Day 34 of 365 Tiny Changes
Yesterday, I wrote about finding my life’s purpose. Out of all of the self-improvement books that I have read, and out of all of the self-improvement seminars I have attended, this is the one golden thread that ties them all together.
Studies have shown that when a person takes on a purpose, and is totally committed to it, they are healthier and live longer. That, alone, is enough for me to embrace the task of determining just what my purpose on this earth is.
Maybe though, I’m trying to be too specific, too narrowing, by trying to decide just what activity I should be doing that I can call “My Purpose”. Maybe a purpose is more esoteric, to be understood after a lifetime of living, and then only if one is paying attention.
About 9 years ago, I was a participant in a seminar. This was an experiential seminar, and one of the exercises we did was a guided meditation.
A guided meditation is one in which a facilitator, gives you the situation and gently gives you suggestions of more situations as you move through the meditation.
This particular meditation, began with an assignment. We began at the edge of a ravine and were told we were to end on the top of the mountain on the other side. I have done this same guided meditation several times and each time it is a different experience. Two of which stand out in my memory. I will take you through my first time.
As I stand on the edge of the ravine I am filled with the sense of acceptance. You know the kind of feeling you get when you have to change a dirty diaper. You don’t like it, you don’t want to do it, but it has to be done, you accept it.
I look up, and notice there is a yellow paper kite floating above me.
I start down the side of the ravine and am almost immediately tangled in these moving, living, vines. I fight hard to free my self. Once free, I feel a deep sense of relief. When I look up, the yellow kite is still there. (Upon retrospection, this entanglement and self releasing was my letting go of the pain I had experienced at the hands of a person, 17 years in my past. I was also able to release my anger toward this person.)
I’m tellin’ you, this meditation was life changing for me. Onward...
As I move forward, I am being bitten, almost non-stop by no see ‘ums. Those bugs whose bite you feel, but you can never see the culprit. These damn bugs continue to annoy me through out my entire time in the ravine.
As I advance, I am forced to climb over rocks and around trees, in a heavily wooded area. There is no path for me to follow. I must forge my own way with only my hands and feet as tools. Through the trees, I glimpse the yellow kite, always over head.
Eventually, I find my way to the edge of a fast moving river. I sit down on a rock overhang, at it’s edge, to rest and to contemplate my next step. I think, I could just stop here. It’s nice, it’s cool, it’s pretty. The bugs aren’t so bad. I could stay here for a long, long time. The yellow kite is floating, lazily, above me. (Can you say “Comfort Zone”?)
Finally, I decide I need to move on, so I simply swim across. I know I’m a strong swimmer, and the river is only an excuse to not continue my journey.
On the other side of the river, I begin my ascent up the mountain. Those damn bugs are back, and biting harder than ever. (These bugs turned out to be the demands others were putting on me, side tracking me from where I needed to go. Rather appropriate for what was really happening in my life at the time.)
The climb offers no protection from the hot sun. I am soon covered in sweat, and fast approaching exhaustion. Surprisingly, every time I feel I can’t go on, there is someone else climbing the mountain that offers their hand in support. I thought I was making this trip alone, yet, help is always available when I need it, most. The yellow kite remains above me.
At last, I make it to the precipice. Hot, tired, exhausted, but happy. I stand up, walk forward to the edge and raise my arms to the sky in exhilaration. The yellow kite is, literally, dancing above me.
I look around, and on each of the other mountain tops I see another person who is attending the seminar with me. We have all reached our mountain tops, and we each have our own colorful kite dancing merrily above us. We wave to each other, all filled with a sense of deep satisfaction.
Then I look down at the other side of my mountain. I am shocked to see people, millions of people. People as far as my eyes can see. Silent people. They are all looking up to me. Some have kites, flying above them at differing heights. All of them a different color.
After the shock, I experience the intense feeling of being overwhelmed. So much so, that I sit down and pull my knees to my forehead and hide my face. My yellow kite, drops closer to me. Somehow, I find the strength to rise again, and when I do a huge roar of love and appreciation goes up from the crowd below.
When I came out of the meditation, I had this deep understanding that, the yellow kite was my spirit guide. Some might call it my representation of God. I also knew that I needed to touch peoples lives is a way that would help them find there purpose in life. I had to find a way to help them release their own kite and let it soar.
For a while I battled with this. Was I having a Gandhi complex or something? How, exactly, was I supposed to touch millions of lives?
And then one day, I got my answer. It came in the form of a little 4’ 11” woman, dressed in a tennis outfit. She was a client. As we chatted we discovered our shared art backgrounds. Two weeks later, she was back in my office thanking me. Because of our casual conversation, she decided to pick up her paint brushes, again, and start painting. She had enrolled herself in art classes at a local art studio, and was loving every minute of it. She kept right on painting and began showing her work at local art shows. Her life changed with our casual conversation.
It is that easy. I can help people find their purpose by simply taking the time to reach out to them. I’m not saying I can change everyone’s life, but I can sure keep on caring about each person I encounter.
Our average life span is somewhere around 78 years. If I touch just one person each day, I have the potential of reaching 28,470 people. Yes, even those people I touched as an infant, count. How many babies have you seen that made you smile, or realize what a miracle life is?
If each of these 28, 470 people touched one other person each day that would be roughly 8.1 million people, that could be reached, and on and on.
Our interactions with other count. Each and every one of them. We have the ability to touch the heart of someone with a smile, or a kind word. Take the time to catch the eye of the checkout clerk and give them a heart felt thank you, for doing their job. The next person in line is sure to get the benefit, of your caring.
Tiny Change 34: Meditate for 15 minutes each day.
By centering my self each day, I will be better able to reach out to others in a caring, heart felt, way.
How have you touched others in your life in a positive way, today?
Tiny Blessing for the Day: I am blessed to have a guidance of spirit to help me through each day.