Hello dear one,
Your pursuit of healing, transformation, peace, and joy is a beautiful thing. Most precious is the voice that continues to long for compassion and liberation, even when it feels so far away.
These are challenging times. Despite all the ways we’ve cultivated international cooperation, the situation in Ukraine is very, very challenging. Despite all the helpful first steps towards transforming public safety in Minneapolis, police silently entered into the home of a young black man, Amir Locke, and shot him before realizing they targeted the wrong person.
Let’s not go numb.
First, a few words about maintaining our ability to be present and to feel. Sometimes I hear people say “the pain is unbearable.” The depth and enormity of suffering around us really is too big for any of us to hold.
What if we are not meant to hold it?
When we lean into being held by the Universe, the Universe bears us up as the pain of these sufferings pass through us. I’m so dedicated to spiritual practice because it has the effect of raising our pain tolerance.
I write about this topic a lot and today I’m just touching lightly on it. Because these times can be really upsetting, I want to remind you that movement as part of our spiritual practice really helps our body-mind from freezing up. Dancing, so often dismissed as frivolous, is in fact humanity’s oldest strategy for building resilience.
One of my favorite studies measured how dancing together in unison increases our pain tolerance. Compared to a group that had been free dancing, the group of dancers who had moved in synch with each other had much higher tolerance for the squeeze from a blood pressure cuff. The researchers reasoned that the experience of seeing oneself mirrored by the community tells our body everything is okay. We know we are part of a much bigger whole, we are connected with joy, and our ability to bear the difficulties of life is increased. Such a powerful lesson!
Now, my alive, present, and connected friend – it’s time for us to up our game!
It’s time to make some extraordinary transformation happen in your lives and in our world. And that is going to require focus.
You have a particular gift within you. There is a particular way your purpose is a response to the question of these times. There are so many good things you could do in your life. What would make the biggest difference right now is to go big in pursuit of the most essential purpose of your life.
Gary Keller called this your One Thing. I recently read his popular business book, The One Thing, and found it invigorating. The pursuit of excellence and dreaming big is a beautiful thing.
To do something extraordinary and game-changing in the world, goes the thesis of the book, you need to pursue it with a singular focus. Specifically, if possible, with four hours a day uninterrupted and dedicated to this goal.
If you could dedicate four hours a day to the most important aspect of your life or work, what would it be? How would it make a difference in the world?
For years I’ve been searching for ways to more fully express and share the transformative power of women’s traditional ritual dances from the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor. I’ve known for a long time that I need to spend time writing to develop my thoughts. Now, and in response to the urgency of our times, I see that writing and inner refinement work as my One Thing. I draw on a courageous trust that this tactic, which is going to take some time to yield outward results, is valuable in the long run.
I have yet to find a full four-hour block any day, but I’m getting close. Truth be told, my One Thing is still a bit of a synthesis of things. Maybe that synthesis is what’s special about my purpose or maybe I’ve got some more refining to do before I’m really down to One Thing. Focusing on my One Thing does create some chaos in other parts of my life, and it’s interesting to make peace with that. Nonetheless, I’m enlivened by the act of dedicating myself to bringing as much excellence as possible in response to the suffering in our world.
You can’t do everything to fix the world. But you can do one thing to bring more love and healing into the world. If you don’t know what your One Thing is, figuring that out is your One Thing. What if you dared to dream really big with that One Thing? What if you arranged how you spend your time and attention to bringing real excellence to this purpose?
Resist the temptation to get discouraged and wrapped in fears. It is still important to focus on your highest dreams and goals.
With love and courage,
Support for Your Discernment
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