“What if it truly doesn't matter what you do but how you do whatever you do?”
(Oriah Mountain Dreamer)
Reflecting on a video session where we had been exploring the implications of seeing and hearing each other differently, the conversation became considerate, thoughtful, and respectful. As we spoke, one of the group named dialogue as a practice to which we might dedicate ourselves.
The word seemed to float among us before being repeated:
Yet even if we might softly dedicate ourselves to a vocation, fashionable organisational rhetoric requires a harder, tougher response to the demands of work.
Desire, discipline and determination are the keys success. We must get up early, stay up late, cultivate a morning routine, double down at our desk, strive to get things done. Focus. Go the extra mile. Work hard. Persevere.
Just try harder.
But Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s words start from a place of knowing we are already enough.
Later in ‘Prelude’ she asks:
“What if becoming who and what we truly are happens not through striving and trying but by recognizing and receiving the people and places and practises that offer us the warmth of encouragement we need to unfold?”
Our time undoubtedly requires us to act with moral and physical courage, yet we should leave our striving and ambition behind.
If it really doesn’t matter what we do, perhaps we might choose to dedicate ourselves to a gentler, more considerate way of being with ourselves, with each other and with our world.
I’m entranced by the ancient Tibetan notion of Shambala Warriors. At the time when the Earth is in great danger, the Shambala Kingdom emerges in the hearts and minds of the Warriors. Yet they wear no insignia or uniform and know that the danger is within our minds, manifest in our choices and decisions. The ‘weapons’ they bring to the battle are compassion and insight.