Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart

via google

via google

I love reading my horoscope. I won’t go so far as to say I believe it, but often it really does hit the nail, etc. Spot-on, as a Brit friend of mine would say.

Today was one of those days.

I’m involved in several non-profit organisations. (When you work cheap — free! — folks ask you to do so…a LOT.) And sometimes, the requirements to do a good job overlap with family commitments, w/other organisations, w/illness, etc. To the point where I can grow to feel overwhelmed.

But here’s the deal: a word from anyone (even an online horoscope 🙂 ) can remind us what our values are, and that working for larger goals requires that we cede some of our autonomy those lovely hours when nothing looms to working as a team. It means juggling family needs — however immediate & pressing — w/conferences, advocacy, meetings & other commitments. And it’s not that it’s onerous: a 40-hour workweek it isn’t! Even though it takes time & effort (like trees, which are such needy things in early years!), it bears fruit. Like…well, trees.

via wikimedia

via wikimedia

My horoscope this week — the week I totally spaced on an important meeting, the week I had to tell someone that I was waiting to hear from family re: commitments that had just been written across my previously blank calendar — was succinct:

If you want the power to help shape group processes, you must give up some of your autonomy. In order to motivate allies to work toward shared goals, you need to practice the art of interdependence.

You don’t get much more overt than THAT!

It’s true, though. If we want to be part of the solution, we have to BE part of it. We have to show up. We have to do the slogging work, not just be greedy piglets for what few perks may come. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t continue to be difficult (at least for me) to schedule these my many priorities: a supportive visit to family, a meeting, a conference, a dinner honouring a guest. I struggle almost daily w/how to parse my own values, if that makes sense. I am my parents’ daughter, so family is always at the top of any list. And yet… I also have to ‘show up’ for these children of my heart — social justice, the arts, mentees who need letters of reference, recommendations, and other motions of support that require time & scheduling.

the author's

the author’s

Remember the meme going around for a while, about the rocks in your jar? For me, it became pebbles in a bowl a dear friend chose for me. Each pebble a week, one swallowed permanently by time’s greedy throat. And how I spend each one is all I have control over. So when I choose one each Sunday, to represent that week’s activities, what I’m also doing is giving a colour value, a weight & tangible heft, to my values. This week’s pebble was all different shades of brown & cream, almost muddy. But since my ‘pebbles’ are polished, the browns are a bit clearer. 🙂 And that’s good. Because while my values do bleed together, at the same time each person or organisation or cause has different, separate needs.

Maybe this makes no sense at all (my beloved often reminds me that most folks do NOT get my metaphors!). But this is, fundamentally, how I think, how I make sense of the world around me. In pictures rocks in a jar, pebbles in a bowl and stories and signs a fortune from a horoscope, the planting of a tree. I hope it works at least a little for you, too. So that you begin to pay more attention to how you spend your time. Because how we spend our time is where we show up. Which is, of course, where our values are. It’s all interconnected: values, time, priorities, our people and their needs. Hence the interdependence. Kind of like, oh, that old Buddhist web…

 

 

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