It‘s said that we each come into this world with a “Soul’s Assignment.” If this is true, then mine is to host these amazing interviews with wisdom leaders. To be “assigned” to immerse myself in the pages of their books and their work and then have the exceptional occasion of hosting them in a deep dialogue is a tremendous privilege.
The magic for me is to make connections between interviews. In a recent conversation with a New Dimensions Board member, I found myself encapsulating and summarizing a few tidbits of wisdom I’ve retained from three recent interviews: mythologist, Michael Meade entitled The Re-creation of the World as Expressed Through Myth; Leigh Marz and Justin Zorn coauthors of Golden: The Power of Silence in a world of Noise; and Rabbi Steve Leder author of For You When I Am Gone: Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story.
Here are the thoughts off the top of my head in which I weave together these three most recent interviews.
We all have a sphere of influence and no act of goodness is too small or too large.
This reminds me of a piece that was forwarded to me by my sister:
“It can be overwhelming to witness/experience/take in all the injustices of the moment; the good news is that *they’re all connected*. So if your little corner of work involves pulling at one of the threads, you’re helping to unravel the whole damn cloth.”
Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, High School Teacher,
on the editorial board of Rethinking Schools
and is the Zinn Education Project Writer and Organizer.
I think this quote truly nails it. All things are connected, including our contributions, as quantum psychics has postulated.
We have more influence than control. Therefore, we must know the difference. There are things which we do have control over and things which we do not. We all have different degrees of autonomy over how we choose to spend our days and organize our lives. One place we can develop greater control is over our own runaway thoughts of worry and despair that tend to lead to our whirling around in an eddy of internal noise which is not beneficial to us or anyone else. We are practically professionals at agitating ourselves to the point of being inactive in giving our gifts to the greater good. Some sage advice I’ve had along the way when the task before me seems insurmountable and I am reaching for effectiveness: To be effective we must move forward with the next indicated step that is in our realm of control.”
Look for the signals. They are constantly vying for our attention in steering us to be more effective in our lives. Even tiny signals can be of service in helping us to course correct. Remember, a rocket traveling to the moon is in a constant state of course correction. Marz and Zorn outline some of the blocks to receiving the good course correction signals: ●Logic can trip us up. ●A rigidity in our thinking and behavior ●Knee-jerk defensiveness ●An aversion to listening. Deep listening is critical.
Mark Nepo talks about these course corrections in his book Surviving Storms, “A course correction is needed when our reality changes and we are challenged to bring the way we live into accord with that new sense of truth. In minute ways, we are faced with hundreds of these decisions every day.”
Therefore, it is imperative to notice the signals to help us with the needed course changes. And as former guest Phil Cousineau has reminded us sometimes those signals show up most subtly, “out of the corner of our eye.” Being alert to signals and acting without hesitation on those hints that cross our path will take us where we need to go.
Appreciation deepens trust in any situation. When we or another are truly seen and appreciated out loud, the container is strong. This creates the ability to process anything, even difficult conversations, because it is done in a field of mutual respect and love.
And this takes us to Love, the glue of the universe and the universe is generous with it. It sustains all life. It causes our Earth to stay in perfect relationship to our Sun. It is expansive and causes things to thrive.
Which reminds me of the special inspiring quote that New Dimensions guest Rabbi Steve Leder shared with us:
Rabbi Steve Leder author of For You When I Am Gone:
Twelve Essential Questions to Tell a Life Story
Michael Meade and I talked about love as well as the third thing that is needed in these perilous times, keying off a poem by Rumi as translated by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi.
.If you want what visible reality
can give you, you’re an employee.
If you want the unseen world,
you’re not living your truth.
Both wishes are foolish,
but you’ll be forgiven for forgetting
that what you really want is
love’s confusing joy
Meade points out: “When love is alive in someone, they’re not just an employee, they’re not an employee of anyone. They’re not holding on to the limited, measurable, solid rock, real world. They’re in love. Everything is fluid. When someone is in love, they’re not simply bigger and brighter, they haven’t simply been lifted up in the clouds. Because love, in a certain sense, needs a body…and love has its own darkness. It’s a light and a darkness, as they say, love hurts while it beautifies”.
He goes on to say, “Rumi always has been saying this as a poet of darkness and light. Polarity, which exists, can be found in this world. If you would hold it, rather than take one side or the other, you will generate the thing we’re looking for, which is ’loves confusing joy.’ The poem is trying to show the mythological opposites producing the creative third thing. So, you wind up with the idea that love is all we need, which, you know, can be a trite statement. And yet, it can be a very true statement. We’re looking for love because love unites, love gives us community back, it puts everything back together. Love gives birth to more life. In this case, as the polarity between the strictly limited hard sense of reality and the kind of old, maybe overly inflated sense of spiritual elevation, neither one is the whole story.
The idea is to hold that tension and say, ‘It’s not simply the good in the bad.’ It’s the tension between opposing things that appear as the good and the bad…It’s called creative tension. It’s there in the myths at the beginning, generates the next version of the world, or, on the individual level, it generates the creativity that’s inside each person. And according to mythology, each person born is born with the seeds of generative things in them and is born with gifts intended to be given to the world. And right now the world needs these creative gifts that can only be found through creative tension and going to the darkness inside ourselves.”
Thank you for joining me in my musings that make up the tapestry of my meandering through the forest of wisdom as heard on New Dimensions. My head and heart swells with appreciation for the opportunity to be so intimate with this wisdom. And, I’m eternally grateful to you, dear listener, as you take this journey with me and make your own unique connections.