Entranced

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I am entranced by a new Master’s degree program and suddenly – like I do at beginning of most of my love affairs – I see the glimmer of beautiful possibility and begin to sprint after it.

This time I find myself on Google trying to find out which key words will identify the best non-profit in the world.   No luck.  I move onto Twitter and ask one of my current internet heros what her favourite non-profit is.  Maybe she will have the key…

This degree can be done while working and you can apply what you are learning to your work.  Therefore – a part of me decides – I must be working at the best place ever so that I can apply my learning to the best place therefore creating the biggest impact ever.

At some point I realize it is ridiculous to find the “best non-profit” and what I really need to find is where the best fit is for me.

And as I slow down to a jog I also realize I like working directly with people more than I like working with organizations so maybe the program’s not the best fit after all.

Efficiency is not always what it seems.  I am beginning to see efficiency as people doing what they love – using their particular skills and talents to create a better world.

And then I realize this is what I actually want to do – I want to help people to find out what their potential is, to do what they love and fully develop the particular set of gifts they were born with.  Each one of us is completely individual and what we have to offer the world is this incredibly unique and beautiful thing.

So what is my gift? What do I have to offer? What could helping people move towards their potential look like?

And as my time living and working in this community that I love (Yasodhara Ashram) begins to draw towards a close, these questions suddenly seem to have an urgency behind them.

And then, at the glimmer of a beautiful possibility, a part of my mind dashes off at full tilt towards what may or may not be a mirage.

The facts are that in this moment I am living my ideal – working with people and plants and developing programming to make this community an even more harmonious place.  And the facts are that I don’t know exactly what is next for me and really, at this stage, I don’t need to know.

The planner in me wants a plan, but really it is time for the worker in me to do the work – to show up, one day at a time, and do what is set before me.

I am learning to trust that I will know what I need to know when I need to know it and in the meantime to be grateful for what I already have and to be grateful for what I already know.

The planner in me wants a plan, but the knower in me knows that the plan will only come when the time is right.

Committing to Learn

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I sat on my bed, looking out the window for a moment before heading to the Rose Ceremony, a ceremony of commitment held here at Yasodhara Ashram. I thought about renewing my commitment to learning as much as I can in this lifetime. And I thought about how every day I have the opportunity to renew that commitment.

Some days I wake up worried, but choose to use my strength.
I wake up tired, but move forward anyways.
Feel scared, but choose to be courageous.

Every day is an opportunity to practice becoming more fully who I want to be.

Living and working in an intentional community I bump into others more often than when I have been able to go home to my own apartment. I often run into different opinions and there’s no hiding when I make a mistake. It’s definitely challenging and is also an amazing opportunity to learn to negotiate and to learn to admit when I’m wrong. I’ve been living here a year and a half and it’s been the most intense period of personal transformation I’ve ever experienced.

Somehow the pressure and limitations have pushed me to change. There’s no victory unless there’s something to overcome. You can’t be courageous unless your scared. So the challenges have been gifts and the visible and invisible support of the community is what has allowed for great transformation.

And it isn’t over yet.

I am grateful for what I have learned so far here so far and for all the support.  And I look forward to what learning the spring and summer here will bring.

Lifted

January 22, 2014 022

When I lived in Newfoundland
I used to ride my bike to work
And sometimes the wind off the ocean would be so strong
I’d have to peddle going down hill.

And on those days I’d battle the wind
Fighting tooth and nail
Trying to make it to work on time

And then in Montreal winters
Walking to school
A cold wind would hit me as I turned a corner
Tunneled by the buildings
Picking up speed
Chilling me to the bone

And now living in a small community in BC
I’ve found a different kind of wind
Same pressure
Different source

The winds of emotions
Of trying to live and work together
Of trying to make things work and disagreeing about how

And I’ve been standing in this wind being pummelled again
Thinking “Why me?”
“I’m just the messenger.”

And then the other day
I remembered if I spread my wings at just the right angle
I can catch the wind and lift up

The birds don’t spit at the wind
They allow it to help them to soar

So I’m learning not to run away

I’m learning to face
Choose my angle
And soar.