I had the best of intentions. I wanted to help.
Seeing the man on the corner of a busy highway intersection, pacing and brushing the dirty hair out of his face, holding up his handwritten “HOMELESS” sign, I felt the need to take action. And this time I had come prepared.
I had created what I called a “buddy bag” – a cloth bag full of toiletries, socks, a small gift card, water, granola bars…things one might need when having nowhere else to turn. And he certainly, in my mind, fit the profile. I was tired of passing these individuals and never knowing exactly what to do. This was my attempt at making myself feel better.
I always pray that I am doing the right thing. So encountering this situation, I prayed that if there was no car behind me (it was a highway exit intersection) when I came up next to him, that would be my sign to give him the bag. That happened. No car to ram me or him from behind as I tried to make the transfer.
I rolled down the window and he came closer to the car. He looked at the bag in what I deemed to be fear. Thoughts went through my head…could this be a veteran? Could the bag look dangerous and remind him of a prior bad situation? I tried with my kindest voice to let him know…it contained water, things for him…it was FOR him to use. He reached in the window and I helped him take the handles. He was so frail. He was youngish…maybe 40s. So frail, so weak, so frightened…so not present. Maybe drugs…who knows…but just so not fully aware of what was going on.
He never said a word. He took the bag and as I started to pull away, I heard the loud blast of a semi entering the exit. Oh my God! I dreaded looking back fearful that he had walked right in front of the truck barreling through.
I saw him on the side of the road…in tact, bag in tow…but so confused. He laid the bag down and went back to the road with his sign.
The words from Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz kept running through my mind. “I don’t think there’s anything in that black bag for me.” She wanted to go home…there was nothing material, no tangible item that was going to help her at that moment. “ It made me cry to realize the truth in that powerful sentence. There was NOTHING in that bag that was going to help this gentle human find his way to “home.”
I write this to remind all of us that prevention is a million times more powerful than a buddy bag. Sometimes water and toiletries are good – as I discovered during the fire evacuations – but mostly it is listening and observing and taking action before that soul steps on the highway exit with a cardboard sign.
If I can nudge even one reader to listen a little more carefully today, be alert and observe if a person might be on the brink of losing themselves…listen with your heart and follow your intuition that someone somewhere today may need a kind word…then maybe together we can help the “Dorothys” of the world realize that they have their own power to get back home. We are just there to remind.
Recently I discovered a window screen bulging as if it had been pried. My husband looked at it and thought a tool had been used eliminating the thought that a bear might have done the deed. I was scared. I thought about a couple in a truck who had driven past our house and said they were checking out “paint colors.” My mind immediately went to being suspicious and protective. I put a warning, an alert out in our Neighborhood Nextdoor email system.
Immediately I received a private message…saying “HEY… We ARE neighbors”. They gave me their name and address and said they really WERE looking at HOA approved paint colors. My first big error in jumping to conclusions out of fear. I put a retraction in the Newsletter about them.
After giving it a lot of thought…who would just pry it partially open and then go away? When could this have happened…I had just cleaned that window…so it was very recent. With some research and thought, It became very obvious that the “crime” was an “inside job”. Our four legged furbaby did not like the fact that her human Dad was across the street visiting neighbors, and the result was her trying to break out rather than someone trying to break in.
Realizing I had injected fear into a neighborhood, I once again ate humble pie, and in the newsletter admitted my mistake, my paranoia, and apologized to the neighbors.
The response was overwhelming and thus the purpose of this post. Over 150 neighbors took time to commend me, praise me, over 40 taking time to write extremely complimentary remarks about my ethics and courage. The only word I can use to describe it is Overwhelmed.
It made me realize how hungry our society is for someone to admit if and when they are wrong and apologize for any harm they might have done. It also made me realize the power of our words. Not only those when we accuse someone but also the power of someone paying us a compliment. I found myself going back and back to read and be amazed at the comments pouring in…just for doing something I believe any person should do…right a wrong assumption that creates fear!! It made me swell with pride that I did something so small but apparently so needed in this crazy world of ours.
If you have taken the time to read this…thank you. Might I suggest, take the time to authentically tell someone you appreciate them. The words carry magic and power and can change the trajectory of their day. We all have voices. Make them count in the most loving and meaningful way you can.
I went back to watch for the fifth time, a you-tube video my daughter had forwarded to me. Martha Beck in an 8+ minute clip called The Pyramid and the Pool.
For me, the first minute said it all. Martha Beck absolutely nailed it. Martha Beck is the real life version of the “Mashed Potato Scene” from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Not sure what it is exactly, but “it’s important.” She’s my hero – she brought it home.
Martha Beck…a person who believes somehow that in her life time she will experience the global transformation of human consciousness. Not sure how she knows it, she just does. A person with a Ph.D. in Sociology….a person who tries to take “woo woo” ideas and prove them through scientific testing. Like a mind meld where the left and right brain come together. As a Martha Beck advocate, I have decided to also adopt the phrase “Woo Woo Person.” I get it!
It has been such a struggle for me these past few years being a small business consultant and coach. Trying on one hand to teach small business owners accountability; to measure key performance indicators, set goals, write and follow a strategic plan and then turn around and tell them to just follow their instincts and break the traditional rules of business. Do what they feel is right. I can see the glaze over the eyes…what???
Even trying to write a brief description of what my business includes sends my web master back to the aspirin bottle. Change number 48….Am I business? Am I spirituality? Am I education? What the heck am I going to do/be/teach/coach? Yes. All those things.
