The Universe as a Subtle Teacher |The Daily Prompt

Magestic SnowWhen my son was just 3 years old I recall pulling into the driveway after a full day at the office. It was early April and there was a fresh, light dusting of snow. The air was crisp and the neighborhood quiet. Often, getting out of the car after a long day at work was a chore because my mind would be whirling, as I processed the events of the day.

I unbuckled my little guy from his car seat, pulled him out of the car, grabbed my purse, his diaper bag, my laptop case, etc. and headed towards the door. I was in “full speed ahead” mode, focusing on the tasks at hand, thinking we needed to hurry. I had to fix dinner, do laundry, get him in the tub, prepare for the next morning, read a children’s storybook  and in the blink of an eye, it would be time for bed.

As I walked up to the house I was stomping in the fresh snow and he was following not far behind. I got to the door, turned around and said; “Come on little man, let’s get in.” What I saw caused me to take pause for a second.

There he was, his little self concentrating on the ground, stepping his tiny boots into my big footsteps of the fresh snow. For a moment it brought me back to my own childhood and I was reminded how quickly the time flies, that the universe is so big and is a subtle teacher.  I calmly waited,  and it was a wonderful feeling that put a smile on my face.

As we work to navigate the world and teach our children about faith, family and staying on the right path, one would think that we teach and they learn. But little moments like that of those footsteps, remind us that the most valuable asset we have is time and we become the student. They teach us that how we use that time, is up to us.

Later that night I picked up one of my meditation books and the quote at the beginning of the entry read:

The journey is bigger than we are no matter where we are in our search to know God.” –Earnie Larsen

Wow.

___________________________________

This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt Topic; “Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself. Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING.

Advertisements

Take Care | Unfolding of a Valiant Journey

We hadn’t seen one another or spoken in quite a while so a year and a half ago we set up a lunch date to reconnect. When he walked into the restaurant he was noticeably thinner. But those friendly, smiling eyes were unmistakable. He was inquisitive and began by asking all about me, my life and family.

Then we shifted to him. He shared that shortly after his mother and brother passed away, he fainted at work and hence began a daunting series of paperwork, lab tests, appointments and phone calls. He had been diagnosed with stage 4 appendix cancer and chose not to pursue surgery. I remained empathetic, silent, and asked what support he needed. The response was; hope, presence, love and an ear.

It’s hard to conceive the unimaginable courage to make and/or not make such a complex decision. At the end of  our lunch I inquired if he was absolutely certain. I don’t recall the answer, but wondered if the question would linger with him.

For Mike Posey

I had an upcoming trip to South East Asia for an MBA class and shared I would pray for him at every mosque, temple and prayer wheel I encountered. I climbed the 272 steps to the highest temple at Batu Caves and offered intentions for my friend. The flower and medallions were given to me by a Hindi priest, one for Mike, the other for myself. Right before my trip, he made a decision to seek treatment options and found out about a rare treatment called HIPEC, that was available and upon my return learned he was eligible. This surgery was the beginning of a valiant journey.

He was balancing tending to the needs of caring for his 85-year-old father, while figuring out how to take care of himself and the test of time was not easy. He was hungry and thirsty, but unable to eat, learning how to manage his own doctor appointments, prescriptions, feeding tubes, colostomy care and more.

He didn’t want to always talk about the cancer, or the fight, or time. He was growing weary and it was teaching us the importance of being fully present and accepting. We had so many meaningful spoken and unspoken discussions those last few months.

When a person is not well, why do they hesitate to ask for assistance?

As the friend watching events unfold, it is a complex balancing act. We want to be respectful, while honoring their wishes. We see this person we love, who needs and wants, assistance, but is concerned about being an inconvenience. The very idea of asking for aid comes along with healthy doses of shame and fear coupled with concern about appearing too needy, weak or helpless in they eyes of others.

“Be still, and know…” Psalm 46:10

Yet in the midst of it all, none of that matters because at the end of the day, all we have is a deep knowing of the mutual gifts that reside when we are fully present for and with one another. It is at the core of what makes community.

