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.