I have a lot on my mind and in my heart this Sunday.
I’m receiving over the last several weeks something that I’ll refer to as a lesson in ‘biggness’. I’ll do my best to explain though may be limited just now with the right use of words. I trust that you will quickly tune out should this line of thinking just not be your ‘thing’….I would most surely understand.
Dinner Time in Normandy....a trip that rocked my world.
Let me start first with the following quote from a book I adored and read, ironically just before a transforming trip to France on my own spiritual quest.
“You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughtta be.” – Character in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert
She just might very well be right!
While in France, I hung out with a most interesting group of 32 Dutch folks, swarthy, bold, smart and courageous in their pursuits of truth and healthy relationships with others and themselves. (and more open in ways than I might EVER be).
A mix of business folks, one architect, healthcare workers, a therapist or two, teachers, writers, seekers, dreamers, folks looking for a path that might suit them. And me, the only American person who my new friends kindly translated to throughout the entire three weeks I was there, living on a 40 acre French horse farm, staying in the front sleeping area, 10’x10′, of a horse trailer.
Me in Italy, I get it!! Yum.
For those who have not read Ms. Gilbert’s book, she is a writer who lived (lives) in New York, experienced a disheartening divorce, fell quickly in love with another man and allowed her heart to be broken, yet found he was a catalyst (of course), to where she needed to go, pursued her dream of learning Italian and tasting all the culinary delights in Italy, (hence the weight gain, referenced below!), [then off to an Ashram in India where she confronted her limited Western thinking and got her butt and all her seven chakras kicked,
and finally she got a celestial message to ‘visit Bali’ as there was a healer man with whom she was to work.
Elizabeth Gilbert with her spiritual mentor in Bali.....oh yeah.
She did work with this quite querulous old, old Balinese spiritual mentor, (Ketut), and in the interim, met a Balinese healer woman, (Wayan), each woman subsequently catapulted changes in one another’s lives and then finally, in the most uncanny and beautiful way, she met a man with whom she fell in love, different from any sort of ‘love bond’ she’d experienced and equally different was how they shared their lives together, each living on different parts of the planet with many other interests and commitments. And ooh the connection and oooooooh, the torrid love scenes. Oh yeah! Bali-high!
A fun read, inspiring in moments, funny as hell and well, it reminded me a little and a lot of my own life and journey.
My Balinese Healer pal, Wayan, after a rousing 2 hour 'healing' session that well, got things 'moving' and soooo much more!!
How ironic, or not, that less than a year after that, a trip to Bali, Indonesia was presented to me, which I took earlier this year, and without trying I ran into and was ‘worked on’ by the very healer woman mentioned in Ms. Gilbert’s book. (Had I not been so terribly constipated I may never have met her…awwww bless your ‘distractors’, every one)!!
An interesting Blog note talking about another woman’s visit to Wayan here.
I resonated so with Elizabeth Gilbert’s journey, her humanness, her search for something more, the opportunities which met her on her path, the heartache, challenges, (weight gain….LOVED that chapter)!! I hope as well for similar, enlightened, fulfilling ‘endings’, though frankly don’t see life as really having ‘endings’, so allow me to rephrase, ‘peaceful, fun, fulfilling moments’. This thinking leads me to the idea of ‘bigness’ and how ANY moment can be just that!
I wonder then, is it a coincidence that another pal just invited me to visit her at her villa in Italy in February? Oooh, I’m probably just making stuff up here. But, I’m BB Webb, I can! Though I will see if there is anyway I can go….it’ll all be in the timing as I have some key initiatives currently filling my plate, yet I appreciate the opportunities presented to me at every turn. Perhaps they mean nothing, perhaps they mean everything….I don’t know, yet I relish each one.
Sri-Chinmoy, leader and visionary, memorialized in this statue, his mission, to spread love and peace throughout the planet. A 'loving kindness' sort of mission. This taken at one of many, many glorious Balinese sanctuaries throughout the island.
World Peace Dreamer
Back to bigness. True ‘bigness’ is entirely humble. It doesn’t blame, it doesn’t hide. It is self actualized in a way I don’t think I’ve experienced very much in anyone I’ve met….as yes, we’re human….many of us working to achieve this presence of being. I’m not talking ‘big’ as in rich, famous, popular, certainly not muscles or butt, or anything to do with ego here, at all, big in a more spiritual context maybe, expanded. (Oh, I’m in deep now).
Bigness I feel has something to do with allowing. Allowing the world to shift and move about you while you stay centered within yourself, truly centered, not affected by what swirls about around you. Something also about not having an attachment to an outcome or a ‘way’, your success or your failure, who likes you, who doesn’t, who ‘gets what you’re after’ or who doesn’t. It has something to do with surrender, surrender not in giving up, (certainly), but in allowing life to be as it is, not fighting against it, for to me, that is a misplaced ego.
I feel most of the time miles away from this, in my estimation, more enlightened state of being. And lately, gallaxies’ from it, though am aware. And that is key! That state of being, I feel, can move mountains, blaze unimagined trails….and I’m ALL for that!
Bigness I feel also has something to do with compassion, something I’d like to develop more of within myself, and it’s clearly the work I am wanting to uncover, embrace and share with the world. It has something to do with playing in the middle of our fears, hurt and disappointment on one hand, AND our hopes, desires and the things we strive for, on another.
Biggness does not say ‘no’, it does not make one thing right and another thing wrong. It somehow accepts what is and moves to an awareness that transcends all the feelings associated with whatever happens in our lives and watches, watches and stays neutral in terms of right or wrong, yet merely chooses a personal right action. Everyone’s right action being perfect for where THEY are.
I’ve travelled a lot and I watch people, take workshops, read all manner of books and engage in this or that, working really to sort through what ‘truth’ feels right to me. I’m learning as I watch so many different people and cultures, explore their own styles and beliefs and work toward really what I feel is rightful action and a connection to something bigger than me, the small me, but connected perhaps to the bigger ‘ME’, to ‘all that is’, a God mind of sorts; I watch and I don’t jump in as ‘follower’ but sift through the parts that resonate with what feels right to me.
So, bigness, bigness to me is moving away from an attachment to one way or another, but rather learning to feel ‘a’ way that fits who we are, where we happen to be in our development and in concert with our internal vision and soul mission.
I want to play ‘big’, in this arena, and not rule much of anything out….I am not a ‘no’ person. I am aware of when I judge and love something or dislike something else. I’m working to stay in the middle. I may have my preferences, but they are just me and feel right for who I am at this point in time, my soul, in this existence, wearing these shoes, living in this part of the world, right now. Tomorrow I will no doubt be somewhere else, at least slightly, (maybe a brief sojourn in Umbria)???…or not? It doesn’t matter. Every thing is always coming or going, coming or going.
I’m considering the greatest gift from my last few weeks is knowing better the truth for which I stand, today, open to change with each new person I meet and adventure I live. And, I’m working to to allow others to just be who THEY are. But it’s still a real effort to be in this place…my heart is not trained well, yet, in this way of being.
Ultimately who we need is OURSELVES. Peace within ourselves, knowing we have a connection to the divine, I know this, though when shoved up against my weak spots, my humanity, when I’m scared or terrifically sad, I momentarily forget.
‘Assume a virtue if you have it not.’ William Shakespeare
Here’s to all good things.