img_2810This picture is what I see as I open my laptop up to begin to work.

It is my inspiration. Not for the reasons one might assume. And for the very reasons that one might think.

Every day, it  is one of the many pictures I put before my eyes on a regular basis.

There is a story and a reason.

Before we go there together, I want to begin somewhere else.

The formation of Living Mangaliso’s approach to breath, living, movement and meditation, has taken me to many places.  The reality of decades of work, years of putting time in on the ground, watching, looking, learning, experiencing, have formed a tenacity within me that is only continuing to grow.

I have listened to thirty second sound bites, I have watched men and women with great promise fizzle under the weights of accolades and detractions, I have seen the hunger and hope  for something real arise within so many, I have heard how 5 steps here and 1/2 hour there will produce results and realities.  I have watched fads and trends come and go, I have seen hype and watched great marketing schemes affect the lives of many who were genuinely spiritually hungry.

I have listened to stories, I have held human beings in my arms, I have shed tears, I have watched tears be shed, I have known and witnessed much in regards to humanity’s pursuit towards spiritual growth and towards the Divine, towards God.

I wanted.. nay, I needed Living Mangaliso to be different.  If I was going to step back into something, it was going to have to be real.  It was going to have to have substance. If I was going to step into teaching and leading again, it had to look different. But not just look different. It had to BE different.

So there is no hype. There is no agenda. There is hope. There is joy. There is work. There is hard work.  There is an understanding that the new catch all phrases out there take beautiful ancient practices and capitalize upon them. Meditation/prayer are beautiful realities. Now people suffer anxiety because they don’t think they do them “right.”  Mindfulness is a potent reality to live by, except there are all these gimmicks out there now.  There is stillness and quiet and returning to a humanizing process, except someone is going to tell you that these five steps are the way to follow and if you don’t think step 4 fits with your process, then you have it “wrong.”

Who is telling you that you have it right?  Who is telling you that you are the expert in you? Who is telling you if you slow down, take the time, get still and quiet you will know?  Who is telling you that listening to me, or a podcast, or an excerpt or reading a book or attending a conference will do you little good, if you are not stepping more into your life, your preferences, your choices?  Who is giving you permission to try one thing and then try another? Who is telling you that to recover your own intrinsic self it takes trial and error AND A LOT …

 

A LOT

 

of hard work?

I recently a client, this is not going to be easy. This is hard work.  Spiritual formation, real spiritual growth, real growth of any kind takes time, patience, and hard work.  The harder it is, the longer it takes, guess what?  The more solid it will be!

How’s that for a thirty second sound bite?

Don’t work with me if you aren’t going to work!

I can offer you all that I can, but at the end of the day it is nothing!

 

NOTHING!!!

 

If you don’t step up and step into your life and body and breath!

 

There are a few stories that fit in here…

 

First get up. Stretch your legs. Take a deep breath.  This post is going to take a bit of time.

This post is called “Because it is hard.”

There is a story about these two younger kids of mine.  One that I remember on a somewhat daily basis.

We had had four children.  Gosh that was enough! Right? Four children in five years, I thought we were done.  Then this event happened.  I knew that I knew that I knew that there would be two more.  At some point in life, we were going to have two more children.  We had had the first four relatively easily.  A hard pregnancy here, a delivery that took forever there, a scare and a newborn in the NICU, but all in all, four healthy robust children.

And then, when one was entering middle school and the youngest, at the time, was entering kindergarten, the time came that felt right for “the two yet to come.”

A devastating miscarriage would ensue.

Life moved forward and on September 6, 2006, our youngest son, Gregory, would be born.  Smallest of his brothers, but immense in his own right.  The first of the promise of two more children.  What would then happen in the next three years as we tried to have our last child, still lands on my heart like a ton of bricks.  Three miscarriages would cross the pathway of our family.  Why keep trying?  The story is a long one. One day I will go into its depths.  But suffice it to say, I knew we were to have one more.  Now not to TMI. I know the night our youngest child was conceived.  I know because I remember weeping. I didn’t know what to do. Use contraception or not.  Risk and try again or not.  I knew myself.  I knew I would not be able to watch another pregnancy stick become positive, only to start bleeding a day, a week, a month afterwards.

I held to the promise of the two yet to come. It was excruciatingly difficult. It tore at my heart.  But at 11:11 on February 12, 2009 when Elizabeth Samantha Lucy Driscoll entered the world, our world was forever changed.  The second of the two yet to come had arrived.

Why do I look at this picture every day?

To remind me that things don’t always work out smoothly. Actually rarely do they ever. Things that are worth fighting for are worth fighting for, and those things are going to be hard.

It brought me to a dream I had , the writing of this blog piece and the subsequent  book that will becoming out soon, along with  a speech given many many years ago.

The dream I had was of one of my sons.  He does amazing impersonations.  One of my favorite is a speech given by John F Kennedy, about going to the moon.

William Bradford, speaking in 1630 of the founding of the Plymouth Bay Colony, said that all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage……
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon… (interrupted by applause) we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,

 

moon-big

 

 

because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

 

What are you that willing to be that tenacious about? What in your life is worth that fight?

Don’t give up!

Lean in!

Are your dreams worth the hard work? Is your formation as the person you want to be? Are there real obstacles? YES, there are going to be real obstacles, real failures, real set backs, real struggles and real pain! But there will also be real moments of life and joy and celebration. There will be real achievements and real growth. There really will be real dreams coming true.

It will take everything.

It will be hard.

It being hard will challenge everything within you.

But it being hard will bring about real change, real growth, real life, real success!

 

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon… (interrupted by applause) we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,

 

 

 

moon-girl

 

I choose spiritual formation, I choose starting a company from scratch, I choose putting myself out there and really talking about what I believe will better people’s lives. NOT… NOT, because it is easy to do so.  But because in the hard work that it takes to really bring something about, the worthwhile nature and moments and growth and becoming and living and breathing and moving and discovering and exploring and expressing and recovering and expanding IS worth every breath, every step, every moment, every set back!

I choose a path that says we won’t reduce you to our system, we won’t create a “program” and invite you to contort yourself into wellness and well being in a way that doesn’t feel organic for you and your family or company.  We will listen, we will walk along side, we will celebrate your victories and help you shoulder your set backs and utter defeats.

I choose this path because I utterly and deeply believe that you, as a representative of the human race, are worth it. That you are the amazement! That it is my honor to get to know you, walk some portion of life together, cherish and nurture and believe in your dreams as if they were my own.  The light in me acknowledges, delights in and recognizes the light and dignity of humanity that resides in you.

May we look to that which is worth it!

May we walk towards that which we dream!

May we allow elements of life to not be solved by thirty second sound bites, but appreciate that by hard work we will achieve great things!

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

2 Responses to “Because it is hard…”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *