Perhaps it happens to many of us, but when I fly to a destination it seems like there is a natural flow to inspiration, or questions arise that help to move me forward. Is it the willingness to take off to a new destination in body and mind? Is it part of the virtual-ness of having a higher perspective…actually being “up there”? At any rate, it has happened to me again. A list of questions has come to me as I fly to Arizona, along with some reminders that may first appear to be in that meta-physical realm, but as I ponder them, I see they are for right here, right now, and that they integrate so much with my life’s work with students and parents…and in my own quest to be all that I am meant to be. I offer up these thoughts and questions surmising that others might merge with me in finding the answers or in acknowledging some of these truths alongside me in our daily lives.
1. The ocean-ness of us all: This is a concept I love each time I hear it, think about it, and claim it for me and those around me. If one takes a cup of ocean water it contains ALL the elements of the ocean, not just some. And this goes for us, too. We include ALL the elements and qualities of our Source, of this Life energy…all the fullness and richness. Everything we need is IN us, ripe for the harvesting and expressing. So, I ask myself today – Am I acknowledging the “ocean-ness” (the strength, purity, flow, freedom, goodness, fullness, intelligence, newness, etc.) in me and in all of us today? Can I feel my ocean-ness?
2. It does NOT matter what others think! Can I really get this? Can I keep it in thought? Can I go forward with what seems most right for me at this point on my path, brushing past the fear or concern of what others will think of me? What a mirage it is to think that one of us is better than another.
3. What do I embody? Is my “body” – my expression of me – aligned with what I truly believe? Do I KNOW what I believe? Do I SHOW what I believe? Would someone know what I value and treasure by my actions? What am I passing along to my children, grandchildren and students (or anyone with whom I come into contact)? How am aligning with what I value today?
4. Am I saying “YES!” to life today? Am I gleaning what I am here to do…and then doing it?
5. How do we know when it is a time to be humble or if it is a time to be emboldening? Getting quiet first certainly helps me…and then the next obvious thing to do seems to appear.
6. I am appreciating Jack Kornfield’s book, “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry.” Such a good read.
7. I am realizing once again that there is a lesson for me in EVERY situation, and I am taking what touches my heart and leaving the rest. And that reminds me, too, that I can learn from everyone, including those with whom I may not feel close to in regards to my values and beliefs. Conversations with my seat mates on this flight remind me that I can always find something to take with me after a conversation or contact with another …something that moves me upward, helps me to develop active compassion or extends a deep listening ear to another, thereby extending understanding and interconnectedness. I believe that this one act, of being connected to another in these ways, even for a short time, opens our hearts to one another and contributes healing to the world.
8. What if all that I think about myself, all my stories, all my opinions were taken away? What would be left? …me – the REAL ME…pure, unbounded potential!
9. How am I labeling myself? What am I telling myself? How does that align with what is true? What IS my truth? I can’t think of anything more exciting to think about and talk about than what is our own truth!
10. A parent mentioned in a recent STLC parent meeting that there seem to be so many more distractions for our children in this current world than there were for us when we were children. I have been chewing on this for a while. And it causes me to wonder how we, as parents and caretakers, are contributing to this. How are WE clouding our children’s inner voices? What are we doing to help them clear the way for whatever their mission here is?
11. What am I (you) chewing on right now? What am I (you) longing for? What am I (you) doing to express and embody this longing?
12. Get curious about the frustrations or seeming blockages in my life. Get still with it. That is my entry point. Stop running to hide the pain and discomfort of it. Face them squarely, with gentleness and gusto…do some clear seeing. Stop being a victim of these things…and take responsibility for my life. It is MY life!
13. When does the switch-over happen? When do we as parents, step back and allow our children to learn to walk? To stumble and fall? To find that they CAN get back up and dust themselves off…and get going again? To find and face the consequences of their words and actions? Can we stand aside and not “fix” things for our kids? If we allow them to practice, and practice some more in real-life situations, they will have what they need (confidence and experience) “under their belts”, ready for the situations that arise…rather than falling apart because they have not had the opportunity to fall and get back up…or feel the sweet welling inside after performing a random act of kindness or doing something well all by themselves.
14. What do we need to know about caring for a plant? Watering and nourishing it? How does that apply to our children? What do we know about how to tend a fire? What might the proper fuel, oxygen and space needed in order for a fire to flourish, suggest to us about the way we tend our children in order that they flourish?
15. Put my burdens down! When I board the train, I put my bags down or in the baggage compartment...I don’t carry them on the trip. Can I do this with my burdens today? Can I create the space within myself for the things that I want to fill myself with….grace, truth, love, kindness, understanding, etc.?
16. There is SUCH value in being quiet, in finding the stillness…EVERYday.
17. Is our parenting protective or confining? Nurturing or coddling? Freeing or stifling?
18. Do I allow myself to be a doormat?
19. Am I rooted? What are my roots? Do they keep me steady? What am I awake to? Am I self-aware? Am I aware of others?
20. There is no substitute for self-engagement. Am I interacting in the best ways I can?
21. Do we realize that WE are the creators of what is going on in our world? Do we realize, even amidst what often seems like crumbling or off-kilter situations…that the love that we ARE is still present? What can we do to see and get into an alignment that is balanced and find that conscientiousness that elevates our thoughts, words and actions…that affect us all?
…in the spirit of sharing the inspiration and questions that ride on the wind of thought…with the knowledge that the answers are to be found, too, in that same breeze.
written by Tien Langlois, Scholars Together Learning Community