About a month ago, my cousin Aimée emailed me about this guy she thought I would really like to hear speak. His name is Micheal Meade ; he is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The title of the talk he was giving was called “Roots of Wisdom”. It looked interesting, and definitely looked like something my good friend would want to go to, so I forwarded her the email and she gave a resounding “yes!” I bought the tickets really not knowing what to expect. I kind of went into it trusting my cousin and my friend.
Mr. Meade had quite a presence on stage. I was immediately engaged in what he was talking about. However, there were moments when I questioned if I really was the right person to be there. He kept talking about our souls and finding the divine. And, while I believe we have souls and there is something bigger than me out there, I don’t see the “divine” like many others do. I am more of the Emersonian world of thought – the divine emanates from us…we hold the divine within ourselves. When we are lost it is because we don’t know we hold the answers and divine within ourselves and are searching for someone else rather than seeing it was right there all the time.
OK. This isn’t supposed to be a deep thought-religious-type post. My point in wondering if I was the right person to be in the audience was because each thing Mr. Meade said made me think of myself as an athlete. Over the last several years, I have found the divine in myself through sport – whether it is in the rhythm of my breath, the sound of my feet hitting the pavement, the breath of the world – the song of the divine is present.
He told a story of Vishnu and Markandaya (I tried to find it to link to it, but can’t find it online). Anyway, one of the scenes in the story is Markandaya jumping into the ocean of the unknown (that is what I am calling it here) and how as he swam to what he believed was Vishnu – the divine – while he was swimming, Vishnu reached down and grabbed Markandaya from the sea. What I took away from that was that Markandaya jumped in, not really sure what he was swimming towards or how long it was going to take him, or what the end of the swim (journey) was going to be. It reminded me of a quote from John J. Bingham that says, “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the Courage to Start.”
Eight years ago when I decided to run my first half marathon, it wasn’t about winning. It wasn’t about getting a PR. It was about being out there and doing it. It was about finding my feet upon a vast sea of unknown. I had no idea where that first half marathon was going to take me. My goal was to finish, but really it was simply a miracle that I found the courage (the ex-athlete who had lived several years in the unhealthiest and heaviest way possible) to take that first step.
Focusing on the BEING rather than the DOING was one of the other things Mr. Meade talked about…I related that to triathlons. When doing a half Ironman, you can’t be constantly focused on what you are DOING, instead you have to honor each moment and just BE in that moment. It gets too overwhelming when you are constantly focused on what you have to DO next (this can totally translate to life as well). Honestly, this is something I still have to work on, but knowing I have to work on it is half the battle.
So, what I really took away from last night was the reminder that I just have to BE and in the BEING, the DOING is going to happen. I get so caught up in trying to produce, whether it is teaching, tutoring, editing or coaching, that I sometimes forget to truly BE in the moment. It is being in the moment that is going to allow me to not only SEE the divine that is inside of me and in others, but also share it with others…to let my divine emanate from my being.
Now, go out there, jump in and find your divine!