27 Mar 19
THE CHOPSTICK REVELATION
I thought it would be easier. I mean after all, how hard could it be? I remember feeling it the first time I picked up a pair of chopsticks, I thought they would be so easy to use, but I was wrong, it was much harder than I thought to pick up the food and manoeuvre it to my mouth. But I sat with them day after day, after day, after day until I learned how to use them. For they were the only eating utensil I packed for my adventure of hitchhiking around the world. And I had to either learn how to use them or not eat. If you know me, not eating was not a choice. 🙂Thinking about it again now, I remember the power and the beauty in a saying of a buddhist nun I met and spent some time with along the way. Her words echo in my ears now and become more and more true.“The way we do anything is the way we do everything.”The way I saw chopsticks was the way I viewed life. I believed everything in life was easy. It was only later that I realised life was harder than I thought. That goes from selling my book, to maintaining friendships, to making money, to having fun.And yet somehow, when I believed things were easy, life supported my way of thinking and somehow everything always worked out for me. Perhaps because of this belief system, I gave all of my money away to the poor, to people who I thought needed it more than me. I knew I would never go without, because I had what it took to make whatever I needed to live the life I wanted to live.Until, one day I didn’t.I have never been driven by materialistic things, money is not what motivates me, but don’t get me wrong, I was and still am a bit of a snob. I like nice things. I like to eat in nice restaurants, and stay in nice places. I liked wearing the clothes I liked, and living in the neighborhood I wanted to Iive in. I have always lived this way with money and without money.Until, everything changed.A man I was doing business with, a friend told me 3 days before I was to ship close to 1 million dollars worth of orders, that he had not made the clothes to fulfil the order. Not just some of the order, but the whole order. In that moment, I lost $300,000. I was devastated. Credit card companies phone calls to me went unanswered, threatening letters they sent me remained unopened. I was scared, overwhelmed and ashamed.Money, which in the past was so easy for me to find, suddenly became harder and harder to come by. What once I thought would always be there, was now gone. And the stress I felt, was something I had never felt before.In the midst of my despair, with everything crumbling around me, I entered a place of solitude and I started writing The Mosaic. This was its message:
In theTalmud, the ancient book of Judaism, there is a story told of King Solomon, (the son of David). The story goes that everywhere King Solomon went, he would look at the ring he wore on his finger.. The ring was 3 three Hebrew letters (Gimel Zayin, and Yod).When he was somewhere where he experienced great good fortune, he would look at those 3 letters and say to himself “Gam Zeh Yavod” (This too will pass). And when he would experience the greatest trials he ever knew, he would again look at those 3 letters and say to himself “Gam Zeh Yavod” (This too will pass).This practice brought King Solomon great comfort, for he knew that whatever happened to him, be it good or bad, the only thing certain was that it would pass. It allowed him to never let things get out of perspective. What I would have given to have had that ring in those days!In my book, The Mosaic, a similar feeling is expressed in a different way through a character called, The Traveler, who says,“Everything in life follows three steps.”Do you know what they are? Take a moment and think about it. Write your answer down, think about it again and when you think you know the answer and are ready, read the excerpt below from the Traveler in The Mosaic to hear what the 3 steps are, that are essential for everything in creation.
An Excerpt from The Traveler The Mosaic
“Watching people walk taught me something very important.Their steps, like everything in life are made up of 3 things. Without these 3 things, they cannot walk.Every step has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Without each, there can be no step.“When people follow this simple pattern, their walk is effortless. It is only when they try to skip one that life goes out of sync.”“She is guiding my steps. That’s why it’s so effortless,” Mo thought.The Traveler continued,the only sound the dirt road crunching under their feet.“In order for something to begin, another thing must end.It is the way of nature. Day replaces night.What is empty becomes filled, and that which is filled becomes empty.But there are those who try to hold on to what was.They do not want to let go of something that has already ended. They think they can make the day last longer,but the day does not worry about what they think.When it is time for it to end, it ends.And nothing they can do can change this simple reality.What ends, ends.But those who want to hold on to the daydo not see the beauty the night brings,and because they are out of sync with life’s step, they feel pain.“Imagine the caterpillar trying to hold onto its bodyas it metamorphoses into a butterfly.It cannot.You were the butterfly holding on to being a caterpillar. It took all your effort and gave only pain.Follow these three simple steps.It is time for you to begin your walk. Remember: Beginning. Middle. End.”Mo understood.He had to let go to experience the way of effortlessness.But he had no idea how to do it.He hoped he would learn more with her on his walk to find heaven. But without warning, The Traveler quickened her pace and was gone.All that was left were the thoughts she still placed in his head.“When you fall out of sync with the steps, you became disconnected.And when you feel disconnected, you suffer.You have suffered enough, Mo.It is time to reconnect.When you are connected,you become part of The Mosaic.”
