I have lead musical groups and within this remained directive and calm, focused here, using the structure of the music to stabilize me.
It really is no different when standing as a principle, especially the golden rule: to give as one would like to receive. As this, to hold the sound of this and remain unwavering within it, facing all objections and limitations within and without.
This brings to mind an event I experienced in Singapore. I was in a wet market looking for lemon leaves. One of the vendors directed me to a woman who sold the leaves. This vendor refused to serve me. I did not speak Chinese, but I knew I was not meeting openness, just a blast of rebuttal.
I remained calm, because clearly, this woman did not want to serve me.
Then, someone appeared next to me, and they told me that this woman did not like Caucasians and told me where I could find the leaves I wanted.
Being a white American, I had not faced such racism. I found this a new experience, and it scared me, I felt very hopeless, and realized that there was little chance of changing this attitude, and I also did not speak the language. My sister was with me at the time, and she reacted and wanted to leave. The person who came to help, came up to me, and I think it was because I remained calm, un-reactive. I went back to the market while I was there, my sister refusing to go, and I found I had made some friends, people would come up to me and try to sell me more mangos than I could possibly eat and asked me questions about my boys, and told me all about the people in the market. I found it cool that there were people here who were open and curious, sharing and enjoying differences, opening up and exchanging each other’s lives.
I also run a cooperative and have worked with others in organizing this group. What i find is that there are those who need the details walked again and again, and usually are really good at coming up with excuses, and even break the rules when it is an inconvenience for them to follow them. It does not matter how many times I reiterate the rules, they are broken. Every once in a while I have to state them again, and then things align again and function smoothly. We have even had people drop out because they find the rules too difficult. And the rules are not difficult. But, still, they seem huge to some. I have learned to remain calm and state them again, otherwise, I allow a Pandora’s box of emotion to open, and then I become the “ bad guy.” I have even had others join in the task of maintenance, and they will end up leaving because they can’t handle the emotional storms. Which is an emotional storm in itself.
There are times when I feel like I just stand there and take the storm, again and again. And the bitch of it is that, reacting to it does nothing. it is to simply explain the guidelines again and again. But i have to say, there are some, that realize the guidelines and work with them. And even apologize when something comes up and a mis-take is made. it is surprising how mush an apology and an act of correction without me asking them, is supportive. The people in the wet market were the same, coming and correcting what was unacceptable. And there are many such people, but not enough, because if there were, then this world would be put in order in a short period of time. And the order, is just simple common sense, being responsible. That is all.
Leading then means remaining consistent and stable within a framework, and in this case what is best for all, what will be a win-win for all parties involved. It means seeing objections and beliefs that are of limitation and directing them. It means understanding the limitation, and narrowing the focus of that objection , defining it and then finding a solution that is of a clearly defined goal with the practical steps delineated. It is remaining within the sound of that frame, that structure. This I can do, because I have done this many times, even with the competition breathing down my neck. It is interesting that one cannot be touched when standing in stability like this, even anger from another is tempered as it has nothing to project onto because the stability within the framework remains constant.
If one listens to the tempo of speech, one can align to this, and become the rhythm of this and then hear/here the limitations, and move at that speed. I realize that this will take practice, and that I cannot rush or charge myself in any way. It is to remain focused and directive, because in the end, if the understanding and constancy is not held and modeled, there will be no structure given that can withstand the test of separation in time and space. And, it is only a belief that the quality of myself will be lost, as an idea of what I am in relation to another, especially since competition will use such and run with it, destabilizing on purpose within self interest. This is where the quiet is of great benefit, because not only is this a place of focus, it is also where one hears the storm of self interest.
In trying to figure out what was going on with my husband, before he died, I had a moment where I said out loud, STOP. And indeed, did everything stop. And in that same moment, everything that i had defined myself as as being important suddenly left me.. And in that small space, I realized that everything I thought I was, was meaningless. And, in that moment, there was this bubble all around me too, which means that what I had allowed needed to be cleaned up, there was no escape. And yes, I feel as though I am standing in the midst of this and trying to clean it up, because this is not equal to here.
Interesting that in writing this out, suddenly there is a sense that there is so much more to myself and as such to others than we can imagine beyond our petty projections. I would have to say that this is a compassion, that gives the heart direction within consideration that everything that is here, is one expression and that is an absolute purpose of being equal and one with this in everything around me. as though it were me, like bringing everything back to myself , like one, in the end, does not sense with the mind, one senses with the heart.