Zen Water
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“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.” ~ Bruce Barton

I think about this often.  Sometimes it is hard to fully comprehend. 

Our actions, and the ripple effects they have.  Today I think about all of this after reading Jen's thought-provoking post, Which way to go?.

Like as I write this.  If I wasn't writing this article, I would be doing something else.  Perhaps making breakfast.  Or driving to the grocery store.  Or going out for a run. A host of different things I might be doing if I wasn't here and writing, at this moment.  And how this action…writing this right now…is changing the course of my life.

And like right now.  Because I chose to write this article, you are here…today…reading it.  This one action of mine…writing this…is making a difference in your life.  Oh, I would like to think that maybe my words have some profound meaning and may alter how you view life.  I am fully aware, though, that this could very easily not be the case.  You are reading this, though.  Had you not read it, you would have done something completely different.  Maybe viewed something else from your computer.  Maybe have gone for a walk.  Maybe have made a telephone call.  It's hard to say, really.

Because I wrote this, my life is altered forever from what it might have been had I not chose to do this.  And because you are reading here today, your life, too, is altered forever.  And it seems so small.  A few words typed on a computer screen.  A few words read.  Can that really change our life completely? 

There are no little things.

Everything we do will alter, in some way, our life…and the lives of others. 

How does that settle with you?

This thought floats around in my brain often.  How seemingly tiny things can have such deep consequences.  Think about this.  I oversleep.  Because of that, I leave the house in a rush.  Because I am rushed, I am not paying attention to the car in front of me.  I have an accident.  Now I have just altered not only my own life, but also the life of the person in front of me.  And had I left the house just ten seconds earlier, or ten seconds later…the consequences would have been completely different. 

And that's just only one small example.

There are no little things.

Point 1:  We cannot control everything.  Some things will happen just because we are where we are, doing what we are doing. 

Point 2:  If we accept the idea that all of our actions, no matter how small or big, have a far-reaching impact, then does that change at all how we live our life?  While we cannot control exactly what will become because of our actions, we can still control the actions we put out into the universe.

What if…

What if we based even just a bit more of the things we do…the little things, the things we don't even think about…what if we based them on more awareness? 

Would that change anything?

Perhaps you question, how can more awareness change anything for some of these mundane things…pouring that cup of coffee in the morning, brushing your teeth, taking the dog for a walk, smiling…   They seem so simple, perhaps even routine.  Think about it, though, as you perhaps…smile.  What if that smile invites someone "in"….someone to come up to you who might not otherwise have done that.  And what if a wonderful friendship begins because of that.  All from a smile…. (or any of our actions, for that matter)

There are no little things.

In this moment you are making a choice.  Every choice matters….

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May I Suggest

May I suggest
May I suggest to you
May I suggest this is the best part of your life
May I suggest
This time is blessed for you
This time is blessed and shining almost blinding bright
Just turn your head
And you'll begin to see
The thousand reasons that were just beyond your sight
The reasons why
Why I suggest to you
Why I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a world
That's been addressed to you
Addressed to you, intended only for your eyes
A secret world
Like a treasure chest to you
Of private scenes and brilliant dreams that mesmerise
A lover's trusting smile
A tiny baby's hands
The million stars that fill the turning sky at night
Oh I suggest
Oh I suggest to you
Oh I suggest this is the best part of your life

There is a hope
That's been expressed in you
The hope of seven generations, maybe more
And this is the faith
That they invest in you
It's that you'll do one better than was done before
Inside you know
Inside you understand
Inside you know what's yours to finally set right
And I suggest
And I suggest to you
And I suggest this is the best part of your life

This is a song
Comes from the west to you
Comes from the west, comes from the slowly setting sun
With a request
With a request of you
To see how very short the endless days will run
And when they're gone
And when the dark descends
Oh we'd give anything for one more hour of light

And I suggest this is the best part of your life

~ Susan Werner

Reaching for the sun
Creative Commons License photo credit: flickrolf

Where are you now, my good friend?  Are you out in the field, in
the forest, on the mountain, in a military camp, in a factory, at
your desk, in a hospital, in a prison?  Regardless of where you
are, let us breathe in and out together, and let the Sun of
awareness enter.  Let us begin with this breath and this
awareness.  Whether life is an illusion, a dream, or a wondrous
reality depends on our insight and our mindfulness.  Awakening is
a miracle.  The darkness in a totally dark room will disappear
the moment the light is switched on.  In the same way, life will
reveal itself as a miraculous reality the second the Sun of
Awareness begins to shine.

