Plugging Up the Leaks

True-accountability-means-accepting-responsibility-3-208-768x644.jpgI’ve been trying to work my way up to a nap, but leaks keeps getting in my way.  Plug up one, and another spouts forth to replace it.  There’s a leak in my washing machine, one in my ceiling, others in the ceilings of beaucoup residents in the building sending plumbers like mice with their sharp little teeth scurrying up and down between floors chewing gaping holes in the walls in search of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I am living in a very holy place these days.  A day without the report of a leak is a good day.  Unfortunately, today is not one of them.  No nap for me.

As I ponder the “Why me, God?” question when confronted with a call at an odd hour from a frantic resident screaming “WATER”, I am reminded of a phrase well known to those on a spiritual quest, “Be careful what you ask for.”  It dawns on me that just this morning I upgraded my intention to adopt a stance of harmlessness, selflessness, and right speech.  Oh boy.  Be careful what you ask for.  Apparently, the Powers that Be listen very closely and are Johnny-on-the-spot to respond.

With one finger stuck in the dike and an ear glued to the plumber’s hotline, it occurs to me that maybe our current leak-a-thon is providing me with just the perfect opportunity to grab myself by a new attitude and start to practice the art of paying closer attention to what goes on in my head.  It would probably sound a wee bit irreverent to say, “Gee, thanks Universe”, but the truth is, I asked for it.  Ask and ye shall receive.

Every now and then, I fantasize about what it would be like to hang out inside the head of a person who is spiritually enlightened.  The Dalai Lama for example, or Jesus or maybe Mother Teresa.  How and what do they think?  Do they spend 24/7 praying and meditating?  Do they have a sense of humor?  Do they wonder what’s for dinner?  Do they roll around in Heaven all day forgiving everyone whether they need it or not?  Do those who still walk among us in the world think in the same way as those who have departed?

Such imaginings expand my mind and send me on a merry chase in search of role models who give me hints about what might lie ahead.  They show me a picture of I want to be like when I grow up, and provide the incentive to for me to run like the wind in hot pursuit of my goal, like the adorable little pink pigs at the California state fair running for the reward of cookies and cream at the end of the race.

I know there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, or maybe some cookies and cream. I know I’ll get there eventually, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep on plugging up leaks and practice the fine art of harmlessness, selflessness, and right speech.  I’m not sure what all of that means, exactly, but somehow, I’m quite sure that I will soon find out.   That ought to keep me busy for a while.

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).

The Soul of Service

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Hmm.…no blog yesterday.  That’s twice in one week.  What’s up with that?  Am I slipping?  Am I copping out on my commitment?  Good question.  I have no idea.  It does give me pause to wonder, though.

Amidst my ponderings about commitment, I keep hearing the words, “Be true to yourself” in my head.  What does that mean, exactly?  Again, no idea.  Sigh.  It looks as if this is shaping up to be one of those all-questions, no-answers kind of a morning.  Out with the journal.  Start writing.

Twice this month there were five blog readers.  Five!  Is it worth spending whatever time it takes to crank out a blog every day if I am writing in a vacuum?  Might it be that readership is waning as a reflection of my own questionable commitment?   Is it time to alter my writing plan and downsize to every other day?  Is my commitment actually in question?  Or is it simply that I have lost sight of my vision, mission, purpose?  If I crank up my enthusiasm and recommit to my writing plan, will readership increase?  And by the way—who am I writing for, and just who is it that is making this commitment, anyway?  Who decides?

I recently went to a small family celebration in honor of a newly-minted doctor of pharmacology, who just completed a grueling internship at a hospital.  One of her friends, a nurse, wowed us with her party planning skills—cupcakes topped with red and white capsules, pills, band-aids, and all things medical; there were personalized face masks for all, and a glittery gold banner adorning the wall.  It was obvious from the expression on her face that sharing her party planning skills brought great joy to others as well as herself.

She was a reminder that every one of us is born with some sort of special skill, gift, or talent, sometimes buried, sometimes obvious.   We are not fully alive unless and until we discover it within ourselves and find a way to express it, not just for our own enjoyment, but for the joy of others as well.  Whether it is expressed as a hobby, vocation, or avocation is irrelevant; what matters is that creativity be expressed.  As we use our talents, they grow.  If we ignore them, they will disappear.

Was it worth it to the nurse wannabe-party planner to spend her time and energy doing something to make someone else happy?  Judging by the glow on her face, I would say so.  Is it worth it for me to spend my time and energy doing something for five people or a hundred or just one, even if the just one is myself?  If it makes only me happy, if it brings me joy, is it worth it?  The sharing of a gift is a service to the soul of others, sometimes in ways that we may neither know nor understand.  What matters is only our willingness to share it.

Well, so there you have it—the answer to my commitment question all tied up in a neat little package with a pretty bow and some icing band-aids and pills on top.  I’m writing for myself as an expression of my own creativity.  Is it worth it?  Yes.  Does it make me happy?  Yes.  Is being happy being true to myself?  Yes.  Ah.  Good to know.  The world won’t end if I miss a day here or there, so long as I keep the goal in sight, and my eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.  See you tomorrow folks.  Or maybe the day after . . .

Note:  The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).