Friday, August 14, 2015

We have all we need inside

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This past week has been very busy and next week will get even more hectic as i an many others begin to converge in the Gulf South for a week of action and events that aim to remember and honor the lives of those lost in Hurricane Katrina - and the related struggles before and after - and celebrate those who made it through. 

Making it through. Surviving.

We are in a moment characterized by fights for survival - which we know to be not quite enough to change the conditions of our lives - coupled with visions and a thrust for something different; a society that is more just, better than what we now have. Around the country efforts are happening on multiple levels simultaneously, though not yet connected in ways that carry the kind of momentum needed to really turn the tide. But that is merely a matter of time. 

I recently read a blog post by Akaya Windwood, President of the Rockwood Leadership Institute in which she articulated some of the seemingly contradictory internal responses, thoughts, reflections she felt in the midst of so much good and bad that is happening in the world. Her post, coupled with all the information overload, tragedy and work over the past week and before inspired me to pull out a book that a small team of us published last year and re-read to center myself. And to remind myself that this too shall pass. In the midst of chaos and upheaval, when people are overwhelmed or just dealing with a lot at one time, many turn to religion or some sort of moral system for grounding and/or to help them navigate the storms, seeking the best or appropriate path forward.  So much of what we seek outside ourselves already resides within; we just have to discover it.  And it is helpful to remember that the only constant in the universe is change.  The economic system under which we live for example - the cause of extreme wealth for a few at the expense of the majority of the world's population and the health of the earth - was born only a couple of hundred years ago and will at some point give way to something else. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Are you on your path?

In meditation this morning, a question came to mind that has been with me all day: 

Are you on your path?

Of course! i thought. But as it goes, often the simplest questions are layered with the potential to offer the most significant lessons. So rather than getting on with my day, filling it with a checklist of things, i paused to reflect. I paused to allow myself to peel back the layers of what it means to be on my path, what it entails, what is required and the implications outside myself.  

  • Being on a (my) path means that i have a general sense of the impact i want to make and how i want to show up in and with my family and community.  And in the course of doing this, i am guided by a general set of principles that include reciprocity, justice, kindness and compassion, propriety and so on. My questions to you are: What did you come to this earth to do in your lifetime? What do you see as your destiny? What is the impact you want to have in the spaces you define?
  • Being on a (my) path entails many things, including self-reflection, a commitment to learning from my and other's mistakes, loving myself, being non-judgmental, hard work and discipline, and a willingness to be flexible.  My questions to you are: What does walking on your path entail? What is your commitment, in practice, to fulfilling your destiny? How does it look on a daily basis?
  • Being on a (my) path requires disciplined, daily practice. Each person is different.  But observation and experience has taught me that "discipline makes things easier." (Thank Dead Prez for this track).
  • Being on a (my) path has implications for those around me.  The choices i make, the things i do, how i care for myself (or not), what i say, etc., impact those around me. And vice versa. For example, i've recently closed my facebook account as part of an effort to focus my time and energy a bit differently. This has put me and a couple of close friends and family in the position where we now have to communicate differently.  There are other examples that have far more significant implications i can point to, as can you perhaps. The bottom line is that regardless of the implications, living honestly, in alignment with your heart/your highest self  and moving in the direction of fulfilling your destiny is the right thing to do. Relationships and situations will change, shift, evolve as you do...sometimes that can be hard. But it won't always be.  

I can look at the decisions i make and the things i do each day and say yes, all of what i do moves me in the direction of ultimately fulfilling my destiny. But if i am honest with myself, i notice that at times certain thought forms, actions and interactions create road blocks, put me on winding roads and/or make walking my path a bit more challenging. This isn't necessarily or always a bad thing, but something to notice. So for me this question of being on my path is more a question of *how* am i on my path and in what ways can i make decisions that help me to grow, learn and become a more effective spiritual warrior-healer?

And to you i ask, *How are you on your path?*