I look out my window on the 39th floor of Eton hotel in Shanghai, skies dimmed by industrial smog, creating a shimmering haze, blue dampened toward grey by floating dust, illuminating shafts of light, streaming down from the tops of skyscrapers and widening out into an inverted Chinese fan, offering a kind of blessing, a triumph of sun over the forces that work to block it, and reminding me to look to the greater forces in my own life. These greater forces have brought me here to China.
I may have bought the ticket and boarded the plane, but my purpose here and the possibility of this trip was spurred by events beyond me, that happened mostly without my knowledge, and mostly by connections that linked me to people I don’t know and never met. The work I do here results largely from the energy of others and I rest in the cradle of blessings made possible by their effort and the life force that flows through us all. I am humbled to be held in this embrace. I am honored to have the chance to live the poetry of life, to open hearts and minds to the incredulity of being alive. Each of us is a testament to improbability. We each defy all the odds against us simply by being here.
I awakened today to the incredible privilege of being alive, how shafts of light can remind me of the preciousness of this life, and inspire in me a deep reverence for the world in which we live. And reverence is the proper relationship to life. This is my intent for the day: that I hold the world dear in my heart, that I act with reverence toward life, that I remember the preciousness of the moment, and that I open to the flow of love in me and through me.
I am an optimist, and I generally look on the bright side of life. I am also keenly aware that my life is nested in greater forces and that I am, to a large degree, dependent on them and must adapt and respond to them. I have found reverence to be one of the most powerful states to engage with life. It helps me to stay in balance and to keep things in perspective, both when things do or do not go my way.
What practice, attitude, or method do you use to keep yourself in balance in life? What do you believe is the proper relationship with life? With the world? With others?