Friday, March 11, 2011

Ruby Slippers

When I first started blogging I used an analogy of a free fall to describe my journey into a new career or at least a new stage in my career. I’m still there.

I’ve made some progress. Tomorrow I start training to become a certified motorcycle instructor. It won’t pay the bills, but it will help. And of course, I’ve been writing a bit. Nothing spectacular, but at least the writing has been consistent. The things that have not made it into The Chalk have been really dogmatic. There is a lot of Dogma in my notebook and it is difficult to edit all of it out. You see, I have a strong inclination towards arrogance. I’m working on that and being dogmatic doesn’t really help things out.

With that said, I can’t help sharing an idea that has resonated with me for the last couple of weeks.

It came from my wife. We have started going to a yoga class together. As we drive to class she often reads quotes from Pema Chodron, just to get us into the spirit of things. The last one she read talked about how we all have this kind of internal jewel, which I interpreted as an innate goodness, that doesn’t ever lose it’s luster or brilliance. Our defense mechanisms, our shame, and our life experiences hide it, but it’s still there underneath those layers of yuck- undiminished. As I write this, that statement sounds very earthly crunchy. Just tap your heels three times and you will be a luminous creature. Maybe not, but it is a comfort to me to imagine that if I can do the hard work of becoming vulnerable and open-hearted than I might tap into my better self. It’s not a leap of imagination to say that when I am reacting to things from a defensive posture, I am surely not at my best. For the moment, I’m going to try and make that leap of faith that people have an innate goodness. It’s folly, I know, but the alternative is that humanity has no internal potential for compassion. That kind of thinking certainly makes me want to reach for my ruby slippers.

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