I felt a thick soreness in my throat followed by thoughts of avian flu. Hedging my bets, I advanced to purchase an arsenal of natural remedies when I was halted by the sight of pollen draped across the windshield of my car, thick as Frida Kahlo’s distinguished unibrow.
Note the arrival of Spring in the Pacific Northwest: the sovereign bald eagle gracing us with its magnificence. The cherry trees in full regalia, their limbs lavish with cotton-candy-colored blossoms, gracefully genuflect. The Dandelion— humble monarch staking claim to every groomed lawn in sight, as if nature’s yellow flag reclaiming the crown’s land, now carpeted with honey-hued pollens like confetti after a royal jubilee.
The spectacle deftly dismissed worries of avian flu, saving me a trip to granola mart and a hundred bucks— easy. And, served as stunning reminder for nature’s undisputed monarchy— distinguished creatures grand and humble, kings and queens all, and all resplendent ambassadors of their species, unapologetic with an intrinsic dignity, reminding me of the in-born same of every human being.
Smack on the sloping side of the bell curve of my career as a human being, as if by Darwinian code I find myself selectively counting the sum of my life-to-date. Like a solemn abacist hunched over my sand board, I’m calculating objective and subjective accomplishments. Dust off bucket list, and resume— swoosh! I cast the sand marking goals set and achieved, leadership milestones earned, double-digit and distribution growth figures (code for the holy grail of sales), stockholder confidence and returns on investments I’ve delivered. Check, check and, check. The facts and figures tell a story of where I was and what I did, when. Yet, what of Being? Nowhere in the Emily Post of resume writing do they tell you to be sure to list “Being” you’ve achieved.
I’m reading an account of the life of the Buddhist monk, Chogyam Trungpa Rimpoche titled, “Chogyam Trungpa, His Life and Vision” by Fabrice Midal. Inspiration for Being, Midal quotes Trungpa:
“…there are three sorts of kings or rulers. The first is someone who tries to subjugate others, even turn them into slaves. The second devotes himself to governing all living being in a more or less just way. Finally, the third tries to bring out the royalty that is inherent in each being. I am the third type of lord. We are all lords and ladies, one way or the other.” Midal writes, “…Shambhala [Trungpa’s] teachings, aim to help all human beings recover their intrinsic dignity. Maintaining this inner dignity at all times and recognizing it in everyone else is a constant celebration of all existence.” Quoting Trungpa again; “…this path is called the warriors path…so that ultimately one can achieve the realization of the “universal monarch.”
“You say ‘queen’ as if it’s a bad thing,” I said to my husband as he dispensed a diagnosis on certain of my more noble attributes. By my calculations, I’ve spent precious time pretending not to be who I intrinsically am, stifling this, editing that, doing what I thought I should to gain acceptance and worse, doing what others deem acceptable. On this side of the bell curve, Being is the new doing. Being as eagle, cherry blossom or dandelion— standing in and being accountable for my singular dignity, and aiming to help others reclaim theirs. I heard the great yoga master Iyengar once said something like; B.K.S. Iyengar is the only one who does Iyengar yoga. Mr. Mandela said it this way; “There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Yesterday while cycling— head bowed over my heart, heart surging blood in cadence with each stroke of my peddles, I cast a sideways glance in time to catch sight of a meticulously mowed lawn with one dignified dandelion, reigning sovereign and triumphant.