I've always loved poetry -- not writing it myself, but reading others'. In fact, I never really thought of myself as having that kind of ability. I have many favorite poets including Maya Angelou, Mary Oliver, and Rumi and I often quote them or use their work to illustrate a point. This past weekend I surprisingly found myself in a song-writing workshop and while I actually did get some amazingly simple ideas for creating a ditty, what I really enjoyed was building the written verses. Then, I remembered that while putting together some Monday Quotes recently, I had actually come up with some rhyming stanzas that we used this week. Here's a little more about each of those lines ... I see them as another opportunity to recognize if our Ego or our Soul is running the show.
When we're brittle, we belittle ...
I spent a lot of my early years and right into my 30's and 40's being hard and rigid. It was something I "learned" over the years from people who really struggled with their own sense of self-worth. I "get" where they were coming from and it makes sense that I thought that was the way to be, but the sad truth is when we have an inflexible view of the world, the only way to justify it is to become critical, especially of others. The Ego feels threatened at even a hint of disapproval and it always wants to be "right". One way to accomplish that is to make someone or something else "wrong".
But, when we're soft, we raise others aloft ...
In this case, soft doesn't mean weak or foolish. It's about being tenderhearted and kind. When we cut others (and ourselves!) some slack, we help them (and ourselves) rise up to their fuller potential. We meet them soul to soul.
When we're flexible, we're accessible ...
Have you ever had a boss or some other authority figure who was so unyielding and set in their ways that you were afraid to make suggestions or requests? That kind of personality shuts down communication, but someone who lets you know that they are open to new ideas is approachable. Their soul is shining through.
And, when we're resilient, we're also magnificent!
Bamboo is admired because it's both sturdy and strong while also being pliant and supple. In a strong, gale-force wind, many trees might simply snap and break while bamboo tends to sway and gracefully ride it out. There are even "Zen" lessons that suggest we emulate it (from Garr Reynolds).
Their [bamboo] foundation is solid even though they move and sway harmoniously with the wind, never fighting against it. In time, even the strongest wind tires itself out, but the bamboo remains standing tall and still. A bend-but-don't break or go-with-the-natural-flow attitude is one of the secrets for success.
What looks weak is strong.
The important image of snow-covered bamboo represents the ability to spring back after experiencing adversity. In winter the heavy snow bends the bamboo back and back until one day the snow becomes too heavy, begins to fall, and the bamboo snaps back up tall again, brushing aside all the snow.
Find wisdom in emptiness. The hollow insides of the bamboo reminds us that we are often too full of ourselves and our own conclusions; we have no space for anything else.
Commit to continuous growth. Bamboo trees are among the fastest-growing plants in the world. It does not matter who you are — or where you are — today, you have amazing potential for growth.
In other words, we become magnificent -- impressive, majestic, inspiring, radiant, elevated and brilliant. This is what the soul is all about. This and so much more is what I wish for you.
Sparkles and Love,