Wherever You Go…
My lessons come from different places. Some were taught intentionally and some were not. Experience has been a teacher, but individuals with wisdom have also taught me lessons. Everyone, for me, is a teacher. Everyone.
There are lessons that linger more than most. Here are a few.
An aspiring blues guitar player sitting on a street corner with his dog and preparing to play, said to me, “it only takes a spark to overcome all of darkness.” I thought about it all the next day and vowed to be at least a spark, even if I could not be light. He did not remember saying anything like that when I asked him the next night to elaborate.
Hanging out on another street corner in Falls Church, Virginia, I sat for hours under the teachings of George Sutton. He was semi-homeless and a fan of BB King. We talked about what was serious and what was not. He was wise, buy somehow had difficulty using his own wisdom. After leaving for a time and returning to the 7-Eleven where we hung out, I saw him in the middle of the day (most of our lessons were at night). He asked for $2 and wanted me to know it was for a beer, and not for food.
Maybe our time together made him want to be honest with me, or perhaps this was his pitch to everyone. The culminations of all that he taught were captured in that one moment. We were real with each other and it impressed me and made me want to be honest with others.
There were lessons taught in sanctuaries, synagogues, temples, retreats, and mosques, of course. Mostly though, these were seeds of wisdom later to be expounded upon in some book or video. Organizations tend to teach behavior, and what I love is the thought of possibility. When one is concerned with behavior, there is little room left for possibility. But my experiences in cathedrals and churches, fireside meetings and prayer circles, have all made me who I am, in some small way.
I used to “run the roads” and go to bars around my home town. Not for women or beer, though there was some of that also, but for learning. It always seemed to me that there was more life being lived at the Long Branch Saloon than there was in the churches I attended during the same time in my life. Mostly, I played foosball, pool, and collected the stories of those who came for whatever found them there. I was not in the “cool kid club”, but I was tolerated, perhaps because of my genuine interest in others.
One night, after asking a question of a friend about something in my life, he got up slowly, and as he headed out the door, said, “wherever you go, there you are.”
Maybe Confucius said this first, or Buddha, but that night, it was him. He said it, and I heard it for the first time. It is a profound and well known statement, and in some ways, relevant to everything I do. I find myself “going places” all the time. When I say, “all the time”, I mean in most moments of my life. My mind wanders. I am rarely just enjoying the moment where I exist. Some advise we focus and some advise we dream of better times. I have learned to channel it for what I consider good. To at least, guide my thoughts back to ones of empathy and compassion.
What I know from experience is this. When I travel from my home in the mountains, to the beach, I cross paths with others, leaving their home at the beach, to visit the mountains. This is my biggest teacher. I do travel and I enjoy other cities, but the fact is, wherever I go, there I am, in someone’s vacation destination. Whether I travel for work, for fun, or a weekend away with family, I leave a vacation destination, to be somewhere else in the world.
The practical teaching of this lesson, for me, is that all of what we experience is filtered through our minds. Creation is constantly giving us good things and the best of itself, and we dilute the gift. We complain about how, or when, it was given. We spend so little time enjoying what is offered before we begin to ask for something more and just a little different. As if we knew more of what we needed than Source.
We should be happy, but not content. There should be love, but not for the idea we have of what people and things are, or should be, in our lives. We should be grateful, even if we do not understand for what. And, we should share, in a thousand ways, most always, without the exchange of money. Mostly, I choose encouragement, because that is what I like most. How you express happiness, experience love, live gratitude, and share, are all up to you. I promise, that if these four are your focus, more of the same will flood into your life.
In an effort to be transparent, you as a reader should know, I am out to change the world, every day. I am an advocate of peace and my goal each day is to create at least one smile in the world, that would not have happened without my effort. I create memes for the restingtimes.com Facebook page and I have created 13 coloring postcards for adults and children. My belief is that if you hold a person in your thoughts as you create, and wish them well during the process, it is one of the highest forms of meditation and prayer.
These postcards are ready to print and in a PDF and I encourage you to use them. They are for sale on this website, but I was never a good businessman. If you click the link below, you should be able to download them for free. Use them to share good vibes, or however you like. Send them to an online printing company or print them in your home. This is just me trying to help create kindness in the world.
If you color a few, let me know if it helped you and/or the recipient of the cards in the comment section. Or, visit our Facebook page, to get many more, quick and easy encouragements to take in or share. This is life. I believe we create in the world, not what we want, but more of what we are. There is no reason those two things, cannot be the same thing.