Sometime during the course of this morning – after waking from yet another night-long series of dreams-that-don’t-seem-like-any-kind-of-dreams-I’ve-ever-had-before, and after shoveling a few inches of sparkle-dusted snow; after having a cup of really good coffee with my beloved husband, and settling in to tackle the wealth of emails in my inbox, I had a somewhat unexpected thought. It was:
“Have I somehow become de-railed from my life?”
Admittedly that was a bit dramatic, and part of me wanted to laugh, and yet part of me wonders if it’s true.
Part of me wants to shout to everyone I see, including myself – be grateful for the preciousness of this life; open your eyes and see the wonders; don’t lose a day to complaining or whining or doing things that hurt your heart; love more – extravagantly, wholly, quietly, softly; hold in your heart the gratitude that you are so infinitely resourced and there are so many blessings showering down around you that you can only respond with awe and delight and know you have to DO something that is equal to the gifts that are given.
I have books to write, art to make, light language to transmit, love letters to send, ecstatic dance to express, kisses to deliver, trees to talk to, manifestos to be inspired by. I want the work that I do, the service that I offer to this world, to be meaningful and offer blessings; I want to live as though what I offer others are anointments reminding them of their own beauty, that they carry their own soul-sparked magic. I want us all to consume less, judge less, laugh more; to be, as Rob Brezsny encourages, dissident bodhisattvas joyfully struggling to germinate the seeds of divine love that are packed inside every moment.
I’m not pretending that things aren’t hard; that life doesn’t contain challenges that will break our hearts and test us in ways we can’t imagine. My wanting us to shift our perception to include appreciating the everyday sacred and the magical wonderful doesn’t mean I want us to ignore the woes, the misconstructions, the misalignments, the inequalities, the shameful ways we hurt one another and our beloved planet. I want us to stop feeling entitled to consider only ourselves, only what WE can get, only what we can wrench from the future as though there weren’t a cost to those who come after us. I’m tired of smug and selfish, and turning everything into an opportunity to sell things that are mostly unnecessary; I’m tired of the constant urge to spin things as urgent and overwhelming when in fact that’s just a manufactured convenience that keeps us from feeling like we can address what actually needs our attention.
Life is always a balance, and we’ll never get done all we hope to. We don’t honor the elderly, and in fact, we can’t steamroll over what gets labeled old and outdated fast enough. Our culture is terrified of death. There are so few among us who can sit with the dying and not try to sanitize and rush through our contact with what is a sacred transition we will all go through.
How is it we can be who we are truly meant to be? How do we know what our soul is calling us to, and how do we show up with the courage and dedication to follow such callings?
Today Cynthia Lee, who, too, is a frequent ponderer of what it means to live our lives authentically and fully, wrote something I’m holding close to my heart. She said:
“… When I wrote in that previous paragraph that I had endured a series of life altering events, my fingers misspelled the word as life altaring … What if we approached these inevitable changes as a chance to bow to the sacredness of our lives? In the moment, I think it’s easier said than done.”
Life altaring. Yes! I think that’s how I want to live. What I think my soul is calling and reminding me of. This life is precious. All of it. Let’s not forget.
And yes, things are often easier said than done. But let’s not let that stop us. Let’s listen to the whispers that guide us, and let’s begin again, no matter how many times that may end up being.