Yes, it’s been a while since I last blogged. An overload of work has made workdays extra long and my blogging time minimal. The death of a friend across country interrupted the work flow and made me more keenly aware of how short and precious life is. Reconnections with old friends and family there make me feel sad that I’ve missed so much by being too little in their fascinating lives, yet hopeful about the possibilities for richer friendships.
Never has it been more obvious that real life can’t be broken into categories such as work, life, money, children or fun. Everything important always happens right when we’re smack dab in the middle of seeming contradictory challenges. How to do the tasks that need to be done versus the work our soul calls us to? How to find time to mourn and reflect in the midst of work that needs to be done and life that needs to be lived right now? How to follow one calling, complete one task, when there are dozens or hundreds or thousands to be done?
Organized as Our Datebooks and Files May Be, Only Spirit Can Provide True Order
Guided by spirit, it becomes more clear what’s essential and what is not, what’s ours to do and what is not. Anchored in spirit while doing one task, we see more clearly how to handle another. Because spirit takes us into the essence where such realities as work, money and the rest of life organically interact, we find that working well on any task enhances the others.
This means that the same consciousness that helps us deal gracefully with a nasty boss can also help us end the workday with more time and energy for family. While working out the intricacies of a due diligence document, we’re in an orderly state that helps grief or old pains heal, that makes personal issues fit better together.
Sometimes Spirit Calls Us to Stay Focused and On Track …
Remember the Little Engine That Could? By focusing on her calling, she overcame obstacles that bigger, shinier engines avoided. Yes, a big part of her success was her internal motivation and her constant self talk, “I think I can,” but an equally big part of it was sticking on track.
I’m one of these people who always has a problem staying on track. I could, for instance, turn out 47 blog posts in a few weeks and none for months. Discipline for me requires not just getting past the resistant part that just won’t do what anyone tells me to do — even me. Worse, I’ve got to say no to those voices that say before I post again, I’ve got to create the perfect explanation for why I stopped so long, the perfect entrée back into the stream, the perfect apology, the perfect whatever.
… and Sometimes Spirit Calls Us to Create a New Track, or Return to Our Old Track with Renewed Insight.
My favorite people have always been people who have created new tracks, like attorney Kim Wright, who was mentioned in the last post. Kim is so loaded with contagious excitement about the lawyers, judges and law students she knows who are recreating the field of law that I could listen to her all day. Fortunately, she doesn’t have time to just tell stories to one person all day. She’s such a great listener and her laugh is so hearty, that after a few minutes on the phone with her, my own dilemma soon became clearer.
Sometimes the answer to life’s challenges is kind of like the Nike slogan, “Just do it.” Just sit by the computer, and start without apology. Just pick up where you left off without feeling like you have to make it a big return of the prodigal son production. Just keep doing the ordinary, nitty gritty real work of every day and let the deeper wisdom flow as it goes.
In my case, a quick coda. My favorite people, I realize, include those who have never moved far away from the home where they were born, who live awesome lives in such ordinary titles as teacher or factory workers. My favorite views are not just the stunning sweep of the Shenandoah Valley from a foothill of the Massanutten mountain where longtime friends now live, but also the loquat tree outside my office window that I see every day. My favorite tasks include not just writing something new or creating something new, but also seeing old things in a new way.
It’s all rich, all blessed, including the ability to be with a friend as she lay dying.