I sent a note to a friend…ok, technically it was an email. “Notes,” I guess, are archaic and our grandchildren are going to think it is only music. Well, it is. It’s music of the highest order, the notes of our soul. I had a tag line on my email, (also known as “signature”) which is this quote:
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive–and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who come alive! H. Whitman
My lovely friend said “Nice tagline!” (which is apparently another way to refer to it in case you are not speaking English as your first language and wanted more confusion). And without thinking or missing a beat I wrote back: “Inspiring people in every nook and cranny I can possibly find! Some day, I’ll impact this world!“
And I began to weep quietly within myself. My heart was touched by the fact that I wrote down the words “some day.” Oh dear. For one claiming to be a lover of all things compassionate, I effortlessly rode right over myself and missed an opportunity to acknowledge who I am in the world. Thank goodness for my desire to capture these moments in writing so if nothing else I will not so automatically go there next time! And thank goodness I can ritualize, in the dearest way, a path back to what my real truth is here; this is one of those times I can exist in conscious connection with my core and shout out to the hallows of my room “I AM impacting the world already!” And rather than being seduced into the lair of judgment about how much, lo, I will instead stick with the words and repeat them again:
I’m even positively impacting it! Hey, if I’m going to judge, it’s going to be on the favorable side. Clearly I am writing all the rules here and it’s great fun. So beats the alternative of the darker side. Life would not be rich without the lessons and contrasts of the shadow, but that is not the topic for this day. Today I am touched by how important, how resonant it is to me and for me to impact the world. I confess, I want to spend a bunch of hours dropping deposits, (thank you Dr. Covey) in the emotional bank accounts of any living thing I encounter today. And forever. And you bet I will receive deposits in mine as well! My account is open for deposits, thank you. I believe this short time spent slowing myself down long enough to listen to what I was saying and course-correct to what is really true (thank you, Byron Katie) better positions me to take on my day’s main thrust: creating my very own model for life and leadership. The view is so much better from here! Thanks for being here with me.
There is always treasure buried in the unasked for. Whether it’s something that gets taken away or some direct infliction of mental or physical pain, unanticipated roadblocks, uninvited anger or shocking, revealed truths—God/the Universe has carefully placed a gift, a treasure inside that could only have been discovered through that veneer, that cleverly disguised wrapping paper, that camouflaged bramble of adversity. When we understand this, it helps us navigate our lives. Storms come and they always end. Perhaps we were prepared, perhaps not, and after they are over we do know something we didn’t know before. Without the storms, what would we truly know or calmness? Radiant sunlight on our face? The perseverance of our souls which stand there with us, in tact after the storm is over, stand pleading with us to remember both. Invitations surround us constantly; invitations to look at all the obstacles, real or imagined, and welcome them with the knowing that they bear gifts. Peacefully we release rather than resist them and with our soul’s confidence, we treasure hunt once again.
I love the cartoon version of A Christmas Carol, the one with Tiny Tim singing “…and razzelberry jelly.” What I remember is that something so simple as jelly could create in his tiny body an immense amount of joy. Not a pony or a rocking horse, just some jelly. The place this takes me is to the profundity of simple gratitudes, simple pleasures. The view from there is unrelenting with grace. How many times do I need to read or listen to advice around finding the still quiet place, to breathe, to meditate…to practice mindfulness? A million. Because for all the times that I am in conscious engagement with the world, the percentage of time I hit the universal pause button is comparatively low. And for this I will forgive myself. The moment I get to awareness about something that can enrich my life is a sacred moment reaching out to me and asking me to take the moment in fully. Countless times in my car, one of my places of creativity (I bow to you who find it in the shower!), I will catch myself looking at the sky and as if to wave at it I will say “Hey, I see you there, and you are so awesome, I should take you in sometime….I wonder why I don’t look at you on purpose everyday?” Then I go about my business chuckling. Another insight from Mr. Mark Nepo applies here: “In truth, our aliveness depends on our ability to sustain wonder: to lengthen the moments we are truly uncovered, to be still and quiet till all the elements of the earth and all the secrets of the oceans stir the aspects of life waiting within us.” I take this to be an invitation to go mining. To look into whatever places I find myself today where I can stay a little longer, muse or relish in some simple wonder of life. I have complete faith that before the day is through I will find MY razzelberry jelly.
I ran across a phrase in my A Course In Miracles book that I am savoring (I’m barely on page 100 after three years…this is definitely not to be rushed!) and it said, “…you forget in order to remember better.” I found this most intriguing. I actually got quite excited because the ramifications of this could be quite lovely! For instance, I recently was listening to Brene Brown’s Power of Vulnerability audio and one of the proclamations she made was “…you have to understand, worthiness is our birthright.” So I put these two together. I forgot that worthiness was my birthright (I have lapses occasionally), and being reminded by her very kind voice spoke to my heart directly and, TA DA! I remembered better! As if it took better this time. I got to say to myself “Self, did you hear that? That is a nudge from Source/God/Universe saying HELLLLLOOOOOO, you are ever so worthy!” And it was yummy.It’s like I was automatically forgiven for forgetting and the icing on top was that it’s more true than ever! So I wonder what else you or I have forgotten lately about ourselves that might be great to remember again….and remember better???? Try it on…see what comes up in the next few moments or days……..
You know how weight loss promoters show people “before” and “after” clients use their methods or products? Or when there is a house that has been re-vamped and made spectacular? Well I had a thought this morning about where I am on the “Before and After” continuum and it is here: I am so in the before of my life that I’m not able to see the after like I used to be able to. More often than not I run around saying “I know things are going to be really wonderful later, no doubt!!!” and “It’s already wonderful and there are some things that aren’t here yet but I know in the long run they will be.” But today, just in this moment, I’m showing up in that place of the “before.”
It’s odd because a part of me is feeling a scarcity urge, that “I better make sure I really lean into how it feels here because once I’m in the after, well, I’m going to be hard-pressed to remember what THIS was like” place. Isn’t that funny? Like the before that does become your past is something you want to hold on to! That is hilarious. We do all this introspection, psychological and spiritual work around our “before’s” and then something comes alongside it when it is getting “right –sized” and says, “Not so fast!!! You better not forget about ME!!!!” As if we could.
All I can say is that I think I’ve come up with more evidence (like we need any more!!!) for the rapturous wonder of the present moment. There’s no before or after in this place. No tugging for attention from “before”, who’s saying. Don’t forget me!!! You need me!!! I made you who you are, after all!” or from “after” saying “It’s so good to be here, so good to be away from before. Before was soooooo yesterday and soooooo hard. In rapturous presence all that is true resides in this amazing quiet knowing. Right here I’m in the ok of all that is. No polarities of right or wrong, good or bad. Present moment of loved and loving, worthy and honoring, blessed and alive, spectacular even. I wonder, how many present moments can I stand? How about you?