When is the last time you felt alive? When is the last time you felt inspired?
For me, meeting new people with wisdom is always enlivens me (even if I meet these new people through books)!
So today, I want to tell you about a book of wisdom that I’ve come back to again and again: Awareness: the Perils and Opportunities of Reality by Anthony De Mello. I loved it from the first words when De Mello says:
“My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it, fine; if you don’t too bad! As the Arabs say, ‘The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and flowers in the gardens.’”
My eyes stopped here because how often are we all guilty of moving in the direction of someone else’s life path and not our own. We get bound by cultural blueprint of acceptability rather than what might be our new course to blaze. We get bound by ego. We get bound by how our choices will hurt somebody else.
But, when we do this, DeMello writes we aren’t awake to our own lives. We’re sleepwalking.
Maybe I’m thinking about DeMello again because I’m at unique juncture in my professional and vocational life. I’m in the process of moving.
And, I’ve learned all over again that “dancing” for me is preaching, leading others, and communicating about deeper stirrings of soul through writing. So whatever I do in the future, I must do all of these things.
The picture in this post was taken at one such moment. I felt alive and so grateful to be leading with words of blessing for a gathered community. I was in the “zone” as they say.
But, in mid-June, I’ll be full-time to a familiar city but without a job yet. And while so many people have an opinion about what I should be doing or what kinds of BIG jobs I should have (oh, this big pulpit is open, oh, I know you could work there, etc)– the calling of God, I believe is to stay close to the dance that is mine to dance alone. What others people think I should be doing is simply rubbish!
It’s that deep sense of knowing that will guide me, and the encouragement of those who know my heart the best.
DeMello says that when begin to make choices out of that quiet place within, we’ll dance! And our dancing will be like rain on the parched ground for some whohave forgotten what joy looks like. Seeing us dance might remind them how to dance again too right where they are.
DeMello warns that others who are walking in the dark (and very much liking the way things are) will look at our dancing and point their fingers in exclamation of our insanity. “Stop living this way! Stop being so happy! You can’t live like this. You’re exposing our anxiety and loneliness. You’re exposing our fear.”
They’ll say these things because they are jealous of our freedom. They’ll wish they could cut loose too. They haven’t yet learned to dance.
But no matter what, De Mello says, our invitation to dance is prepared.