Today was a fruitful day. It was made up of a healthy balance between work-related progress and personal benefit. I experienced a connection that was rather unexpected. As is my routine, I set out this morning on my walk. I trundled to my favourite coffee shop which is roughly a 1-mile jont from the house. I filled up my mug and proceeded back toward home. About a block from the coffee shop I saw a familiar truck - and face. The face was that of my friend Norm. For those of you who may not know, Norm is my longest-standing friend. My friend Mike - who now resides in Ajax, Ontario - is second in line if only by weeks. Norm I met when I was 10. 25 years is a fairly healthy length of time to have known someone, I would say. Norm's been extremely busy in and out of town on work-related excursions. With the overnight snowfall, the traffic was significantly backed up to the point where Norm made the decision to sit at the coffee shop for an hour instead of sitting in traffic for what would be roughly the same duration.
So, I greeted my friend, turned around and headed back to the coffee shop. We sat and caught up. I've admired Norm's dedication to his work and his head for business for years. I think I was meant to have this visit if only to get myself juiced about what's going on in my business world. I came away with literally, a lightness in my steps that I can't put accurately into words.
My lunch meeting went similarly very well when I met with Mark, the Anglican priest at St. Andrew's. I met with him to discuss, oddly enough, spirituality. You see, I've discovered that there are all these components that make up our lives. Including, but certainly not limited to: making a living, managing our resources, time with people we know, time for ourselves and of course our spirituality.
It seems to me that all these things that make up our lives tend to get compartmentalized. We have our little box we call "work", we have our little box we call "play", "people", "home life", and for some of us, "spirituality".
I grew up in an environment where spirituality basically meant "go to church". Only when I started thinking for myself in my pre-teen and teen years did I start discovering that spirituality is a whole other thing.
I approached Mark with the notion that perhaps my life's balance might be easier to achieve if I were to get rid of the idea of compartmentalizing everything and start thinking in terms of the "big picture".
I thought I might try placing my spirituality at the centre and see if all the other stuff would naturally fall into a balanced position. That isn't to say "hand it all over to the Creator and then do nothing". That's foolish.
I related to Mark an experience I had back in late October, early November, when I was having some money issues and in particular with one company. The company had told me they would be suspending service unless I paid their bill in its entirety. I was unable to do that, and subsequently panicked. After taking a deep breath, I decided to go for a walk and put the problem out to the Universe for some guidance. I went to a park and meditated on the matter - asking for help to create a solution. I came up with a solution, which for the interim was acceptable to the company. This made me feel really good. It also taught me something.
Success is a communal effort. It took me - willing to not only share the problem, but take on a portion of the responsibility of action toward its solution -. the Universe for guidance, and the other party in that they had to allow some flexibility to accommodate my willingness, but not immediate ability, to solve the problem.
Mark talked about the Native culture's "circular" approach to living in contrast to a linear approach which is often our Western culture's default position.
In a linear approach you tend to see every aspect of your life laid out in a compartmentalized fashion, much like I had described. Each entity is almost separate from the other.
In a circular approach, SOMETHING - be it spirituality, work, finance, family or just about anything else you feel is your "centre" is the base from where you operate. As it is circular, everything ELSE grows out from that centre and is of that centre.
So with this theory in mind, if I place my spirituality at the centre, my finances, work life, social life and everything else will grow from that centre and will be fed by it, and everything will be connected, not compartmentalized and separate.
To this, Mark added that if we make "being" our centre, the things we "do" will be out of our "being" and thus we will achieve a personal balance rather than a completed "to do" list. (forgive me, I am paraphrasing... he has offered me a book that talks about this in much more detail, so I'll keep you posted on what I learn)
So, with my new approach in mind, and being realistic in the fact that it's all a process, I'm looking forward to some wonderful experiences along this road of spiritual growth and personal balance.
Warmest wishes and lots of love!