Things are such, that someone lifting a cup,
Or watching the rain, petting a dog,
Or singing, just singing --- could be doing as
Much for this universe as anyone.
This possibility is on my mind often, lately.
When I was in high school I had big dreams of making an impact in the world with journalism and research discoveries in seaweed as a marine biologist. I wanted to write for National Geographic.
I lived in south Florida at the time I had those goals in mind and there is something to be said for a high energy, outwardly focused geography and its impact on an impressionable young mind. I’ve moved a lot since then, inwardly and outwardly, and I’ve been asking new questions like, what is my life about and what have I contributed so far? Have I contributed?
I took a very different path, from the verbally visual journalism, and the widely, impactful potential, of discovering cures for cancer in ocean vegetation. For the longest time I couldn’t see my reach. Or, my value. I’ve been a much quieter participant than I imagined myself to be when I was in my teens. I took a professional path that only now is becoming sought out again by the larger culture. I’ve contributed on the edges and mistook professional obscurity for lack of meaning and impact. However, I am beginning to see that my touch, in the world, has rooted deeply with a small and intimate group of friends, clients, students.
In our culture, in the USA, we are encouraged to reach far and wide with our ambitions and be bright and glamorous as we do it. We are especially encouraged to sparkle and shine with our moment to moment activities and contributions in our social media.
But, I am realizing that our reach and our gifts in the world can be created through small actions in our immediate communities. Mundane and miss-able, probably, but profoundly meaningful to the people closest to us, even, if only, a community of one Other. Our presence with one another has meteoric impact potential.
There may be worlds around us, waiting for our genius, but, I’m learning that they are much closer to home, and asking much less of us, than they once seemed.
If you’ve held back because your vision for your life hasn’t seemed compelling enough or exciting enough to earn a thousand hearts on IG – put yourself out into the breathing, pulsing world in-spite of your potential unimpressive-ness.
Someone, somewhere, will be moved by your particular way of showing up in the world, and your willingness to be, as you are, without needing to be more or less, will pull others into their own gifted currents of expression.
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road does not mean they are lost."