Success is the highlighted word on my colourful well being card as I write with my write on sisters, Kim, Christie and Barb, in Barbs welcoming living room with sweeping views of the slate grey Lady Macdonald framed in the lime green birch leaves. The theme and passionate dialogue tonight has been journaling, journey and joy.
This afternoon I read quote by Satish Kumar in my journal with the intricate orange and gold Celtic design from the Book of Kells, “The journey is more interesting than the destination.” This idea of process not the end point being critical was reinforced for me years ago when I watched Tibetan monks create a detailed sand mandala. Focused on the present moment they poured red, yellow, green, and blue sands into a harmonious circular geometrical pattern. This procedure may take several mustard clad monks several days. Accompanied by resonant spiritual chanting their work of art is released into the ocean or a river. I was astonished that anyone would put in so much effort only to destroy the end product. This was an alien concept for me. I still have the stunted ashtrays I made in a pottery class 30 years ago. I have resisted words like surrender, letting go and detachment.
Twenty years ago my spiritual neighbour in Sydney Australia, after one our may metaphysical discussions, said to me, “It’s all about surrender Wilma.” My jaw tightened as I replied, “Oh that doesn’t work for me.”
Two decades later I feel lightness seep into my being as I let go of my expectations and judgements of my success or lack of it. It feels such a relief to have cast off the task of saving the world inherited from my religious parents, and to have resigned as mistress of universe. I have replaced these outmoded beliefs with the possibility of following my bliss as directed by the great American anthropologist Joseph Campbell.
Was it naïve of me to expect following my bliss to be easy? This week as I though of my young niece Amy in the intensity and chaos of labour I wept for her, I wept for the loss of her mother my sister, and I wept for my own long dead mother.
To honour the steps of my journey is to respect the authenticity of my human emotion, to be grounded in the present with tensions bubbling up in my abdomen, chest and shoulders. To walk my joyful path with integrity means I will experience my feelings just like the weather of all the four seasons, spring, summer, fall and winter. Success does not only come in the warm summer breezes, it is present as the autumn leaves float to the ground, as the geese honk south, as the river sculpts itself into chiselled ice blocks, and as the purple prairie crocus re-emerges in the spring.