by Nick Andrea
“Behold, for what I am doing right now is my purpose.”
I woke up this morning feeling very open, inspired, and full or ideas. My larger Self was feeding me solo rhythms to play on my djembe, poetic lyrics were rolling off my frontal lobe like water, and various life questions I’d recently been grappling with were answering themselves like flowers blooming in the springtime. What an ideal day to play music, write poetry, or meditate.
AND, I had homework to do that had to be done today because there really wasn’t any other time I could do it. “That sucks,” I thought, “so much spiritual honey was being poured directly into my soul.” Homework was not on my spiritual agenda for the day.
Except, it was. It was what needed to be done and, though it didn’t conform to my ideas of how things were supposed to go today, in the spiritual world it was just as meaningful as writing poetry, or playing my drum, or holding hands with a group of friends and singing “Kumbaya.” I just had to shift my perspective to see that.
I, and probably many of you, too, have a tendency to judge an activity by its form. I love those activities I consider soul-nourishing and loathe those I don’t. I categorize the former as “meaningful” and the latter as “meaningless.” But, in truth, it’s all meaningful because what makes an activity meaningful is not what is but how it’s done. Whether we’re doing art or paying our taxes it’s all part of the same sphere that is our life.
In ancient Chinese cosmology the human being was seen as having a foot both Heaven and Earth. It was our job to span the distance, to walk the middle, to be the bearing around which the material and immaterial mixed and danced. And, what made that possible was presence, and that’s what happened to me when I was doing my homework today.
I was confronted with this Heaven-Earth polarity as I was feeling the former but needed to do the latter. I spanned the distance by being fully present with my homework, by settling into it, by not rushing the process to get to the more “ideal” activities. And, how I saw homework in that moment changed. It became my sacred duty at that moment, more important then writing poetry, or whatever.
So, I finished it, and now I’m writing this blog post. 🙂