Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Are You Willing to Move from Dreamtime to Real Time?

That is St. Francis up there, hiding within that outstretched arm of crab apple blossom (oh, the smell...).  He is positioned under that tree that sits at the bottom of our slightly sloping backyard.

If you know anything about St. Francis, the first things that come to mind probably involve his rapport with animals, his love of nature, his...sandals.

All of this sounds pretty gentle, and really? St. Francis was the opposite of gentle, if you think about the extremities to which he went to fulfill his calling to follow Christ.  He gave up everything as the son of wealthy man and lived in total poverty. He did not care if he was seen as an outcast in his own community. He was on fire with his beliefs and he stoked that fire with his daily actions.

At the end of his life, he experienced the stigmata. Pain and suffering, again, to the extreme but from his idea of love and his sense of devotion to his vocation.

Regardless of what you think about all of that, the photo seemed appropriate to me today as I am doing a lot of thinking about what it means to be true to ourselves, to our gifts, to our perceived callings.

How far am I willing to go?

I am not talking about actions that could be perceived as self-torture, which we sometimes see in the stories of saints and mystics.

But still...how far am I willing to go?  How dedicated am I willing to be?

How much am I willing to make the fairly simple but daily and constant choice for my passion?

As the Dalai Lama says, anything worth doing is worth "constant effort."

Not effort during the hours of the day or week when you feel like it.

CONSTANT. EFFORT.  Every minute.

A million mantras to change your brain. A million tiny steps over a life time to build the life you are capable of, the life of which you dream.

Most of us, I fear, are lost in dreamtime, seeing in our mind's eye all that we desire, but never taking ourselves seriously enough, never putting in time or energy enough, to move that dream into real time.


SandyDFromNJ said...

WOW, Christine! This really struck a chord with me this morning. I don't want to dream about life, I want to live it.

Tess Giles Marshall said...

I think that in the plethora of positive thinking that surrounds us, we sometimes forget that what we really want can COST us. In other words it isn't all daisies and fluffy bunnies(no reference to your furry companions intended!). Great post.

Christine Claire Reed said...

Tess, yes. Exactly. Though life, of course, is a LOT about fluffy bunnies, there is also the hard work. When did hard work become some sort of four letter word?

Susann said...

Holy cow. And ow. Nail, meet hammer. You got it in one this morning, Christine, with HUGE thanks for the timely (and, yes, painful, and yes, completely necessary-for-me-right-now) reminder. I've been slacking off, whining, sighing a lot. Finding a million distractions. Making a million excuses. Then I come here and read this & it's as though you were directed by the Universe herself to give me a much needed smack just when I needed it. You really are super!

claire said...

I very much resonate with your post, Christine. I find that most of my days are not spent in real time. In fact 95% of my life probably has not. I have grown very aware of this and would like to live the remainder of my life mindfully.

iris said...

I think we should also keep 'low hanging fruit' in mind. I think sometimes it's the easy stuff to achieve that makes it possible to withstand the longer term goals.

That is, short-term achievements fueling the long-term achievements.