Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Human Tapestries

Many years ago, visiting The Vatican, I saw numerous tapestries lining the hallways.  They were so colorful and so beautiful. 

Only recently it occurred to me that those images would not have been possible were it not for the fabric on which they were woven and for the knots in the back (which are covered with a cloth...hiding the not so beautiful aspects) holding the images together.

I have come to realize that it is similar with us human beings.  We too are like the tapestries.

For so many reasons, understandably, we are told from early on to put our best foot forward, show only our bright side, our unique abilities, potentials, strengths, and so on.  In essence, to show only the front side of the tapestry.  Yet spite of all that, at times deep within many of us feel incomplete, empty, as if something is missing. Why is that and what is that we long for, I wonder.

One of the things I have learned is that we are already complete but we lose touch with that aspect.  And to feel whole again, it becomes important to also recognize and embrace our dark side, which we tend to avoid, cover up as in the tapestries.  These include elements such as our weaknesses, limitations, things we have become ashamed of, regrets, shortcomings, things we don't want others to know, things that pain us, and so on.  But they too are an integral part of us and we must honor, respect and embrace those aspects of ourselves as well.

For example, by nature, I am not a very aggressive individual, I am not the sharpest pencil in the box, I am not very quick on my feet, and I don't have the gift of being talkative When at gatherings, I tend to be fairly quiet for I don't have the gift of, nor frankly the interest in, small talk.  There was a time I used to think something is wrong with me and I wished I had these talents as I see others having. 

I now see, after all these years, that there is nothing wrong with me and it is my very limitations that on the flip side allow me to create safe spaces, ask probing questions in a way that they are heard and people feel comfortable responding, and for me to truly listen to both the spoken and more importantly the unspoken.

I realize now that these are my gifts and they become possible because of my limitations.  Two sides of the same coin.  So by accepting both sides of myself, my limitations and my potentials, I have come to  feel whole and complete and am able to live more joyfully, more at peace and do work that is more aligned with who I am.  I no longer try to be someone I am not.  Trust me, I have tried and its really no fun.

In addition to what I have already shared, I have come to also experience that once I was able to accept myself fully as I am, and then live in alignment with my uniqueness, not only does that bring me greater personal happiness, that then gave me greater capacity to also accept others, without judgement, as they are, how they are. And to me, that's a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Thank You!

Over the last couple of weeks, several of you have called asking me if I am OK, as it's been over 3 months since I have posted anything.  I must say I am deeply touched by your caring. Thank you.

It seems that my mind has gone quiet and I just haven't had anything of significance surface to write about.  In the past, this may have bothered me.  Now though, I have come to realize that as in nature, there is a rhythm in life, to which if we can get in sync with, life become joyful.  So with this in mind, if nothing surfaces to write about these days, I am at peace with it. 

What am I doing these days, in case you're wondering.  In addition to my work, which I am enjoying very much, I am spending more time with my family, more times in quiet reflection, as well as rereading some of the books I read during my journey over the last few years but which didn't make complete sense to me at the time.  And the books I am rereading, they have been coming up in my consciousness telling me to go back and reread them.  So I pick them up as and when I am called to do so.

Books I am reading include Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer, Living the Truth by Keith Ablow, and others like these.  This time though I am finding that I am reading them through a new lens and they are making sense this time around, and it's helping me finally make sense of my journey.  I can now see what a blessing the journey has been, even though when I was in the midst of it, I must admit it felt very confusing and even painful.  Today, it's as if the tapestry is emerging where the various events I went through are starting to connect and a beautiful image is appearing.

I am also now giving even more of my time to volunteering, to help others heal and live more joyfully.  For this, I have started to serve on the Board of The Mankind Project ( DC Chapter as well as will be staffing as a volunteer more of their upcoming retreats, as well as participating at other such gatherings.  Through this, not only do I continue to personally grow, it also gives me great joy when I see others experience the same.  It's truly fulfilling and the feeling is priceless.

In closing, I want to share with you a portion of a beautiful piece written by May Sarton many years ago, to convey a sense of where I am today:

Now I become myself.
It's taken time, many years and places.
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces...

Well, that's all for now.  Till we meet again, you all take care.