What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

“Don’t ask children what they want to be when they grow up, but what problems they want to solve. This shifts the conversation to who they want to work for to what they need to learn to get there.” – Jamie Casap

We put children on the spot all the time with this question and then wonder why we can’t figure who or what we are supposed to do “when we grow up”, or “when we have arrived”. For years I’ve listened to people in anguish, pain and heartbrokenness wonder about the next steps to take. I’ve also spent even more years not listening to my own anguish, pain, and heartbrokenness, distracting myself by focusing on others or getting help from others.

And now with Aleppo, hatred running rampant, and people still worried in this country about their next meal, my internal sense of justice is screaming at an all time high: “how to help, how to heal”.
So far in the media, there has been one group after another blamed for screwing up the election. We can look at the Russians and yet as a policy we have always invaded other country’s elections. We blame white, black, men, women, rich, poor, educated , non-educated, coast, Midwest, conservative, liberal. I am not sure we have left out a group.
The point is not really who to blame but to look inward and feel the problems we want to solve. When we don’t feel the suffering of others is when we are in trouble. That outer suffering is a guide to our own inner suffering.
When we put up walls to experiencing our own wounds, projecting and shaming others, we create that very problem in front of us.
Riding the razors edge between self care and helping, this is our task. In this journey around the U.S., I’ve discovered I have needed to offer myself just a bit more kindness, a bit more time of stillness and quiet, just one bit at a time, until it has started to become an internal reality of love and hope.
Just like in the Metta Bhavana practice, we must start with where we are. Start with our children. Start with the food we eat and that extra piece of sugar, and the decision to sit rather than move the body for health and wellbeing. Start with what comes out of our own mouths. Can I be kind today? Can I hug a little more, listen a little more? Can I offer myself gratitude for just one thing at a time?

Our purpose is clear now. We must be the force of kindness and love for transformation. It may come out as a protector or healer or artist, but we have no other choice now but to commit to all of who we are. The Eagle has landed.