“and unwavering. These feet have paused for stars,
for the squeal of new babies, because of shame,
because of sun, and the sound of a blue heron swooping
then landing, then standing. Perched, like I am, in light.”
~ Jean Reinhold (from ‘These Feet’)
They specialized in signature chops on the Taiwanese archipelago.
I am Mountain with Far-Seeing Sight
Stuff’s up. Over and over these past weeks I’ve watched myself shrink back to small. So I signed on for a program focusing on clarity and clearing, reframing and embracing my ideals. It’s gonna take big commitment because the big shovels are out, and digging to China is not in my Top 200 List of desired ways to evolve. Night work (read, dreams), seminars, mindfulness, communication with the unseen, a plethora of short processes I’ve learned over the years definitely my preference. Lesson Two lit my entire internal control panel up red lights.
Choose your top five desires for life and for career, prioritize for each, it said. This after I whittled down to ten from seventeen I absolutely knew I wanted. I can’t have what I want? I pouted. Of course it doesn’t say that, but limiting thoughts in someone following The Rules aren’t rational. Then I went to if I have this, those others are covered. As anyone who’s heard the joke warning ‘be careful what you ask for’ can attest, that premise is not necessarily so. It didn’t stop. I re-lived confusions. Such as every time we’re in a restaurant, my big-manifestor friend says she admires that I know what I want. I finally allowed myself freedom (one of the words I left off) to name SIX for my life: Living from Desired Choices; Grace & Ease; Discovery & Wonder; Love & Connection; Creativity; and Relevance & Success by my own definitions. Since they lumped grace & ease in their examples, I don’t think I cheated. For work: Engagement; Creativity; Relevance; Respect; Success with intent-offerings-creating the life I desire. I crossed my fingers travel and learning were covered. As well as beauty, generosity, and inspiration.
Such general words. I needed to test them against real life. I looked to peak experiences I’ve had. The list off the top of my head surprised me. It didn’t include big stuff like babies and marriages or deaths. Not even my vigil and witness of my father’s passing. My list included simple things, like standing on a street corner here in St. Pete, hearing my name called, seeing an arm wave from a car before I’d even moved down, knew anyone beyond introduction. Firsts, like the James Brown concert at age16 where I was one of a handful of white faces. His performance commanding – no! demanding – I rise, move, and merge with thousands of others, become a cell in the giant, beautiful happy dancing creature with Soul.
It included drawn-out hits, like the coast to coast drive I made by myself where I saw things I’d read about in books, found my soul-home, Santa Fe. And the day in Scottsdale starting in a hot-air balloon, bleeding from one easy, fun thing to the next until 4am. And the ride across 22 mi. of a narrow Taiwanese archipelago on a scooter with my son, the sunlight and sky and water heaven-made.
It included peak relationships marked by a common energetic language between us. The most perfect working partnership I once had, cliques that coalesced for a week or two of a workshop. My group of other twenty-somethings experimenting, growing up, taking the early hard knocks. I thought of the smallest stellar moments, like the twinkling when I realize the perfection of a sentence. And magical moments like the palpable, visible river of energy I received from a Buddha on that archipelago, or the morning the sky turned the color and pearl of the inside of an oyster’s shell.
Here’s the way I see it. In all my peak experiences, alignment to those things on my desire-lists was present within me, and without me. And I was present to them. Whether the flash, or the stretch of time. It’s the best we can do.
Tell me. . .what’s your top desires for life and career? What are your peak experiences?
Another small journey. Getting to Wise.
A Writer’s Life.
One of my favorite cliques. Ten days process painting on Molokai’i.
A secret: I surprise myself daily.
A favorite: Asian food