I’ve been jolted over the last week. Life certainly has the ability to do that to each of us. Here are a few of my lowlights:
1. I was at a stop sign at an intersection. The road to the left curled to the right up a steep hill, with trees blocking my view of descending traffic. As I started forward on ta-pocketa, a car swung down the hill and blasted past me at full speed, missing me by a couple of metres.
2. I stopped to get a power bar out of my CamelBak water backpack. I couldn’t open the clasp with either hand to get the backpack off. Everything just felt so weak. After five minutes of trying, I put the clasp between my teeth and bit down. A power bar entered my mouth a minute later.
3. Yesterday, I was sitting in my hotel room with my left hand on my thigh. The fleshy spot between my first finger and thumb began to vibrate, and I watched, fascinated, as my body did its thing for a few minutes.
All of these painful days are now in my past. I figure there’ll be some residue of fear and sadness for awhile, but basically the question is “What’s next?” What will I bring to life over the next weeks and years?
I take inspiration from today’s World Cup soccer game between England and Panama. England was up 5-0 at halftime. Panama had never scored a World Cup goal. Late in the game, they knocked in a beauty, and fans in the stands and at home went nuts! It didn’t matter that the team was way behind. We can still bring forth joy. So … I commit to:
1. Bringing joy into people’s lives
2. Having conversations that mean something with everyone who’s interested
3. Talking to children and giving them one example of a caring role model
4. Engaging with folks from around the world, as we explore the depths of relationship possible through the Mutual Awakening Practice
5. Making people laugh
6. Being generous with anyone who needs my attention, time and money
7. Being love
Here are some wise words spoken by Clarissa Pinkola Estes:
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.
What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.