They once stood at the school gates about to enter in. A mixture of excitement, anxiety, adventure, passion, fear and a million emotions in between. Now they stand at those same gates looking out.
Over the next few weeks tens of thousands of school leavers will walk through those gates. If they met a Sufi, a Mystic, a Guru just outside those very gates, dressed as they so often are, in the freedom rags of a beggar what would they say?
“Friend, can I call you friend? Friend, sister and brother on life’s journey – come walk with me, for all great journeys need times of walking with.
Look up and look in. Look up and dream of a better world for all. Look in and know the power within you to make your dream come true. Look up and look in. Look up and see the mountains but fear them not, for in the climbing of same you will gain strength and the vista will take your breath away! Look in and find the strength for that journey, one small step at a time. Look up and look in. Look up and look around you, at our beautiful global village. Look up and see the companions on life’s journey with the same questions, dreams, fears and hopes that you contain in your noble heart. Look in and know you are loved.
Step out. One small step at a time, believing in the adventure and adventurer within. It, like life, will sometimes come packaged as ordinary, as mundane, as bland – but grasp it and dream it and it will take you and your heart to places of profound insight, meaning and joy. Step out. Shrink not before harbingers of pain and fear. Sure, look fear straight in the eye, name it, face it and then befriend it with your courage within that is stronger than any fear, more noble than any cause and gifted with wings with which you will fly. Step out. Step out and march to your own drum. Listen for its beat deep within, a beat that is yours and yours alone and a beat that can only be beard by your ears and heart.
Find. Find times of quiet in your own way so you can listen to that beat, your beat, your dream, your heart. Surf, strum, um, paint, run, hands in soil – whatever is your way to hear your heart beyond fear and life’s pain. Find. Find companions and fellow dreamers who help you be your best self and gift them and yourself with both friendship and adventure and yet times alone. Break bread, clink glasses and look into the eyes around table but always conscious of those without same. Find. Find places and times and people that you will touch and call home. Places, times and people where you will feel ‘at home’. But places, times and people who will also whisper to step back into life’s adventure ‘when it is time!’
Know you are enough. Know you are loved and are love. Know you do not need to be or do more other than what your heart whisper call you to do and be – but it is not more, just an ever deeper and more authentic you. Know love will always conquer fear. Yes, waves of fears, questions, uncertainty, and loss will come your way as they do every adventure and adventurer. But trust yourself and your journey and take the step right in front of you. But even here, that step will sometimes be clouded in fear, hidden by anxiety, moving like shimmering water but step out and take that step, trusting your heart and your spirit. Know and surround yourself with people of the heart who like you are trusting love. You will fail, they will fail, but if truly of love, truly of friendship, you and they will rise and rise again until the rising after the failure becomes another drumbeat of your precious heart.
Nourish your dream and your spirit. Balance time alone with dance. Balance the mountain ride with the dusty plain. Balance the building time and times with time around the campfires of life. Nourish your inner self with love. Listen for love’s whisper. Feel love’s tickle and know love’s dance. Nourish your spirit with gentleness, self-forgiveness and hugs given and received.
Choose courage ahead of conformity. Courage to dream a better world for all: dignity, right relationship, peace, forgiveness and living beyond fear. Know your call and your gift to be a part of building that world. The poverty and fear of any other diminishes me as well for we are one tapestry of love, though different coloured wool and tied by different knots. Choose the risk of relationship, intimacy, and the sharing of your heart’s sacred story ahead of vaults of cold cash locked behind a combination that upon your death bed will mean nothing at all. Choose to see the other beyond the label – hear and see their story, their dignity, their face, and their name and in seeing and truly hearing, discover brother and sister as one.
Learn, never stop learning from both beggar, pauper, and King. Learn, never stop learning from success and failure and all in between. Learn from books but mostly from the heart. Learn more from simplicity than the complicated, from smallness rather than great, from whispers more than from noise and from pain and brokenness more than any morning after emptiness. Learn from yourself and your heart companions. Don’t twitter or Tik Tok your life aware, post your heart or like or dislike yours or others’ precious hearts. Better the salt of the ocean spray, the wind of the mountain pear or the crescendo of the orchestra to the pings of the in-box.
Grow in awareness. Be there at the birth of the child – hold the hand of the loved one dying and never leave unsaid what your heart cries out to sing. Finally, allow yourself to be loved. Reach out beyond the hardened heart. Forgive and forgive again – self and the other. And always, as you step out this gate, know you do not, nor ever have, walked alone! Yes, the mystery we call God, the God beyond all names, the adventure and whisper of love, has always and will always walk beside you and tickle within. Enjoy the adventure and the journey so that when that time of the final adventure comes, as it does for us all, those around you will truly say, “Oh Captain, my Captain” and your heart will be not afraid.