Our relationships with one another
are like the chance meeting
of two strangers in a parking lot.
They look at each other and smile.
That is all there is between them.
They leave and never see each other again.

That is what life is –
just a moment, a meeting, a
passing, and then it is gone.

If you understand this,
then there is no time to fight.
There is no time to argue.
There is no time to hurt one another.

Whether you think about it in terms of humanity, nations,
communities or individuals –
there is no time for anything less
than truly appreciating the brief
interaction we have with one another.

 ~ Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

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"Omnia vivunt, omnia inter se conexa."
"Everything is alive; everything is interconnected."
~ Cicero

Do you ever sense how truly connected we are to one another?  How our actions, however big or small, however positive or negative…in some way, impact others? 

The Levity Project:  Car Dancing Micro Movement

I have been working with Katie West and Ina Lukas, of The Levity Project, in creating the first Levity Project Micro Movement. 

Car Dancing:  A celebration!  People from around the world joining together.  In their corner of the world…dancing!  In cars.  Down sidewalks.  In homes.  This video is their dance.  It's much more than that though.  This video is our dance….for all who watch it. Celebrate!  And let that dance in you, whatever it is, take new steps into what is possible!

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What Does This All Really Mean?
Both Katie and Ina, from here at The Levity Project, played such important roles in taking this car dancing concept and envisioning what it could become.  For me personally, I know that doing this became much more than just some little dance in the car at a stoplight on my way through a day. 

So, what has this all meant to Katie and Ina?  Read below, as I take a few minutes to ask them some of questions on the car dancing micro movement.

1.  What were your expectations going into this car dancing micro-movement?
Katie: My hope was to have fun and to spread the idea that by allowing ourselves to be seen having fun, we give others the permission to do the same.  I also envisioned the video and thought about people watching it together and smiling the same way they do when they see someone dancing at a stoplight.  My hope was that it would create a ripple effect of positivity that might fill in where moments of negativity had been in people’s lives.

Ina: I was hoping it would be fun and that people would have a great time celebrating their day.  I was hoping that people would be inspired by it and get to experience other bystanders be inspired by them.  But what happened as a result of it was far more profound than I ever imagined.  What I did not realize is how far this would take people out of their comfort zone.  Nor did I imagine the amount of inner change it would create for many of the participants.
 
2.  On this journey over the last several weeks, what have you personally experienced from your own moments of car dancing?
Katie: The idea for this micro movement came a while ago when I was dancing at a stop light.  Usually, I stopped dancing when a car pulled up next to me, but that day the music was so great and I was feeling so happy, I kept dancing.  After a moment or two, I realized that the two guys in the car next to me were not only watching me but dancing heartily along.  As we drove away, they gave me a thumbs up.  It was so touching and made me feel unexpectedly connected to the world around me.

What happened after launching the idea of The Levity Project’s Car Dancing Micro-Movement was that I started doing it more intentionally every time I was at a stoplight.  It felt like inviting people to a party that they really wanted to go to but were nervous to be the first ones to arrive.  It felt great to be the one kicking off a party at each intersection.

Ina: What I’ve found by being freer in my dance, is that it breaks down the walls between people.  We live in a car society where everyone is cruising around in their own worlds, disconnected from everyone else.  When you share the joy that comes out of you when you dance, you break through the barrier of the car shell, and you touch someone or make them smile and bring a human connection to their day.

The other day I was stopped at a red light next to a guy who had a little dog in his lap that was looking through the window at us.  Because of my new found courage and dropping of my walls, I rolled down both windows on his side, he rolled down his, and for a long two minute red light, my kids and I had a delightful conversation with the guy and oohed and aaahhed over his dog.  My kids were thrilled.  He was shining from ear to ear, and then we drove off to the rest of our days.  I will never forget that moment, and it never would have happened had I not taken part in this event.
 
