Here is Rod MacIver again today. I put in bold the parts I think are most important to ask ourselves each day.
Dear Heron Dancers,
Do you know someone, or maybe more than one person, who goes through life shining a bright light, who touches the lives of others and makes them feel better? Do you know someone who radiates love, understanding, acceptance—who radiates in a quiet way without preaching or condemning? I do. She too has a dark side, but it is obscured by a very bright inner light.
I remember the walk in the woods during which I decided to start Heron Dance. It was snowing, just like it is here today in Vermont. I walked up a hill on an old logging road and about half-way up I got this vision of who the publication would serve. I imagined a woman about 40 years old standing at her kitchen sink doing the dishes. She struggled with a lot of things—bills, keeping her family happy, the day-to-day struggles that we all share—but more than anything she wanted to shine her light. She wanted to live with love in her heart, and be a kind and generous person. She wanted to focus her life around what she thought of as truly important. She got a deep satisfaction from her relationship with nature.
I’ve been thinking back this morning over the roughly fourteen years since I started the publication and how I’ve frequently meandered away from that original vision. It is kind of like trying to walk a straight line by looking at your feet rather than a point off in the distance. If you walk in the snow, then you can look back and see how much you wavered. On the positive side, I’ve never lost my faith in the importance of that distant point, and I’ve known from a feeling deep down inside when I was walking towards it with faith and confidence. That feeling is one of centeredness, of balance, of inner warmth.
If I take five deep, slow breaths, and ask myself whether or not I’m on the right track, I get a crystal clear answer back. A feeling of distress, anger, unease or sadness tells me that I’m on the wrong track. At times like this, I ask myself: What is scaring me that I don’t want to confront? What question am I avoiding? What question am I keeping from myself because I am afraid of what the answer will direct me towards? Is there a change I’m trying to avoid?