There is no private good. Nothing is for us alone. Manifestation and expression are to be shared. As Ernest Holmes so eloquently affirms: "I want to live more abundantly and I accept such possibility. I want to look more deeply into the heart of all people, finding there the pulsation of the Heart of the Universe".
So much of spiritual practice involves going within... tuning into the depths of our own being and listening to that still, small voice inside. But lately I've been reminded of the importance of external feedback. Not in the sense of seeking approval... but as sort of a gauge. The truth is, we can get too close to ourselves and our lives to really see. We sometimes need another person's eyes to gain perspective and bring into sharper focus the ways in which we are showing up in the world. Are we living out the intentions we have set? Are we making progress? Are we growing? We can't always answer these questions on our own. Especially when our intentions involve other people and making an impact. And, really, isn't that what it's all about? Yes, we take care of ourselves and nurture our gifts and talents... and yes, we do that for ourselves. But also (and even more importantly, I believe), we do that in order to share ourselves and all that we are so that we can affect others. Right? :-) So naturally, it stands to reason that we need to know if and how we are doing that. Not just know it within ourselves... but hear and feel it from others. What a gift that is.
This past weekend I ventured into a new spiritual community to share my music... my voice... my heart. That is always the big picture intention. To share, inspire, and shine a light. In the process of doing that, there are technical and logistical things that need to happen, like rehearsing with a new band and acclimating to a new space, etc. I will admit, it can sometimes be a challenge to stay focused on the intention without getting distracted by how smoothly these things are going from my perspective. And that is the key word... my perspective. I am sometimes just too close to see what others see. I judge too harshly or somehow get fixated on details. So thank God for the people who come up after the service and engage with me! Yes! :-) I have to say, I've come to the realization that it's really not enough to just "do my thing". My thing is your thing, really... and I believe that's how it should be. It is when people come up and share what they felt or observed... or even just take an interest... that reminds me what the heck I'm doing and where I stand with my intentions... where I'm succeeding and where I might need to grow. What kind of impact, large or small, I am making. We all need that from each other, don't we? To really see each other and actually verbalize what we are seeing and experiencing in each other? Yes... I believe so! And on that note... thank you, little Riley, for the very sweet hand-drawn customized picture (worth a thousand words, as they say). Have I mentioned I love my job? :-)
So I am going to remember this... for all of us. That we all need to know how we impact each other. And to not just assume everyone knows it for themselves. This doesn't mean blowing smoke or just being nice... because we aren't all moved by the same things... and sometimes maybe not at all. And that's OK. But if we are impacted in some way, to express that. To share our eyes... our hearts... our voices. Our LIVES. We're all in this together. It really is OK to look outside ourselves once in a while. ;-) Not for approval, but for authentic connection and sharing of the greater good. Namaste, Namaste, Namaste, dear friends! <3