With all the best of intentions and solid planning and procedures in place, life happens and unforeseeable situations arise. The past couple of weeks have been a great example of illness and life situations creating a bit of chaos in what initially appeared to be a beautifully planned time of karma yoga at the Ashram.
We learn from the challenges, and they keep coming. My karma places me in situations daily that require flexibility and patience, calm and kindness - even when my insides are often bubbling up with heat and tension and frustration. Treating with kindness, what seem to be demanding people and at times unjust requests and selfish behaviors is a true practice in patience and remaining calm. It is not easy for me.
I like to think about the stories shared here of the strong and immovable trees cracking and breaking and even being ripped out of the ground by hurricanes and natural disasters. Many magnificent and huge trees on the Ashram property were destroyed by the hurricane that hit the Bahamas last year, for example. Whereas the tall grasses and grass-like trees such as bamboo, that easily bend and sway, remained virtually unharmed.
Taking the nature analogy to everyday interactions with people. I've recently noticed that people can believe they are standing firm for an idea or principle, holding their ground solidly, not willing to bend in fear of relinquishing something of their beliefs. Yet, the rigidity tends to create a barrier, almost a protective wall or shield of sorts.
When two equally strong and opposing forces or views of people are present, neither really is fully aware of the other's viewpoint because they are shielded by their walls and barriers of words. Neither can bend nor sway with their large protective wall surrounding them. They also do not hear very well the words of the opposing view. They are stuck within their self-made protective walls. I can think of so many instances in today's world where this description fits, not just my experiences at the Ashram.
It's interesting to observe this in others and more difficult to notice when it is in myself. Luckily, this time, I am the observer of others and needed to figure out ways to navigate the damage that barriers and rigidity bring, including manifesting into illness from the emotional stress. Bringing harmony and love and calm to others who have no interest in flexibility is a difficult practice. Now that there has been a shift toward peace and harmony, it is my hope that fully healthy beings will see more clearly and with their heart as their lead.
I am hoping that this lesson I've observed and experienced will help me the next time I stand firm and unbending, realizing that swaying and bending like a reed or bamboo is a much healthier and sustainable way to live.
Thank you for taking this journey with me!
Loving Life and Living Love,
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