This image was posted on the Facebook page of Charlotte D. Piper and I knew I just had to scoop it up and claim that identity for myself as well. She defines it in this way: “Spiritual Gangster: One who lives a heartcore, passionate, mindful existence as an ambassador of divinity.” I would add to it, “One who feels the fear and does it anyway, one who has their posse around them, whether nearby or farflung and invites others to join this none-exclusive club, one who declares his/her dreams and desires and allows them to manna-fest. His or her ‘weapon’ is love’; with no need to jack anybody up, force, bully or coerce anyone into adopting their beliefs. He or she struts their stuff, dances to their own tune, colors outside the lines….” Not exactly like the Jets and the Sharks.
There was a time when declaring this for my life would have seemed strange, since the people pleaser aspects of myself would have felt as if I would be considered weird for speaking of such things. I already sensed that I was (as I often told my parents) “an alien baby left on their doorstep” that they did a pretty good job of raising to masquerade as a human. I have sometimes felt out of step, but over the years, have found my Tribe. Some I have met hug to hug and others just heart to heart through the marvels of modern technology and social networking. Back in the late 70’s into the early 80’s, I hung out with folks who might fit into that category when we worked at a counseling center called Together Inc. We were young idealists who thought we could heal the world, one heart at a time and fix broken places in people. We painted the youth shelter in which some of us provided counseling, with hearts, rainbows and flowers. I remember the marathon sessions with paintbrush in hand, emblazoned with multi-colored drippings ourselves.
When I was ordained as an interfaith minister via The New Seminary in NYC in 1999, I decided then that I had no right to tell anyone what to believe spiritually, that love is my religion and God’s too big to put in a box. I like the 12 step concept of The God of Our Understanding. My understanding of the Divine changes, sometimes moment to moment. I like the idea of being in the God Gang since I know S(h)e always has my back and that my gang colors are rainbow hued.
Once again, the world is rocked by a shocking event on a day that ‘should’ have been celebratory; one on which well trained athletes brought their vibrant spirits and strong bodies to engage in friendly competition. Instead, as a result of dark inclinations and violent actions, lives were forever changed; some by death and injury, others by emotional trauma. Those individuals and families who traveled to attend or participate in The Boston Marathon had no clue how their day would end. At this moment, no one has claimed responsibility for the horrific bombing. When I heard about it, my reaction was the same as it was on 9/11/01. Shock and then determination not to feed the situation with fear, since that is what terrorists want. And this was indeed an act of terror; meant to create chaos, regardless of who masterminded it.
In the face of such things, music has the power to heal. As I was perusing Facebook this morning, I saw this post from prolific and multi-award winning musician David Pomeranz whose song ‘It’s In Every One Of Us” came into my life in the late 1970’s as a spiritual anthem. I was tickled when I recognized the music, sans lyrics in the Tom Hanks movie “Big”
As the days unfold and more information comes in, it will be tempting to contemplate revenge against ‘the bad guys’ who did this. Justice and revenge are two different things. Holding anger in our hearts and minds will only feed the darkness. Instead, let’s shine our lights that much more brightly.
It’s in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
It’s in every one of us
By and by
It’s in everyone of us
I just remembered
It’s like I been sleeping for years,
I’m not awake as I can be
But my seeing is better,
I can see Through the tears,
I’ve been realising that,
I bought this ticket
And watching only half of the show,
There is scenery and lights
And a cast of thousands,
Who all know What I know,
And it’s good
That it’s so
http://youtu.be/79GD—xXc4 ? It’s In Every One Of Us-David Pomeranz
My friend Sandy Levenson posted this image on her Facebook page just now after seeing it at Neiman Marcus in King of Prussia, PA and it jumped out at me as a wonderful way to do business. Sandy’s business model could easily fall into this category. I have long referred to her as “my favorite chiropractor with hands and heart of gold.” since she puts her whole self into all she does…kind of like the hokey pokey. Her office is warm and welcoming with soothing ahhhh music playing and lovely imagery on a video screen. Practice partners (a.k.a. patients) are greeted with a smile, like family of choice that we are. Photos of her adjusting folks, including Santa Claus are on the walls. Delight she does. It’s what I endeavor to do as well; offering exemplary service to those who work with me.
What if you could accept that Spirit (or whatever name you use to refer to The God of Your Understanding) asks us that same question each day? How would you answer? I can go down my checklist and see that much of what I have in my life, already fits into that category, such as dear family and friends, a healthy body that allows me to do all kinds of fun things, an inquisitive mind, a creative Muse that feeds my need to write, a limitless imagination so that I am never bored and frequently fascinated, opportunities to stretch and grow and learn, financial abundance (the more I trust that it will be there, the more shows up), music (listening to Emmylou Harris, followed by James Taylor and Indigo Girls which gives you an idea of my musical taste), leftover stirfry veggies, tofu and quinoa for breakfast…weird, I know, but I inherited that habit from my father who would sometime eat leftover pizza, justifying that it was ‘a cheese sandwich’. Later today I am going to the gym for my regular ‘playout’. I am revelling from an experience I had this weekend that I will be writing about later in the week; a retreat that is now another joy since it added to my life skills tool kit and gathered into my heart, new friends and strengthened existing connections, as well as re-introduced me to the woman in the mirror. What I know is that the more I express gratitude for the blessings I already have, the more space is created for additional delights to show up. There are times when I get bogged down in inconveniences and annoyances, but know they are fleeting and perhaps ways I test myself to see if I can be true to my beliefs and practices.
I imagine that God/Goddess/All That Is, gets a kick out of delighting us with Spring flowers, a gentle rain to help them grow, winged creatures who visit us with messages, like the robin redbreast who knocked on my window a week or so ago and then on Friday before I left for the retreat, came back and (I kid you not), knocked on my back door over and over, inspiration that comes in the form of songs, books, movies, talented teachers who offer us their skills, healing hands and hearts.
I invite you to ask yourself how you can be delighted on this day?