Convergence. The word keeps creeping into my vocabulary over and over. Covergence of science and spirituality. Business and spirituality. Health and science. There’s no more room for the business ME from 9 -5, family ME from 6-10, churchy feelings on Sunday or the Sabbath. Who we are is who we are, all the time, every day every minute. The values, feelings, actions, expressions of who we are impact the world in every word or thought we utter. Because our thoughts become words and our words become our actions.
The main theme of The Pyramid and The Pool….compassionate action by those who are willing to let go and become a part of the whole will eventually bring down those who hang on to power and greed to get to the top. Love melts the hardened heart. Its worth a hundred “look ats”…and absorbing the meaning.
Some people are blessed with an early awareness of their life purpose, We easily recognize the youthful prodigies who compose or masterfully play a musical instrument, the math or scientific genius, the skilled artisan such as Michelangelo, the technology initiators such as Steve Jobs or Elon Musk, who change the world as we know it. Some may realize that they have gifts to share, but haven’t taken the next step of offering it back to the world.
For others, self – purpose may not be so easily recognized. Yet we all have gifts and wisdom that are a critical part of the solutions we seek. Especially today, I believe we are being awakened and reminded that we are the leaders and we have the answers we have been waiting for to solve the critical situations facing the world. It is through that increasing awareness that we start to recognize and remember that which we have to offer, that which we KNOW, and that which we came here to do. It’s about remembering who we are.
Is it no surprise that there is a you-tube capturing President Obama stating…”That’s not right, it’s not who we are” on 46 different occasions? Is it no surprise that in reading the book Divine Renovation,
that the author, Fr. Mallon, states repeatedly that the Catholic Church has lost all sense of its identity and who it is and why it exists? Is it no surprise that in the heat of our political discourse today, in the 2016 election primaries, we find ourselves asking (no matter which party you affiliate with) …”Is this truly the best person to represent us?” Is it not amazing that all of this is happening at the same time…this question of “Who are we? Why are we here? Why is this happening? Is that really What I Believe?”
As humans, we many times find out who we are by first defining who we are not. It is the yin yang scenario -reality in a linear, sequential, physical world,that told us that we needed opposites to define the whole. Or at least it was. Could it be that we have evolved to the point where opposites are no longer needed to serve our growth in knowledge? Could it be that it is time for us to rely on what we intuitively KNOW to be true, not having to experience opposites in order to determine that which is our truth?
By knowing our truth, we know who we are.
I call it Essential Leadership, coming from the Latin word “esse” meaning “to be.”
We are all who we were meant to be, and the sooner we remember it, embrace it and be it, the sooner the world can heal. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Even the Bible reminds us that the earth is where our kingdom will be. It is up to us, now, at this time, to be. To be brave. To break rules and embrace new paradigms. To KNOW that there are solutions ready to be given through collaboration. Now.
I believe my purpose is to help you remember yours.
Through these blogs and my upcoming book, I am seeking to help each of you remember your “essence” by becoming aware of those things we do without being “trained” or “taught”; to realize the things we do instinctively that reflect who we are and give us clues to understanding why we are here. I want to help you grasp what you KNOW without having to explain to someone else why; recognizing that if it leads to a loving response, it is your truth.
It is also my intention to help you not only remember who you are, but to help you face the challenge of commitment to be that you with courage. The way to do this is to examine all aspects of your life, whether realized or not realized, to understand what experiences, contacts, and life events have happened to you to prepare you for this very moment. Whether you know it or not, you have created a lifetime series of experiences that have prepared you on this journey. Just as in training for the Olympics, or training to run a marathon, or taking classes to learn how to paint a masterpiece, you have been preparing and planning for this moment your entire life. Awakening to that understanding, you will have confidence. A sports announcer once asked the coach of one of the Super Bowl teams prior to the game, if he was nervous. The Coach said, “No, we are prepared.”
You are prepared. Now lets work together to recognize what you have prepared for, and put a plan into action.
Let me take you back in time to a song (also a poem) from a couple of decades ago called Desiderata. One of the verses goes like this:
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
Those words resonated with me the first time I heard them and still continue to do so today. I have repeated them to myself over and over as the world sometimes seems to be falling apart, waiting for A Super Hero God to step in and save us from ourselves. I still am not positive that that WON’T happen in some manner, but it gives me comfort to believe that there is a powerful benevolent entity that is holding the pieces together and creating beauty from chaos. I KNOW in my heart something good will prevail.
I have from an early age felt a calling. It has at times subsided to the back burner temporarily, but never ever gone completely. Other times it comes back with such ferocity that it shakes me to the core, bringing uncertain fears…What is it? What do you want? Who are you? What should I be doing?
If you are reading this, you may recognize the feeling. I am sure, in fact, that you do.
We are being called. We are being called to step forward and make a difference. That sounds like a World War II recruiting poster slogan, but it has never been so urgent as today.
How do I know? I just do. And that is a big part of my writing and workshops; asking you, as does Oprah…what do you KNOW to be true?
There is a reason we are here on this planet, right now and for a very specific purpose. That is why, at almost age 70, I am stepping out of my comfort zone, sometimes feeling like Steve Jobs’ Crazy Ones…and creating Connecting Resources. As Neale Donald Walsch states in Tomorrows God…I am announcing myself to you and seeking those of you who “get my drift.” I know you are out there.
It is my belief that we are moving through Six Stages of Connection; connection with an energy that we might describe as God, as Love, as Higher Consciousness. It will effect you in your own specific way, but you will recognize it.
I sincerely wish you a pleasant journey. Remember I am with you traveling the same path.
Now let’s get started….we have much to do.