WHERE ARE YOU?
Three steps. Beginning. Middle. End.Beginning. Is there something in your life that is wanting to begin but is not being given the attention it needs to be seeded? Have you created the space for something new to enter you or are you filled to the brim with other things that may or may not be essential to you now? Where, if anywhere, is fear keeping you from doing what you know is being asked of you? How about inertia? Do you think that you do not have enough energy to start over and so you continue to hold onto to what has already ended?What is beginning within you?Middle. All my life, I have hated the middle. I never found much meaning in it. I loved to start things and I loved knowing once I started something seeing where it would go. The middle always frustrated me. I never understood why it took so long for things to get to where I already saw them to be. And so I spent most of my life racing through the middle to get to the end.But lately, I have felt stuck. It is taking longer to get to where I think I should be, and I have been forced to be where I am. As I write these words now, it seems so obvious, Be Here Now. And I realise, in my haste to get where I am going, I have missed the beauty of being where I am.Where are you right now? Are you able to find peace right where you are or do you feel stuck because you believe you should be somewhere else? Can you enjoy the middle? That place where everything happens in the moment. Take a moment now and sit and breathe and feel the glory of this moment. How does it feel to be where you are? Can you enjoy it? What do you notice? What sounds do you hear? What things to you see? What smells do you experience? How does the air feel on your skin?End. How do you feel about things that end? How are you at letting go? I always thought I was great at ending stuff, but as I sit here this morning I realise, I suck at letting things go. I have been carrying things around with me that have been gone for a long time. Not just one or two things, but lots of things, simply because I do not know how to let things go.But what ends, ends.For something new to begin, I have to let what has ended go. How about you? How are you at letting go? Are you still carrying around things that have ended a long time ago? Hurts? Pains? Betrayals? Abandonments? Loss? When would NOW be a good time to let it all go?Is there something in particular you are holding onto that you know, the moment you let it go, it will clear up the space for something new to come to you? Is there something you are afraid to end because you don’t want to hurt someone, but you know it is over and you are hurting them every day but staying? Is there something keeping you where you are because you feel safe where you are even though you do not feel happy? What is something you know you need to let go of right now, something you know must end? Can you let it go right now?Beginning. Middle. End. It all seems so simple.
Inhale. Exhale.Again. Inhale. Exhale.And one more time . . . Inhale. Exhale.Look at the Yantra above and allow it to center you.Notice the white dot.And see how easily the energy of the Yantra swirls you away from the center.Watch where you go.Watch your breath.Watch the one who is watching the one who watches.What is beginning?What is continuing?And what is ending?Where are you connected?
RESOURCE: TRUE CONNECTION: TAKING TIME TO TRULY LISTENThis is an exquisite interview and podcast. I invite you to listen to it and share your thoughts with me. Please let me know how you think and feel.http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/4/1/5/415e8584362701fc/Daniel_Levin_Audio_COMPLETE.mp3c_id=35458781&cs_id=35458781&expiration=1551714888&hwt=d4338d5c4d6415919ea8f3991f525576
WHAT I DO?
What I see is how things connect. And perhaps, what I am more than anything else is a connector. In fact, I wrote a book called The Mosaic. Which could be a perfect metaphor for what I do. I put broken pieces together that others have discarded, and I see connections (or missing connections) that other do not see.It is the perfect allegory when I work with individuals, couples, businesses, and government agencies. For what we connect to or disconnect from determines our reality. I look at the choices people or businesses make, and I immediately see who they are. I look at what they want to achieve, the connection points they have chosen and, over time, I see if it will propel them forward or keep them away from what they seek.I look not only at what they connect to, but how connected they are to it. If a company and its employees are not engaged in the connections they make, it cannot help but affect motivation, innovation, and productivity. What most fail to see is that, on a deeper level, everything is connected to everything else. So when we try to solve a situation by fixing only one piece, it often does not work. It is essential to look at the connection of each piece of The Mosaic and how it serves the whole. I look at a team’s connection to themselves and to each other, to their purpose and how aligned it is with their core values, and to their community, and the world they serve. Each piece is important, for it has the potential to affect the outcome of the entire Mosaic. When one connection is off, the whole suffers.By seeing how a person or business connects, I also see where they do not connect. In this, lies the sweet space of change. To help a person or business thrive inwardly and outwardly, innovate new strategies, launch a product, or grow a division, the person or company must be willing to look at their connection points and ask themselves if the connections they have made empower them or deplete them.Do you know what empowers and depletes you and/or your company? What connections must end for new connections to begin?