This has been a wonderful start to the New Year. Sunday was so lovely - I took my step-dot with me, picked up my very bestest pal and went to church - the Shambhala Centre. On Shambhala Day (the new year) there are lots of things going on. We missed the greeting of the dawn and requisite glass of gin - the old timers wouldn't start a new year without it but we weren't up to shenanigans that early. We started with the Sadhna of Mahamudra - a wonderful text that is read in unison. My step-dot had never experienced this before - it is like an epic poem that that takes the reader into all sorts of magical realms. The imagery is both fierce and beautiful and when there are a couple of hundred people chanting it together it can be very powerful. I was thrilled to have step-dot beside me and she seemed pretty thrilled too.
After that we watched the year in review - a sort of home movie for us Shambhalians. It was very well done this year and we got to see far flung friends and far flung places. Then the three of us went off for a yummy lunch. When we got back there were even more folks gathered. There is traditionally a roll-call where each centre around the world checks in via satellite radio. This year we went more tech and each centre checked in with audio and visual for a giant web event. It was full of first time glitches but we'll be patient. I love the roll-call - it is always somewhat hokey but that is its charm.
Then- the main event of the day - the address by the Sakyong - our teacher. This year the address was pre-taped because he is in retreat in India. It was a very touching address about developing an attitude of love and at the end of it he told us he had very special news. He and his wife are expecting. Thousands of folks in every centre around the world cheered like mad - the first baby of these two is immediately beloved.
In the evening of this great day - we had old friends come for dinner. They are the kind of people that bring out the best in our kids so we were happy to have us all together. We ate a delish Indian feast that Ron and step-dot prepared - I made apple crepes for desert. We read the I Ching to find out our year's fortune.
As I mentioned in my storm day post - this was a full week of work. I will have seen twelve clients by this evening, Gwen and I worked late Monday night to try and finish the govt. stuff and all and all I will have earned my weekend proudly. This takes its toll on my writing of course. I've done a bit here and there but not as much as I'd like.
So finally I get to today's challenge...
I want you to spend some time this week on your heart's work. Think what that might be - what is it you are scared of approaching - what is it that you would be working feverishly on if you knew your time on the planet was limited (and it is dear readers, it is!) This means that there are two parts to this challenge - the first is to search your heart and mind for what the heart work is - for some of you this might be the easy part - for others not so. Perhaps your heart work is to make a wonderful garden - then this week plan for how that might be implemented. Is it time to start your seeds? Guess that depends on where you are. If your heart work is writing - is it your current wip or would that go by the wayside if you knew you had a year left to live? If your heart work is parenting - what have you been avoiding that you would get to right away if time was urgent? If your heart work is creating visual art - what have you frightened yourself about - this is too big - too scary?
The second part is to give it some decent time - make it a priority. Take out your day book or black berry or write-on calendar and mark off time for this. When someone asks you this week to do something or another - tell them that you are busy working on something major in your life - you don't have to give details unless you are that sort of person or they are - the point is to make it clear to yourself that this is important.
I await news of how this goes...