Light” by Louise Penny and “The Wisdom of Wilderness” by Gerald May
Who is your hero of fiction?
Harry Potter. I admit that I thoroughly enjoyed J. K. Rowling’s books. I have read them a few times. I like the triumph of good over evil.
If I gave you a medal right now what would it be for?
I think that I would receive a medal for courage in trying to live in new, healthier ways in midlife. I would like to live from a more integrated place of heart, emotions, mind and spirit. I have spent a lot of time stuck in my head and living with old patterns and narratives. I am facing childhood wounds and my upbringing at deeper levels. The journey is exciting, scary and sometimes excruciatingly painful- the whole range of emotion involved in being human.
What is the greatest gift SoulStream has given you?
SoulStream is a home for my soul. I feel blessed to be part of a dispersed community of people who are gifted and loving and who value authenticity and vulnerability in relationships.