This morning before leaving for work, I received an email from the Go Gratitude folks. They are focused on the idea whose time is always NOW, that having a grateful heart and mind can open doors to all manner of miracle and wonder. Today’s message highlighted a powerful concept that emerged from one of my alltime favorite books, called Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. I intitially read it in college and likely have perused the pages 100’s of times since then. If you haven’t yet immersed yourself in the parable-like story of Valentine Michael Smith (a.k.a. The Man From Mars), I encourage you to do so. He comes to Earth and teaches those who are willing to learn, about the inter-woven connection between all life through one word: Grok. It has
become part of the human vernacular even as in the Martian language as explained in the book, the word literally means to ‘drink’. To ‘Grok’ is to ‘to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed; to understand intuitively or by empathy; to become one with.’.
I like to think that we are all inter-woven and drink of each other’s essence each time we connect heart to heart with another. Today was filled with grokking opps.
During a rather hectic, somewhat unsettling day at my job as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital, I had two heartening experiences. The first was in a family session with a patient and her devoted mother. Their bond was beautiful to witness despite their challenges. In the midst of the session, the mother said to her daughter, “You know that there is a always a choice to feel happy or crappy.” I laughed and responded that I wished everyone knew that. There were would be far fewer divorces, illnesses, suicides and wars if we recognized that although we may have no conscious choice about circumstances, we certainly have the opportunity to decide how we feel about them.
The second event that brought a smile to my face, was when another patient and his wife with whom I had a couples counseling session yesterday, informed me that they felt they had gotten greater benefit from the hour and some we had spent together than in many sessions with their out patient counselor. One things I tell my patients is that I am kick ass therapist, who helps people laser into whatever it is that is in the way of their healing. This particular couple was ripe and ready to open their hearts to each other and commited to following through on the agreements they made in the session to be more fully present to each other and to ‘feed’ their marriage as steadily and lovingly as they do their relationship with their daughter. Just as they would never literally starve her, so too do they need to nourish their bond.
As the morning message set the stage, I did find myself in grok mode, truly drinking deeply of the experiences as the day unfolded. On my way home, I had an urge to meander, without direction, trusting the AGS (Angelic Guidance System) to plan the course. As I felt the rush of summer breeze through the open Jeep windows, and watched the rustling leaves, I became aware of a certain sense of melancholy; missing my parents, wanting to communicate with them the lessons of the day. I hadn’t eaten dinner and asked to be drawn to just the right place. I passed by a few places that would have appealed to me before and thought “Not yet, don’t stop there.”, until I came to Moe’s Deli in Lafayette Hill, PA. Of course! My dad’s name was Morris and one of his nicknames was Moe. I walked through the door to an empty restaurant, since it was nearly 7:30 pm. I read the menu, laughing at some of the culturally Jewish humor scripted on it. One said “If you can’t say something nice, say it in Yiddish.” In my family, it would have been more like “If you don’t want the kids to understand what you are saying, say it in Yiddish.” We were pretty savvy and could usually discern a few words; enough to get the gist of what they didn’t want us to know. I enjoyed a sandwich and a few sweet potato fries and then was on my way back home. As I drove through the part of Philly known as Chestnut Hill, I passed another landmark that connected me to my father, a beautiful garden called The Morris Arboretum. I am still waiting for the third confirmation that he is around. Maybe in my dreams tonight.
I encourage you to explore the synchronicities that occur because you have invited them and the ways in which you grok them, drinking them in to the fullest, straw all the way down to the bottom of the celestial cup…sluuuuurrrpppp <3