A funny thing happened on the way to the school the other day: I began interacting with other fleshy humans once again.
Now, I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods, but we’ve been pretty closed off in the San Francisco Bay Area. A myriad of businesses have continued in their restrictions, and depending on what county you live in, dining in isn’t allowed (but getting take-out is). Working out indoors and sharing the same recycled sweat isn’t allowed (but taking a cross-training class outdoors is allowed).
The list goes on, but schools in our city finally opened their doors a couple of weeks ago – which means that my children are back in school with their teachers for five hours a week.
And as it turns out, two and a half hours, two times a week, is just enough time to get a whole lot of nothing done …but it is enough time to stand in line, alongside the other parents and guardians and make small talk.
As such, I feel like I’m learning the art of small talk once again.
While a lot of conversation seems to be directed toward the eight-and-under crowd, sometimes another grown-up and I will actually strike up a conversation between the two of us.
And as has usually been the case over the last decade or two, I find myself asking the following question quite often, once again:
“So, what do you do during the day?”
After all, the jobs we humans do during the day is just part of who we are. But it’s not the whole. Try as some of us might start to believe, it’s not our identity. Instead, it’s just how we express who we really are, deep down inside.
Recently, a little book of spiritual meditations called The Little Book of Big Knowing, came across my path. In truth, I read it in an afternoon, as might be the case for some of you; when I got to the page, “You’re not a Doing. You’re a Being,” I threw the book down and stared out at the baseball field in front of me, the same one filled with zealous, masked-up six and seven-year old boys and (one) girl.
Too often, even when I pose all the right questions, it’s like I still ask myself the wrong question. I still put too much weight around my title and of what should come from my title – which for me, means writer and the writing that should inevitably stem from the intersection of soul and brain and fingers.
But what happens when a book doesn’t sell? What happens when a writer can’t get an article or an essay picked up for publication? What happens when the well runs dry and nary a word drip-drip-drips from inside the bucket?
I venture to guess that’s when we hit the recall button and choose instead to remember that we are souls who are creating life through our chosen (or chosen-for-us) mediums.
Here’s what author Michele Sammons has to say about it:
Somehow we’ve got it backward. We like to explain who we are by what we do. You’ll often hear someone say, I’m an artist, writer, drummer, businessman, teacher, pilot, or farmer. But that’s not who you are. That’s how you express who you are.
You are a Soul who is creating life in the medium of artist, writer, drummer, etc.
You are a state of being – a vibration, a frequency, who creates through every thought, belief, action, and deed stemming from that state of being.
To create a joyful life, the key is to infuse your doing with your highest state of being.
And I don’t know about you, but when I read a little meditation like this – a meditation that dares take up an entire page because that’s all that needs to be said – I am reminded of who I really am underneath it all:
A Being. A Soul. A bright-eyed star of a human who is undoubtably loved by God. End of story.
So, here’s the dare I’m giving myself (and perhaps you too) when I stand in line tomorrow, and the week after, and the week after that: I’m going to dare myself to remember our collective being-ness, that who we are is not defined by the titles we wear on the outside but on who we really are on the inside.
Because really, that’s all that matters in the end.
This post is part of a series for the WOW (Women on Writing) Book Tours & Giveaways program. If you’re a writer (or “a soul who is creating life in the medium of artist, writer, drummer, etc.”), do check out this supportive community. Otherwise, pick up a copy of Michele Sammons’ The Little Book of Big Knowing today!
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