I am sitting here looking out over the greenest possible meadow, with the accompaniment of my favorite Hawaiian artist, Ledward, a chorus of birds, the sounds of the waterfall and the slight creaking whispers of the bamboo grove. If ever there was cause for celebration and gratitude, this surely must be it.
Hawaii, as usual, has taken in my exhausted body and soul and has slowly and surely, quietly and gently worked its healing magic. I know of no other place that works so surely and quickly and can do such deep healing. My soul drinks this healing energy in like someone deprived of healing waters for too long in an endless desert of insanity.
To say that I am grateful is the understatement of the century. And, not to say that I am grateful in its silence would be the lie of the century.
How important it is to speak our truth. Sometimes, our truths come in pure experience and then we need to name them for ourselves. Sometimes, our truth comes to us through others who show us, so clearly, without question, who we definitely do NOT want to be. Sometimes our truth comes from others, who articulate what we have not yet articulated for ourselves. Our truths are potentially all around us all the time, quietly waiting for us to be open enough to discover them, knowing that our busyness, our thinking, our assumptions, our attitudes and our pre-conceived notions make us deaf, blind, and dumb to the richness of the teachings available to us.
For example, today, I opened one of my favorite books Walking on Alligators and was struck by a quote by Robert Louis Stevenson, one of my favorite authors when I was a child. He was quoted as saying, “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming is the only end of life.” To me, this statement is so obvious and so true that it seems an indictment on the human race that it even needs to be spoken.
Yet, I am constantly bumping into people who seem to have little or no awareness of this fundamental reality.
How has this situation of such blindness come about? Why do we not realize that the only way we can become who we can be is to admit and know who we ARE. Why do not all of us know that as we admit who we are we are on the path to becoming who we can be? AND, we are here to discover who we can be.
These principals are, indeed, what my work is all about and has always been about.
In order to become who we can be, we need to ferret out all the false information we have told ourselves about ourselves and all the false information others have told us or implied about ourselves. We have to ferret out false information laid on us by our families, our institutions, our communities, our societies, and even those false ideas conjured up by the human race as a whole.
For, in the end do we not need to know ourselves without all the chains and money boxes we drag around with us as Jacob Marley did and find out who we are without them in order to become who we can be?
Then, on the other side of the page with the quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, was another from one of my childhood heroes, Will Rogers. He was/is Cherokee, you know! The quote was, “People’s minds are changed through observation not through argument.”
I would say it a bit differently – “People’s minds and beliefs are changed through experience and participation not through argument.”
To learn through participation and then name the lessons learned from participation is where the most valuable nuggets of knowledge lie.
To miss these nuggets lying just beneath the surface of all our experience is one of the greatest mistakes we, as individuals, AND as a RACE can make. Indeed, the most awful experience can yield the most significant learning. It is up to us if we are willing to sit with each experience, dig deep into our richness of wisdom and glean the learnings that are there for us. For, only in these gleanings, which may seem somewhat meager at first do we expose the rich learnings and meaning of our lives.
Not having the wisdom to take the time to mine for these learnings is a great tragedy to ourselves and our world. Had our ancestors taken this time, we might not be where we are as a human race now. AND, that is neither here nor there. Our only issue is what gleaning do we have to do to become what we can be – – right now and from now on.