Blogging’s greatest gift for me has not been the writing but the reading of others’ stories. I’ve encountered accounts of self-initiated healing. Posted triumphs. Shared adventures and simple pleasures. Creative works. Acknowledged struggles. Inspirations. And an overall willingness to live with transfiguring gusto physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I figure each read post represents countless undocumented efforts to live Well. Generously. With Courage. For the Good. This heartens me, especially given the many planetary challenges unfolding, so often beyond our individual influence.
On this month’s warmer winter evenings I’ve been venturing outside at dusk or in night’s fullness. Wool hat. Enveloping scarf. Sweater. Jacket. And I’ve been resting back on the steps connecting my porch with the leaf-strewn drive. The limestone’s curves and protrusions somehow perfectly placed to comfortably accommodating my hips, back, shoulders, neck, head.
It’s peaceful to sink into these stones. To feel their solidness. To relax my gaze into the trees and the emerging stars. To remember and thank all those who continue to strive and share their stories amidst the chaos of our times.
Quite awhile back I graduated with a degree in social work and immediately landed a paying position in this serving profession. Years on, the form of my work life has evolved, as has my appreciation for the Essence of Service. An Essence whose extraordinary everydayness transcends societal labels and in its own way is as moving and shaking and rewarding as a respected job title or university diploma.
Living the Essence of Service is a vocation unrivaled in beauty and significance. It is Being in the Heart and Responding from there.
The Heart’s natural work is to hear needs and embrace them. Touched by inspiration, the Heart reaches out. It perceives healing opportunities and Initiates wise actions. Knows interconnection, responsibility, and well-being. Is Tender. Fierce. Unrelenting. Generous. Courageous. Comforting. Depending on the need.
Circumstances that propel us beyond the ordinary and that push personal buttons put our Service staying power to the test. The normal routine of relationships, commitments, and professional binds brings its own challenges.
How then to stay fresh? Serving? In the Heart’s vocation? Each of us, I believe, is charged to find personally resonant ways.
Last week my way brought me to three days of hiking with my Mom in Utah’s stunning Bryce Canyon and captivating Kodachrome Basin State Park. Penetrating sun. Clear air. Exquisite rock formations. On the less traveled paths, away from the selfie picture taking crowds, the high desert drew me in, It played on my senses with compelling affinity, matching beauty for beauty my highest ideal of the Heart’s capacity to listen, touch, see, apply and know. I had expected a nice get-away; this embrace exceeded my imagination.
I returned to my workplace renewed, but most importantly I was restored in the Heart’s vocation. Refreshed. I’m grateful.
Summer nights in the Ozark woods vibrate with insistent insect song. On and on and over and over this tune plays. Such playful pluckiness! I liken it to banjo picking accompanied by unrelenting thumble-fingered washboard playing.
Every eco-system projects its sound. Every partnership carries its blended tone. Friendships. Families. Business groups. Lovers. Teams. Pets and caregivers. Whether fleeting or enduring, superficial or deep, groupings to some degree meld qualities direction, rhythm, individual essence and ritual into a distinctive note.
An additional perspective comes from those who say the Soul and Personality fuse and harmonize on the chord of the perfect third. Add in Spirit and the fifth is achieved; then the full chord sounds forth.
In my experience the heart-fully developed note serves as a sustaining and dynamic reservoir. It is at once a refuge to call home and also demonstrates as cooperative creative expression, As a life enjoyed and well-lived. A business evolving and well made. Challenges met together. Inspiring to behold. Magnetic. Appealing. A radiant flower of many petals so to speak.
When I left my intentional community last fall, I left the group note. I severed ties with the united sound that had risen and moved through my heart and actions for years. Even with all the discordance and dysfunction that had infiltrated into the shared song, still it was what I knew. The loss was disorienting. Hard. Perhaps you’ve experienced a similar severing, from a work group or personal relationship or creative collective of some kind.
Perhaps, as I did, you drew into the centering Silence of your true core and re-listened to the Sound of who you are Are, to the Values the Heart truly desires to express, and to the fitness needing to be gained to make it so. Perhaps you released into the embracing song of the Earth. Perhaps you cultivated new connections in the Inner Light and in outer conversation. All in hope of participating in a new deep convergence, a new fused note. Perhaps you found another way; I would love to hear about it.
I’ve sensed in prayer and meditation a new community melody awaiting; one that would be a harmonic fit for my Heart’s commitment to authenticity, kindness with strength, and love in action. I’ve been grateful for a renaissance with my two business partners, as we develop deeper resonance in heart and action. But I have known there was something more.
Last week I found the start of it . Not in the old way of living in an intentional community resounding with ideals. But in the way of life’s shared hardships and joys. I found it synthesized in three encounters spanning just one day. A friend taking refuge in what she described as profound inner peace following a difficult medical report. Another friend hitting her stride in her wellness counseling business/vocation; so much to celebrate! A third friend anticipating the arrival of his life partner, moving from out of state. In their stories, I heard my emerging heart note echoing all the richer back to me, no longer my note but the Note of Embraced Friendships. Authentic. Strong. Real. Committed. As welcome and stirring to me as the insect’s summer night song.