“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” Henry David Thoreau
Though I have posted a couple of photo collages, I have not written my blog since January 2015 when I was body slammed by circumstances beyond my control (see Unbearable Darkness…Part 1 and before that Points of Convergence). My belief system, my ego, my career all collapsed in a crumble of lost dreams and what I then felt were false “signs.” Life kicked the chair out from underneath me, and I found myself wondering how, where, or even IF I fit in. I was despondent.
Gratitude It took two weeks of mourning lost opportunities and employment before I could even begin to feel as though life were worth the effort. Soon, my friend Louisa invited me to participate in a 100 Day Project. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I decided to feel and express gratitude for all the good fortune I had received.
Augury Four days into my gratitude project (keeping a daily journal about the people, events, and things for which I give thanks), after he spoke at a UNM climate change rally, I met Dr. Bruce Milne: Director of the Sustainability Studies Program at the University of New Mexico. Many people had told me over the course of two years that I must meet Dr. Milne for he and I shared a goal of sustainable lifestyles as a way of life.
Ironically, following on the heels of my Unbearable Darkness and false signs, upon introducing myself and quickly outlining my skill set, Dr. Milne said our meeting was a “sign”… the answer to a prayer he had sent out to the universe. He described his prayer to me along with several other auspicious signs he had received just prior to my introduction. As he spoke, I saw the sparkle of a tiny, joyful tear in his eye, as if to say, “The universe does deliver what we pray for.” Turns out, he had wished for someone with exactly my skills (along with a minor in Sustainable Studies) to help him transform two of his dreams into reality.
Had his prayer changed the course of my life? When, exactly, had he sent out that prayer? Did the fate of my true path require the collapse of an alternate destiny?
Gratitude Dr. Milne had also been deeply engaged in expressing gratitude. To that end, he had developed and written “The Method: Mindfulness and Gratitude Practices to Achieve Personal and Collective Sustainability.” How’s that for Points of Convergence? He wanted his text transformed to a book. Thus, a month after my world collapsed, I was hired by UNM’s Sustainability Studies Program (an alternate dream of mine) to help create a book. Additionally, through our collaboration, we brought Indian scholar, environmental activist and anti-globalization author, Vandana Shiva to the University of New Mexico where she beautifully encouraged a sold out audience to believe, “We are all seeds of creativity.”
…the answer to someone’s prayer. Giving up on signs and no longer believing in fate, I had become someone else’s sign and fate. One has to laugh. By helping to bring gratitude, peace and most importantly, light, into my community, I had allowed light to shine in my heart again. Thus continues, the Circle Game.