I Must Be About my Spiritual Business

This Fourth of July, I sit in a different place than I did last year. I still attend the same graduate program and I live in the same apartment, however I have finally allotted space within these four walls to allow room for profound healing. Healing necessarily takes on many forms; whether it be the holding of sacred listening space for a loved one in need, or finding forgiveness for someone who has wronged you, even if that someone is you, allowing healing space is the only balm that can save our ailing world. When I write world, I include the multiplicities of layers of life and matter, from our inner molten core to the outermost layer of our atmospheric barrier from outer space. So, I seek to be clear for those who understand, and perhaps most importantly for those who don’t, Our World is Our-Self.

The state of Our World, is Who We Are.

The space for the healing of our world will be made clear when more people know and accept this mantra as surely as they accept working five days a week. We are all one. There is no separation between any form of life. There is no difference between me and the dutiful bumblebee, nor you and the butterfly flying nearby.

Bumblebee Totem Medicine

New York City Bumblebee on the West Side Highway Bike Path

Butterfly Totem Medicine on July 2, 2010

New York City Butterfly on the West Side Highway Bike Path

We are all connected in fate, abundance and joy, and it is through our choices that we change the world for everyone else in some way. When someone has wronged you, or you someone else, the choice to hold a grudge is one that displaces the healing flows in our world.

When holding a grudge, life experiences will shift to reinforce that choice to hold a grudge; we edit our conversations and interactions around, toward or in spite of that thing we cannot forget or forgive. Then the pain of dissatisfying social interactions reinforces the grudge because it seems as if the ‘horribleness’ of the grudge itself changed our outcome, not the choice to hold on to it, despite its negative effect and affect on what and who we cherish. Forgiving those who harm us, frees our heart-space to receive good flows and folks into our life to supplant the uncomfortable hard feelings.

Why plant thorns when we can enjoy Black-Eyed Susans?

When we talk about the medicine of self-healing, we find that to be one of the more hidden of our realities. The world is comprised of an ongoing cycle of life, death, transformation and rebirth, and we are an indelible and inseparable part of that process. When we conceptualize or think of ourselves in terms of our our familial, political or national identities, the image should extend beyond the smiling face in our Facebook profiles and instead include all of those who had either a direct or indirect hand in your being who you are today. From the trees, animals and insects and humans who over the millenia that died and decomposed to contribute to what we call “crude oil”, to the hands that crafted the car that transported our parents someplace nice where they could be together to conceive each of us, all of these happenings, processes and lives lived are what make our lives possible. The photos above are of a small patch of black-eyed susans located on New York city’s West Side highway bike path. It is the beauty of the flowers that we enjoy, while they are natural lures and sustenance for local butterflies and bees, both of whom pollinate and reproduce the very things that bring us visual pleasure…flowers.

Living in the way of beauty creates and sustains life for others.

We are at a point in our civilization where we must look closely at our collective selves to really accept that we are holding grudges instead of fighting for life. We blame BP when we can really be formulating a new ways of running business, different approaches to accountability. To hold others to a higher standard means that we too must improve ourselves accordingly. We must forgive ourself for oil dependence while formulating a different life. Think about it as a socio-cultural 12-step program. So just as I see the possibility for broad based healing, I finally shifted my perspective enough to get on the good foot to apply this to my personal life.

If I improve myself, the world will be improved, and I can choose to live my life as the player rather than the scorekeeper.

So in my quest to improve myself, I have thought long and hard only to realize, firstly…I do a LOT of thinking, and secondly, that my writing discipline is only as good as keeping my body in a seat and doing it. I have for the past two years thought that I was hampered by the distractibility of my dexterous mind rather than the discomfort and resulting restlessness of my body! Within my apartment I have finally fashioned, without purcha$ing a thing, a home office that allows for the physical stillness writing often requires. After 7 years and multiple reorganzings in this apartment, I finally found the appropriate feng shui placement for my workspace. The simple placement of my desk in the livingroom versus a corner in my bedroom has opened space for me to clean my home deeper, more often, to organize my other belongings in order to make more space. This newfound space is more open and now comfortable enough to truly welcome my [fastidious] partner. This has allowed our relationship to deepen enough that we  recline in a seemingly buoyant energy that our friends often choose to be around….and on and on.

To share beauty is to create contemplative space; Contemplative space is Healing Space.

Now that my home office is organized and functional, I now have a clearer boundary for the tasks I can complete at home and those which are only possible at school. This much needed clarification has revealed that I enjoy my work enough to want to work on it while at home and while at school. This in turn caused me to sit to my desk with an idea of pondering my personal celebration of Fourth of July. I imagined writing a blog and here I am sharing these thoughts with you now. I realized, from the echo of one thought; The only time I have is the time I take….and I need to be about my spiritual business. I must do what I am purposed with doing, and doing so will feel good as it generalizes to my life and those around me.

Indeed, I have grand aims to inspire a cultural shift toward a contemplative relationship with our world. This Fourth of July, I have come to understand that in my contemplation of why I was not writing, I created a healing space that allowed me to forgive myself for not writing and to congratulate myself for figuring it out. I will continue to contemplate my goals despite and because of my challenges as the help me tune in to my deeper purpose. To tune in is to be more present with my creative impulses which are the foundations of my Spiritual busyness…writing. The busyness of my contemplation results in expanded philosophies, new words, compelling visuals, interesting projects and novel ideas. These are my gifts. My gifts are for us all.


Black-Eyed Shawndel

west Side Highway, New York, NY


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