Who Are We and What Are We Doing?

I’m grinding right now.

Not in a good way. I’m struggling with finding myself in a balance where I can have the impact in life I want; where I feel like I’m following my dharma: my purpose in life.

So, juxtapose that with this note I just received from an old professional colleague and friend:

Have been reading your Blogs and posts for quite some time. I feel compelled to tell you a couple of things. First is thank you. Second is I want you know that you were remarkably helpful to when I was [omitted for anonymity]. It was only 90 days but that experience, largely in part due to you, was one of the best in my life. Next your posts about authenticity strike a chord deep inside of me. I am not a Yogi, but your renewed passion in life has been inspiring. I recent attended a life changing leadership training course and am starting to understand with clarity the message you are delivering. Thank you please keep it up!

Two things jump out to me from that. One, the 90 day period he referred to was over 15 years ago. I never knew it had that kind of an impact. Talk about the power of how you choose to show up, even when you don’t even know it.

The second is connections. Something about what I’ve been saying online, even as I still struggle with and grapple with it all myself, started something in my friend. Next, a separate experience they had connected some dots to something bigger. A reminder that having an impact isn’t always about owning all of it.

Sometimes you just start a snowball rolling down the mountain; the universe takes care of the rest.

I think about that, and I think about how serious these topics can be, even as I write with a light and sarcastic heart sometimes. A number of weeks back I received a comment at this older post about my own transformation. Here’s what the comment said.

You and I work for the same company. I’ve been there more than a decade but we have never met and, honestly, I’m sorry to say I probably couldn’t have picked you out of a crowd. But reading reading your story brought tears to my eyes. Why? It’s like reading my own thoughts. My marriage is gasping it’s last breath, I’m overweight, overwhelmed, depressed and unsure of what’s around the corner or what to do next. Your story though is inspirational. It gives me hope that maybe my relationships can be saved, I can still turn things around, get back my zest for life and my health. Thank you for sharing your journey. It can’t be easy to let the public into your personal life but I want you to know that you made a difference to a stranger today.

Whoa.

Holy shit.

That’s amazing. I don’t know what happened with that person. I don’t know who it is. I hope in some way things are better for them today.

Now, let’s get raw. If any one of us can have that kind of positive impact when we don’t expect to, what kind of negative impact can we have when we least expect it too?

Uh oh.

October 11th was National Coming Out Day. A couple posts in my Facebook feed laid out some emotional issues, one with someone coming out as a transgendered male, the other with someone reflecting on a day in the past when a family member outed them for not being heterosexual…with resulting family damage that has never been repaired.

Think about the pain those individuals have experienced in their lives. We’ve all had pain. Can you imagine what theirs has been like? Why is it so hard as humans to just love one another? Why is that so fucking difficult?

How many times have we maybe said or done something that needlessly caused pain when we might have known deep down inside it may do so? How many times have we had that very same harmful impact when we’re not even aware of the impact we’re having.

Fuck.

It makes me ashamed of when I’ve done so in my past. And hopeful for what it is to come.

Maybe it’s no irony both people whose October 11th posts I described above have found yoga in their lives. Maybe that’s because yoga has done what too many houses of worship and believers have not: truly, truly welcomed people where they’re at. No, yoga isn’t a religion. But, it is a practice that can allow for and awaken real, raw spiritual growth…even when many a yoga practitioner has no idea that’s possible when they unroll a mat before their first class.

That’s where the hope comes into the picture for me.

I read recently, “Yoga is the practice of celebrating what is.” Not celebrating what we wish should be or fear might be or dream might be…what is. That means the good, the bad, and the ugly…the beautiful, the painful…the strength, the weakness…

All of it.

Celebrate and acknowledge that. Then build from there.

Maybe that’s what we should be doing.

Updated to correct layout issues…which no matter how many times I edit them are staying screwy. So fuck it, the layout will be imperfect. – EE

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