Sunday, June 18, 2006

we're all connected, really

Originally written on Tuesday, June 13, 2006

We’re all connected…

Yesterday I went a short way from my new house to explore our local park, a place I hadn’t been since I was a kid. I was hoping to find the hiking trails to my liking as I don’t really enjoy strolling about the streets of my new town all that much. I quickly located the one-mile-around-the-lake trail and decided to check it out. It was to my liking and I decided pretty quickly that the whippet would enjoy it as long as I kept her away from the Canada Geese. There were tons of them and I think they’d freak her out.

Anyway, I’d only been on the trail for a few minutes when I came to this little cement bridge. In the middle of the bridge I spotted a turtle. Wow, I thought - we really are all connected. We carry little bits of everyone we encounter around with us and they carry little pieces of us with them. Huh? Let me explain…

This past weekend I attended a way cool women’s retreat in the NC mountains. One of our activities was a mandala workshop led by this great lady named Laura. (HINT: If you’re not into frou-frou hippie granolaey stuff you should stop reading now.) The first part of the workshop was designed to help us feel ourselves as part of the Universe. Laura led us through a meditation where we made our way out into the Universe and saw ourselves communing with planets and stars, blah blah blah. Then we brought ourselves back to the porch where we were assembled and we were instructed to draw what we saw using only black paper and a white pencil. During the meditation I saw literally what Laura told us to see – me floating in outer space. So around the white dot that Laura had told us to put in the middle of our large black square I started making all kinds of different circles. As I was doing this I started to ponder what was going on. Soon I had lots of little galaxies that I started connecting around that first dot.

What could this mean? It didn’t take long to figure out. I was that dot in the middle, that tiny dot. To most folks - I’m sure - it seems that I have a tiny little life. I like it that way. I’ve structured my life to be low stress with plenty of down time. I’m an introvert and that's the way I function best. However, when I am at work I am very eager to help people as much as I possibly can. Most folks at work probably think I'm extroverted. It’s my job to help people, I work in a library. My point is this – I don’t make huge differences in the world, but I believe that I make tiny differences in people’s lives all the time. Looking at what was coming out of that white pencil, it hit me that all those heavenly bodies were the people that I interact with everyday, the people that I help. I used to have a job that really stressed me out and I felt like I lost pieces of myself to others all day long and nothing was left for me at the end of the day. Now I have a job that I love and I know that I send little pieces of me out into the world everyday. My life may seem tiny to some, but I think it’s huge. There are parts of me all over the world, in places that I’ve never been. How cool is that?

So where does the turtle come in, you ask? Well, the second part of the workshop was to create a mandala. Again, Laura led us through a meditation where we saw a symbol of ourselves - our inner strength, our power, whatever we had asked to see. I was sharing a table with Christine, the retreat leader and Nel, the woman who organized the weekend – tres cool ladies by the way. It turns out that both Nel and Christine had drawn turtles in their mandalas. (I had a ball of light and a hummingbird, in case you’re interested.) On my hike yesterday I was pondering the retreat experience and when I saw the turtle I, of course, immediately thought of Christine and Nel. I smiled to myself and knew that my Universe drawing was right on. We are all interconnected and I had a little piece of not just Christine and Nel with me, but of all the wonderful, wise women I had met over the weekend. Now how cool is that?


Anonymous said...

I kept right on reading after your fine, well-placed frou-frou-granola warning. This business of connection is important to me, and it is a pleasure to know something of how you experience it. You might be gratified to know that this short piece caused me to think more closely about my ways of connecting. I'll write you about them.

Pamela said...

Nice post, MK. And true, too. I've been feeling disconnected lately; maybe I should find a good workshop like the one you found.

New house AND new town? Wow, much has happened since we last talked!

Happy blogging!

Sarah Aimee said...


You know I like granola.

And I like you!

(he he)

Keep on writing, girly!


Anonymous said...

I didn't have time to read (only a few minutes on the library's computer...).

Well done, MKA. From your yankee friend - but still southern at depth.

Sarah Dorsey said...

Dear MKA,

When you first sent me your blog address I was reading a cool book and had just read the passage below. I got goose bumps when I read your first post because, well, it really says the same thing in a different way - how cosmic! I believe that the survival of our planet depends on more people realizing how connected we all really are, people, plants, animals, rocks. Here is the quote (it took a while to do this because life has been kinda busy recently):

I heard an elder Navajo medicine man and shaman say something once that I have never forgotten: “In order to walk in beauty with all things, we must connect with all things. We must take them seriously, with reverence,” he said. “In this way, we participate with all things and become one with them. It’s from our direct experiences with life that we encounter the timeless and learn its hidden secrets.”

p. 191 Visionseeker by Hank Wesselman

Love and hugs and here's to direct experience! SBD {p.s. I love the way you see helping people at work...we really have been all over haven't we?}