The Teacher Who Brought my Walls Down
There’s a kind woman across the street from my executive office who is a great teacher. Her name is Senora Vicky. Each day when I pull up to my office, she’s preparing tasty food from a food truck. She ensures the tables, the truck, the sidewalk, and awning are impeccably clean. As I drive up, she walks out each day shouting, “Good day JD!” It is a most wonderful wish and it’s always energizing. Each day I’m greeted with the most sincere smile and love. She brings me into my best self and helps me remember who I am. To her, I’m family, not a worker across the street. She doesn’t want anything – she simply wants to acknowledge my presence, saying “I see you, and you are seen.” Being seen this way has changed me; in fact, it works miracles inside me. Nothing disqualifies Vicky from expressing her wish to me. She is my teacher who showed me to be open to the outcome; not attached to it.
Sometimes Senora Vicky has guests ready to eat when I pull up, and I know they’ll hear me yell back “Good day to you.” After I yell, I see heads look around the side of the truck to see who’s there. Senora Vicky stops what she’s doing to greet my arrival. As I notice these people boggled and surprised, my mind suddenly says “Stop. Don’t say it.” Sometimes she’s in the truck, and I think twice about reaching out and letting her know that I see her and wishing her a great day.
Sometimes I’m paralyzed by what those people will think of me and I’m embarrassed. However, despite this stinking thinking, I get past my critic inside me and yell full throttle, “Good day to you!” I do it anyway and come through. It feels amazing! Other times my thoughts tell me that I’m arrogant; always wanting her attention. I tell myself that I’m someone bad by letting her know I see her. But again, I’m able to renounce the spell my story has over me, and move to a place of open-heartedness and love. I connect with doing it just for the joy of it.
Senora Vicky feeds the birds on the ground, and I ask, “Have you fed the birds?” She then throws out bread crumbs, as I hear the sweet chirping and feeding frenzy start. She then yells back, “God bless you, have a great day at work!” To get her attention first, often times I’ll say, “Vicky the birds are waiting for you.” She chuckles and thanks me for reminding her. I then yell back her same words, “Have a great day at work, God bless you.” At that moment, when we exchange this wish, I know that we are drawing forth a finer quality of being in both of us. It is a process of restoration from getting so old in our thinking that we’re either too good for it, too busy, or distracted by other things.
No matter where we are in life or what we feel, she teaches me to always break through any conditions to have this interaction. Everything else is small compared to that great moment when her greeting happens. It is the kick-start of my day and a reminder to voice what’s inside me without my ego saying how stupid I’m being. It keeps me obedient to my choice to be true to myself despite my habitual judgment. I like to think of seating my judgment in a penalty box, but it’s more like bypassing an old room-mate down the hallway to open a new door.
As you hear this, I’m sure you have times in your life when you hear your heart. You have an impulse down below to tell others you love them, but you retract. You want to reach out and say hello to someone, but you withdraw into your self-doubt and prediction-based thinking that neutralizes your aliveness. I know we share the same inner talk, you are not alone. However, remember that you make choices. You can shift from that place to what matters to you. Just by observing your own mischief and understanding it, you can bounce it out and occupy your heart. All it takes is just practice to trust yourself and let go of the outcome.
It reminds you that no true properties come into existence in you without relationship. Your interactions shift the flow patterns of energy and information that we each experience within us. New knowledge and intelligence is made available to us through the dynamic urge to move from our heart’s desire and not our heads. This is the foundation for social reality creation. It requires courage to move from our open hearts. Courage is a word meaning “core”. The word core in French is “coeur” meaning “heart”. The word courage is about moving from our core outward beyond the edge. You might call this dynamic “moving the core beyond the edge.” And the word heart has three words within it: hear, earth, and art. When my day is done and I’m about to sleep, I ask myself, “What moved me beyond the familiar?” The brings out who or what touched or moved me today.
You are not immortal. Your best investment is in making connections and memories, which last a lifetime. I’ve asked therapists, who help the dying in the last 3 weeks of their lives, what their patient’s “top regret’s list” has at the very top. They said they regret not speaking the words they hear in their heart. They said what made them full, free, and alive was their trust to connect with others and open themselves to the expression that is felt and moving through them. Touching others this way touched them, and they didn’t get to do it enough. Ask yourself: Do you want to be saying the same thing in the last 3 weeks of your life? These dying beings say their vision of the life they love was more clear in those last 3 weeks than any other time in their life. And I know you and I do not wish to wait until then to connect with a better future possibility. The time is right now that counts the most – not then. What wants to leave your lips with love must reach who it belongs to. Give it wings when it’s rooted from your heart. If you don’t, you’ll live life like you have a condom over you that’s 10 inches thick. You don’t feel the breath of life.
The dream we each have isn’t so far away. It lies deep within the connections we make. These connections help us reclaim our wholeness. Service, meaning, and mystery co-exist there. These connections don’t cost anything more than an urge to follow the heart. I don’t care what you do, where you are, what you have, and what others think. Everything around you, the place you live, the city you enjoy, the plane you fly on, the car you drive all came from someone else’s urge. You live in the urge that someone else has built upon. You live in the value you brought into their life by creating value for you. However, despite this, you and I forget whose shoulders we stand upon. You can’t afford to bypass this and be blind. Take this into account. This is the formative force of gratitude. Be grateful for what you’ve been given, give all you’ve been given; it all starts and ends with a relationship. It’s about people. Serve them and support them. Remember what is in you to give, just for the joy of it. Joy lasts, happiness is temporary. Please connect with an open heart by letting others change you. Bring the wall down now, and watch miracles appear every day. Who is your teacher? Who are you a teacher for?