Friday, July 01, 2011

Stumbling along the Spiritual Path

Over the years I have been given a number of work related books at company functions. Most of them were filled with charts and graphs and the usual business rhetoric. They did not move me and are currently gathering dust on my shelf. One, however, did spark my interest and I finally began to read it recently. It’s called “ONE…The Art and Practice of Conscious Leadership” by Lance Secretan. He spoke at a corporate event and I was totally one with his message. I spoke with him after his talk and basically told him that his presentation summarized almost every belief I have, not only about work but about life. His book references many of the great thinkers and philosophers of history and his writing speaks to my heart. The book promotes what the author calls the CASTLE principles which are courage, authenticity, service, truthfulness, love, and effectiveness. I highly recommend this book. I have to intentional put it down sometimes because I find it so intriguing and inspiring that I want to read it straight through. I believe it is a book that needs to be read slowly and reflectively.

Yesterday I had a new mattress delivered to my home. It is long overdue, much needed, and the last major piece of a year and a half project to remodel, renovate, and update my home. It’s been a long journey and much of the way I was kicking and screaming. With all due respect to my longtime spouse, there’s an obscure passage in the Bible that says, “God made man and rested. God made woman and no one has rested since”. Despite the blood, sweat, and tears that accompany the transformation of a home, it is still easier than transforming yourself. I have spent 60 years trying to understand what makes me tick and why I act the way I do. I have identified many opportunities for personal improvement. I have struggled to improve myself, re-invent myself, and overcome my weaknesses while preserving and utilizing my strengths. It’s been tough sometimes. Still, I believe in the words of Nelson Mandela who said something to the effect that “we are not afraid of our inadequacies, we are afraid of our greatness”. Like a re-modeled home, when we tear down an old wall within ourselves, who knows what beautiful thing we will find behind it?

When I got home last night I had an email sent to me from a man born in India but who now lives in Canada. His note was a very heartfelt sharing of his spiritual journey. He told me that he had been reading my blog and that he felt like he was reading about himself. In the last few years I received a number of similar notes. They all make me realize how much alike we all are. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, if you are a man or a woman, if you are black or white or any other color, if you are gay or straight, or whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist. When the Dalai Lama introduces himself he calls himself a “simple human being just like everyone else”. We are all just human beings on a journey. These journeys lead us down different paths but the journeys are universal in nature. The path is never straight and never without challenges along the way. This realization is why I call my blog “Stumbling Along The Spiritual Path”. When you feel alone, or you feel like no one else understands what you are going through, remember that everyone else feels lost or confused some of the time. When you feel lost, sit on the side of the road and take a break until a fellow traveller catches up with you. Then you can walk together for a while until your journeys take you down separate roads.

I think I finally know what I should be when I grow up. I’ve come to the realization and acceptance that my gift is writing. I know it’s a gift because I’ve done nothing to develop it. It just happens. Most of the time when I start typing I don’t even know what I am going to say. Most of my adult life I have kept journals. Originally they were handwritten. In the early 2000’s I began sending emails with daily thoughts to a small group of co-workers. I had to stop that when my distribution list reached approximately 600 people. The next thing I did was create a blog. I’ve had over 18,000 hits on my website from all over the world. Earlier this week I was contacted by the editor of a large website that’s had nearly 30,000,000 hits. They want to publish my blog under their “Spirituality” column. I have accepted their offer and have already published one piece. I’m not making any money from this yet but I don’t care. I am passionate about writing and it gives me a lot of joy. Joy is priceless. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t found your gift yet. It will reveal itself to you at the appropriate time. When I was twenty five I couldn’t have written the kind of stuff I write now as a sixty year old grandfather. There is a Zen saying that goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. I would say “When the gift is ready to be opened, it will appear in front of you”. However, it may reveal itself slowly so be patient!

This weekend my family will celebrate my granddaughter’s 7th birthday. She wants Pee Wee Herman as a gift. I am not talking about an action figure or a doll. She wants the real Pee Wee Herman. She’s given us the option of either taking her to Hollywood to visit Pee Wee’s Playhouse or having the real Pee Wee Herman shipped to our house. She did tell me that if we have him shipped to our home we must be sure to poke holes in the box so he can breathe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i like the CASTLE principles