A friend of mine, I am sitting at his table right now, is a journalist who is sometimes interviewed on tv. He told me that if you are on national television there will be people who hate you just because of how you talk of what you wear. It frightens me. I once stirred up some controversy when another website reposted my work (with my permission). They had hundreds of thousands of visitors and to the audience I was just an anonymous writer. The hate and verbal violence was amazing.
As an experiment imagine developing your courage, your generosity and your compassion for 30 years. And every day you would share these continuously developing virtues with the people around you. If only 5 people per day (a very, very conservative number) would be exposed to you that would already create 54.750 inspiring and healing moments. Some of them short, some of them longer. Now also imagine what would happen if you would consciously try to positively influence others more effectively, perhaps with the use of technology or otherwise.
Today I was in a gloomy mood. I felt uncomfortable, dissatisfied and somewhat disheartened. As I was just cooking up a meal, feeling burdened by the idea that I still have to write a post even though it is quite late already and I have to work tomorrow, I decided to write about things that cheer me up. Just random stuff that comes up in the next 15 minutes. Here we go:
I am imagining a place, a building for example where the people who work there share a commitment to be real and mindful. It is not about being holy but just about trying to avoid mindlessness and ignorance. The workplace becomes a place of practice, meaning that at the end of the week you actually learned something about yourself and others instead of merely exhausting and depleting yourself.
Today I came from a meeting in Utrecht and on my way back I was contemplating my next step in life. I accidentally saw some notes I made during a meeting with a like-minded soul some time ago. The notes were about intention and visualization. I was watching the daylight turning into soft and warm tones as the time of sunset approached. A peaceful silence came over me. I felt the courage and inspiration coming bubbling up to verbalize the next step of my vision. Although I am not sure what it is I feel that there is something ready to come out.
This website and my works central theme is warriorship and human bravery. “The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything” said Chögyam Trungpa, the great Tibetan spiritual teacher that I like to study and often use as a source of inspiration. When I looked through the pics below I was reminded to his words. There is so much beauty and sadness in the pictures and at the same time so much love and bravery that it reminds us of our humanity, our diversity and our obligation to ourselves and others to not give up on opening our hearts and taking care of each other.
Let me be clear, very few people ever arrive at that place, the place where the coward feels he has to scream. Most of us are comfortably ruled by the coward, he never has to raise his voice and there are no warriors in sight making his life difficult. Let me put it differently: if you don’t know what it feels like to have a terrified coward yelling at you every day he is the one steering your ship.
This reminds me of traveling. When I arrived in a new country I would find out that certain things were done in ways so illogical that I just wanted to slam my face against the wall out of frustration. I just couldn’t understand that people could be so stupid to tolerate that particular kind of inefficiency that I was encountering. It took some time and a couple of countries before I could accept that not everybody sees things in the way I see them. And even though there were situations that I never learned to understand I did learn to accept. Acceptance made my life a lot easier.
We need to manage our feelings of powerlessness, of being overwhelmed by despair. We do have power, and we should know how to use it to effect change. We have to organize ourselves. Openness and loving speech can work miracles. Every parent, teacher, businessperson, and artist can always do something to encourage collective awakening. Everyone is responsible.
Also I am very happy with the trainers from Evolve. They carry a big responsibility because they are almost closer to my participants than me. They train their Warriors 3 times per week. I have 3 trainers and each of them takes care of 2 Warriors. Before the kick-off I tried my best to emphasize that the 100 Day Warrior program should not be perceived as a conventional personal training program. They would be working with people who exposed themselves to a process more intense and complete than most of us have ever done. I tried to get them in the right mind-set and get them focused. I wasn’t sure if I was getting through to them at the time but by now I can see them all acing it.