Why is it easier to give help than ask for it?

For caregivers, showing up gives us the gift of humility and teaches the valuable lesson that its okay to be imperfect. It is human, and builds community because it brings people together. That is a beautiful thing.

Asking for help is a gift to the person being asked and can be for the one in need.

Mike was a treasure and we learned different life lessons from one another. I miss him, but I celebrate his life by carrying his memory in my heart. We talked about it. It is what he wanted, and that is a good thing.

Please share your thoughts and thanks for visiting my blog

_______________________

Written in response to The Daily Prompt: Take Care  “When you’re unwell, do you allow others to take care of you, or do you prefer to soldier on alone? What does it take for you to ask for help? Photographers, artists, poets: show us HELP.”

🦁

Day 17: Multiple Paths and Convergence of Knowledge

In Buddhism, the tradition of chanting is a method for preparing the mind to meditate. A few months back we toured The Tooth Relic Temple and Museum in Singapore and as we heard this chanting in the background we gathered around our tour guide. “Now we are going to walk now into the hall of the creator of my future The Buddha,” she said. I thought that her words were such a fascinating way to explain a power greater than ourselves.

We proceeded to the garden on the roof where she explained the core principles of the faith and that in Buddhism there is not belief in one supreme-being, but that the universe is The Supreme Being. It is not male or female, good or bad because there is no name that can explain that kind of omnipotence. It’s essence is everywhere. We walked clockwise around the prayer wheel three times, expressing thanks and asking for special intentions. While exiting the prayer wheel she went on to say;

“It’s the destination it’s not the road. Religions are just roads that lead us to the destination so whichever road you take it still leads you there it doesn’t matter what you believe in. The path is not constant or persistent so that which is the way which can be described as not the true way” -Lim Lin

In our Executive MBA program, the concept of consilience is brought up often. One of my professors explains it as different ideas jumping around together to form a comprehensive theory based on facts. This concept demonstrates there are multiple ways to come to the same answer and as leaders we strive for consilient thinking. It isn’t about being right or wrong, but rather being open to possibilities because often, there are many.

In Taoism the word “way,” also means path or principle. The belief is “the way is not the true way” which is the idea that we don’t need to search outside of ourselves for truth or meaning because it is right in front of us and within us. It always has been.

Please share your thoughts below.

Three things I am grateful for:

  1. Freedom
  2.  Faith and spirituality
  3. This journey that helps me strive for consilient thinking

Day 16: Your Neighborhood – Ten Second Leadership

21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for:

When I was a kid, I was mesmerized by Mr. Rogers because he was stability during a time there was confusion in my house which no one talked about because they didn’t know how. They loved us and wanted to protect our little souls. But with Mr. Rogers, there was understanding and hope that came with the numerous times we would hear him say; “I like you just the way you are.”

Mr. Rogers said we leave a little of our selves with every single person we meet. The ability to keep this idea top of mind takes true, authentic leadership and those of you who know me have heard me say that I believe when people make a difference in our lives, tell them. Can you imagine the humanity that would come in a world of individuals who remember to let each person know they count?

 I can, because I am here to tell you today you matter and to thank you for stopping by to join the conversation.

What about you?  Your thoughts count. This is an open forum,
please leave your comments below.
This post was inspired after watching the documentary called:

Mr Rogers and Me. PLEASE watch the trailer below. I ordered it OnDemand and the reflection that came as a result was moving and profound. If you buy it and watch it, I bet you can’t do it without a few tears to the eyes.

Three things I am grateful for:

  1. My community of family, friends, educators, mentors, medical professionals, leaders, coworkers, cohort, Benjamin Wagner and of course, Fred Rogers. 🙂 All of whom nurtured me into being.
  2. Every single person I have met who has chosen compassion over judgement
  3. My ability to pay it forward
And of course, thanks to Benjamin Wagner for his brilliant talent