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Monday, July 7, 2014

Grow with the Flow: Bask in Your Breed

Don't ask what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive, and go do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  
Howard Thurman

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. 

by Lauren Van Ham

With the Summer Solstice just behind us, we’re enjoying now, the longest days of the year.  It’s the season when in places like Alaska, growth happens around the clock, and backyard farmers race to keep up with lawns, tomatoes, watermelons and beans.  What’s fun for me about this time of year is how it happens so effortlessly.  The plants can’t help but to grow, to creep, to expand and reach.  It would take more effort to hold back, than to expand out.
Last week, riding my bike through a neighborhood park, I laughed out loud as I watched two Sheep dogs playing fetch with their owner.  You can picture it, right?  The way they, with extreme focus, run out in front of the ball and, “assume the position,” preparing to launch and circle at just the right moment.  It’s like the Huskies, who tremble with anticipation, as their owners prepare to attach them to the sled…or more likely a leash.  And the Terriers, jaws locked and drooling, who nearly rip humans’ arms from their sockets, as they tug-o-war with their chew toys.  When functioning from their breed, a dog’s joy is boundless.  And, like the growing plants, restraining their instincts would be far more difficult than doing what comes naturally.

At Lumunos, we talk a lot about Call, the place where we bring our joy - our gifts - to meet a need in the world.  I really like the way Howard Thurman (above) talks about Call – doing what, “makes us come alive.”  In Buddhism, it’s called “Buddha Nature,” or one’s “True Nature.”  It’s the behavior that flows freely from us, without much hesitation or forethought. 

Sometimes, tending our Call takes work, darker seasons require introspection, exercising trust when illumination is sparse.  At other times, though, we are best left to heed the words, “don’t think too much,” and to just, “grow with the flow.” IN these times, we are able to rest in faith that who we are, what we bring most naturally, is precisely what’s needed. 

If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many members, yet one body.  1 Corinthians 12: 17-20 (NRSV)

What plant type or dog breed best describes you?  Have you taken time yet this Summer to bask in your breed?

About Lauren: Lauren lives in Berkeley, CA.  She serves as Dean at The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI), an interfaith seminary and tends her private practice as a spiritual director.  You can read Lauren’s blog at: http://www.laurenvanham.com/

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