3.  What feelings come up for you as you have watched the video's that have been shared by others?
Katie:  As I watch it, what stands out to me is this great feeling of interconnectedness.  And with that, I feel hope.  In a world where we are interconnected, no one is falling through the cracks.  We are there for each other.  We are aware that we are all a part of the same web so if one of us is not shining, the integrity of our whole web is compromised.  And in this way, it benefits us all to look out for others.   Watching this video makes me feel that this interconnectedness is possible on a global level.  This makes me feel a great sense of light-heartedness. 

Ina: The first video that came in from Canada sent goosebumps up my neck.  It was that moment of, “Oh my goodness!  People are actually doing this!  And, look, they’re really happy!”  It was totally exhilarating.  Instantly I felt the sense of  knowing that it’s our own inner happiness, collectively celebrated, that has the ability to create a global shift.  The key for me was in celebrating it with purpose, knowing that all of these other people were out there dancing in their day together.  It made me realize the potential power that creating this concept of a Micro-Movement can have on global scale.  When you take away the time and location barriers, any person any where in the world can take action as an agent of social change, and be banded together with the rest of The Levity Project Players as one movement immersed in the power and importance of fun.

I love to be inspired, and each person that took part in this was an inspiration to me.  I was moved by each video because almost everyone that did this stepped out of their comfort zone.  For some people it was WAY out of their comfort zone.    But as you can see by everyone’s happiness in the video, they all received some sense of freedom from doing it.  That’s the miracle that always happens on the other side of your block.  When you let go of fear and go for it, magic happens that wouldn’t have happened if you didn’t take action with that small leap of faith. 
 
4.  You step out your front door tomorrow morning.  What’s different, because you have “car danced” in public?  (i.e. what’s the lasting effect from doing this)
Katie:  There is this small feeling of “I can do that”.  By “car dancing”, which can feel like a step outside our comfort zone, there is a new feeling that maybe there are other things one can try in our life.  And the comfort zone becomes wider and wider and so does our life.

And I believe that a sense of contribution comes from it.  Once you see someone’s face light up because they see you car dancing and expressing that levity, it is so evident that you are the one who created that change for that person at the stoplight or wherever we are.  And as the observer drives off, they might have a smile on their face or be laughing.  Who knows what happens next?  In a better mood, do they call someone they have been thinking about and share a laugh with them?  Did an argument just end in the car next to you because they started laughing and even dancing with you?  What ripple effects just happened in the world, because one of us was willing to boldly express the joy we have within?

Ina: For me, so much has changed because of this.  When I step out my door in the morning, I am far more aware of the potential for creating celebration in each moment.  At the times when I am driving, spaced out on autopilot, lost in some looping thought of what I have to do, or what’s going on in my life, past or future, it suddenly hits me that, ”Oh, wait!  I’m alive right now in this moment and why am I not dancing?" and I crank the tunes and dance.  And I do it boldly (especially at four way stops). 

It’s made me more present to the present moment, realizing that we all have our things we do on autopilot… driving to work, picking up the kids, and we often just lose ourselves in mundane thoughts in those moments.  But when you think of how you could have that same ride to work, and instead of just worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills, you can make someone else smile or brighten their day.  You’ve just created a totally different journey for yourself.  Same commute, but now you’re an agent of social change at the wheel.  Maybe that person didn’t know how they were going to pay their bills either, but they saw you dancing and they saw you in your freedom and in that moment, they felt relief.  Or even happiness.  Or even the feeling that everything was going to be OK.  THAT is powerful stuff!  I am embracing those moments now and my life is becoming more deliciously rich (and fun!) because of it.

Lance's Commentary:  You have both touched upon that "something deeper" that draws upon the voice of our soul…that dance that is within each of us.  Perhaps it's not "car dancing" for everyone.  It's there, though, within all of us…that something which brings that deeper sense of bliss.  And when we are reaching that spot within us, we DO change the world around us – in amazing and beautiful ways!

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