The annual celebration that puts Indianapolis on the map is finally here. Whether you are a race fan, or not, the Indy 500 is an icon all over the world. Mention racing to almost anyone and the Indy 500 is generally the first name recognized. As I sit on my porch swing, enjoying this beautiful spring day, my thoughts go to the almost sacred tradition of the Indy 500. That's correct, I used the word sacred. I've attended and the behaviors I witnessed by many were anything but sacred! And, yet, when the opening events begin many tears and lots of smiles display the sweetness of the event. Specifically, the singing of the "Back home, in Indiana," reveals the depth of devotion and pride of many loyal Hoosiers. It's a "ritual" that deeply touches the heart, and does sacredness not carry the same emotional quality?
This Memorial Day we will honor those that have given their lives with such devotion and pride. Of course, offering up one's life for the good of all ranks high above a sporting event, and yet, to provide a place where people can find a feeling of connection and community is vital in today's world. We need a sense of purpose and pride. Not from the self-importance stand point; rather from a place of belonging. Men and women who have made the decision to be of service to their country understand the meaning of sacrifice for the good of all, and when they felt the nudge to step forward, to "start their engines," they trusted that inner voice.
While this self-less, service to others deserves more than one day to acknowledge him/her, how about we make Memorial Day really special this year. If only for a brief few moments, really try and put yourself in their shoes and imagine what courage and bravery it took to honor that inner call. Consider where our country would be if not for those brave men and women who stood at the starting line, observed the needs of their country and put aside their own inner fears to march into unknown territory.
What's your unknown territory? What have you heard it was time for you to step forward and take action on? Perhaps it's as simple as finally committing to a deeper understanding of life. To finally ask the question, "What's my purpose for being here?" Make no mistake, every person brings a purpose, a dream, a deep desire to accomplish, understand, or transform something while being on this wonderful Earth. What's yours? What sacred moments is it time to honor and respect in your life? Where do you find your connections and community? Listen with the "voice of your heart" and tell your head it's job is to remember what you hear. Then, courageously accept the challenge, step up to the starting line, and listen for the words: "Gentlemen and Ladies, start your engines!" Your life, your family, your community and the world await your gifts!
I've been pondering how best to bring some calm into the current state of affairs in the world. As I often mention, the first step is to look within. That is precisely what I do every day. I cannot change the world, however, I can change what I see in myself that needs attention: more love, forgiveness, hope, clarity, joy, whatever word fits the reflection in front of me is what needs attended.
Some days it easier to see what I need, other times what I see doesn't feel so good and a sense of sadness may linger in my heart. I mean, I'm only one person on a planet of millions of people, what makes me think I can do anything to bring peace in Ukraine? And, on a more local level, how can I correct the upheaval that exist in our country? How can I discern possible options? I mean, what reporting is the most reliable source? It is at those times I look in the mirror and take a really good look into my own eyes. At 73 my view of the world has seen many changes, no, the more accurate word is massive changes! Some days I can hardly recognize the world I live in. While I have always been curious about other people's perspectives, I have always listened with an "ear" for the underlying theme. That is, what common thread am I hearing from the various viewpoints might contain some of the basic philosophy that I have? Better yet, perhaps something they share may move me in a deeper appreciation and understanding of myself and the world.
It takes time to sift the "wheat from the chaff," in order to find that common thread. Because every person has their own unique way of viewing life, one conversation is merely a beginning point. If we are to begin healing the wounds of our bleeding culture, if we are to help those in Ukraine, we must take an honest look in our mirror every day and ask ourselves what we see. "Am I happy?" If the answer is "no" or "sorta" follow that up with, "What do I need?" If the answer is "yes," smile at that reflection., and state the things that have contributed to that happiness. Whatever the response is, have an honest conversation about what in your life contributes to that "yes" or "no," and follow it by asking why or how that can be changed or continued.
Look in the mirror each morning and ask yourself how you're doing. Some days may not be so pleasant, and those days are tremendously important to your growth. We are human beings, every day provides an opportunity for us to get to know the person in the mirror. We cannot help others until we have love and respect for our reflection.
Ukraine has been on my heart since the onset of this devastating war, and the feelings I have had most definitely influenced my actions. Some days I felt such a depth of despair for those children and parents, it consumed my day. It was then my heart told me, to look for the common thread, and you know, I found it. It's gratitude! Gratitude for the many blessings, privileges and opportunities all of us have living in a free country.
We are in a great time of change on our planet, and it seems the conflict is largely due to the "personal rights," rather than "the rights of all." That old saying, "United we stand, divided we fall," is being demonstrated through the actions all over the world. It's a "me" rather than a "we" point of view. I believe in speaking up for what is important; however, consider the energy in which you are taking action. Is it from a place of peace or strife?
Maybe, just maybe, we can send love, respect and the spirit of cooperation to the reflection in the mirror as way to help bring "united" back to our country rather than wasting our time pointing the finger as someone to blame. I can think of no better way to help Ukraine, then to sincerely see the loyalty, dedication and commitment to honor, respect and love their country than to begin within to see the part we play in the state of affairs of our heart, our homes and our country.
And, a big P.S. The Wisdom Circle is this Thursday, May 19 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Lodge. It takes all of us to grow in strength, courage and wisdom! Bring an open heart, cover for your lap, your favorite cushion and a friend and join us. To honor the women who came before us, we ask that women wear a skirt, or bring a sarong. ( We have plenty of cushions and sarongs if needed.)
From my heart to yours, Vicky
This Sunday offers each of us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the one that brought us into the world. She was the "space ship" we inhabited while our physical form took shape for life on planet Earth. It was a warm, moist place that offered us our first experience with love. And then the space became cramped and we found our way to a new location that was bright, noisy and filled with busy energy. People fussed with us, measured us, weighed us, and finally wrapped us tightly in a blanket, complete with a hat! Can you imagine our first impressions outside our mother's womb?
It was our mothers that first taught us about love. Whether that "mother" took the shape of an aunt, grandmother, or adopted mother, we first learned about the world from our mother figure. Indeed, mothers can be gentle, kind, stern and often demanding, and yet, that first connection while in our mothers womb became our first "soft place" of comfort. It is our mothers that can "kick us in the rear" and help us learn how capable we truly are. And, whether we liked how she did it, deep down inside we knew we were loved.
This Sunday, might be the perfect time to remind our mothers how grateful we are they brought us into existence. Despite the trials and errors here on Earth, there is beauty, adventures and a never-ending opportunity to know more about love, resiliency and an unshakeable belief that Earth offers us a fabulous place to learn and play. If your mother resides in heaven, be assured she hears your prayers and still offers assistance when your requests are made. And, let's remember our daughters or daughter-in-laws who gave us our grandchildren. A simple note, basket of flowers, box of chocolates, or gift card to a spa are a few ideas that offer a note of gratitude for the love they offer to their families.
Another gift idea is to drive down to the Morgan County Library in Martinsville, this Saturday, May 7 from noon - 2:00 p.m. and purchase, "Head to Heart Talks: Walking a Sacred Path." If the mamas in your life enjoy a good book, they'll love this one! It offers a wealth of teachings that will assist the reader through the cycles and stages of life. It also provides simple ways to reflect on our life with "gentle eyes" at the choices we have made, in order to see what we learned. It is then we can forgive others and ourselves, move on, and carry those wisdoms forward as we grow and move through our lives.
From my heart to yours, Vicky
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!