I have heard that the meaning of discipline is to be a disciple of yourself.
I’m not sure I fully understood that concept until yesterday when I went for a walk, an accidental walk.
I usually go into the woods with my pup and earbuds. We walk, and I listen to my favourite teachers read their books. Yesterday, I forgot my phone and decided that it was time I had a new kind of conversation.
I’ve been so busy looking for inspiration from great authors and speakers, I realized I’ve been swimming in a sea of comparison. I wondered if anything I did would be a cheap knock off of the great works that are out there. Being out in the woods on my own reminded me that the trees don’t put on a show, nor do they compare to each other. They are in harmony with their true nature.
That’s when I began my conversation with the trees.
I asked, “What do I need to know right now?” I let God know that I was listening. This level of faith feels like treading new waters, a little uncomfortable with a dose of concern for doing it wrong.
I have been surrounded by people with a level of faith that is both unnerving and comforting. I didn’t grow up going to church and prayer was a foreign practice reserved for a club I didn’t belong to. As a coach and yoga teacher, I have been privileged to bear witness to people’s pain and trauma. I have seen how their belief in a bigger power has pulled them from the wreckage and into a clear space.
I have learned that my definition of faith is having not only a belief but also a corresponding action. It’s not enough to sit back and clutch a belief hoping something different will happen.
No, it’s about listening and moving. It’s about getting quiet and being with the divine in me. This is the essence of faith for me.
So, on my walk, I found myself talking out loud in a form of call and response. I would ask a question and say the answer.
The divine was running through me. I experienced the divine as me—and also as my dog, the trees, the soft rain. God is a force bigger than me, yet of me. God is a source of love, forgiveness, and compassion that never runs out. God delivers messages, but it’s up to me to listen. It really comes down to the art of listening.
So if I’m willing to listen, I better ask a good question.
I asked the trees, “What do I work for?” I mumbled out loud trying to find the words. I was feeling beaten down by comparison in my work, and there had been times when I lost sight of my bigger picture. I needed an answer.
I opened my heart to listen while I walked through the woods. I heard the tree’s reply, “I am here to help people know what they are working for.” My work is to create a world where people are inspired and working on purpose. If people knew that their work was for something bigger than themselves, they’d feel fulfilled.
The trees let me know that our inspiration is in our ideas, and the work to harvest these ideas is our service to the world. This reignited my passion.
As I kept walking, I started to see the whole process. The whole process of our work—even though most of our work is detached from the land—is to sow, harvest, and feed. Sow our idea, harvest it, and let it serve the world. I thought of the Nepali people living in what we’d describe as poverty, but they are so wealthy. They know the purpose of what they do. They know that the cycle of sowing the seed and the hard work of harvesting is to feed their family. They have a greater purpose in their work.
To sow an idea, do the hard work of harvesting the idea, and then serving the results to the people who most need it—that’s fulfilling work. And, important to remember when our greater purpose seems to go missing or becomes riddled in comparison.
I glanced up at the trees, smiling and feeling realigned.
We don’t have far to look to find our inspired guides.
Go in, and meet your divine.