Sensing our connection

I have this cool thing called an energy ball. It's my favorite prop. 
Innocent looking ping pong ball 

Picture this*: a group of people is sitting together in a large comfortable room, mostly strangers, uncertain about what's going to happen. An instinct drew each person to this place: an awareness that something is missing, a hollowness perhaps, a curiosity maybe, almost always a longing to get out of the schedule-driven expectations that dictate their life. They want to make contact with their own inner self, to see if there is comfort there, a recognition of what they used to know before life got so crazy. But they're nervous because this is so personal and here they are with people they don't know. This is when I pull out the energy ball. 

"Ok, everybody hold hands with the person next to you." Tentative obedience. "Now...", I pick up a ping-pong ball and hold it, touching a little metal contact strip: "you touch it here" I say to the person next to me, indicating the other little contact strip. Suddenly the ball lights up and flashes making spooky noises. Delight surges around the group, the reality of energy flowing through us dawning on them. We really are connected by energy. It is one of the fundamental things we want them to take away from the workshop: we are all connected, influencing each other and being influenced. Awareness of this brings a great wealth of resources, from sensitivity and understanding of others, to insights into challenges, to patience and even love for oneself. 

I felt it this morning when I took the dogs out to walk through our fields. They were on my list, and I needed to get them out so I could get to the other things.
It hit me mid-field: the light was filtered, the tree leaves copperish, the air cool but soft -- nothing was breath-taking. Then through my unseeing self-absorption I heard the crickets doing their late summer "ch-ch", maybe for the last time now that it's November. I heard them with something deep inside, that memory place that sounds and smells can evoke: "ch-ch". And my whole body relaxed, my mind relaxed, and I saw the beautiful trees in that soft light and gentle air and felt myself sink into connection with where I was. 

This is when it's time to drop the explanations. I felt it. Is this what it's like to have roots that reach through the soil, supporting and nurturing me, holding me steady? Is this what it's like to be one of many grasses in the field, feeling the same air riffle through us? If the energy ball was here, it would light up.

And it's not a "oh that's nice for you, Libby, but I'm here in the real world" thing. Being outside is my easiest pathway to connect with our inter-relatedness. There are other ways. Meditation, creativity, love, for example. What is important is that we cultivate that awareness and keep it with us as we navigate our task-driven days. When I come back to "the real world" with that inner sense alive in me, I see the people I talk to and the work I'm doing with something like a cushion around them and me; it's a little easier, a little more spacious, and I'm more open to what is possible. 

I forgot to say that in that moment of hearing the crickets "ch-ch" and feeling the return to my senses, the words that came out unbidden were thank you. Thank you. We are not strangers to each other. We are among life everywhere, participants together. Connecting. 
 *this describes a moment from our Opening Pathways LLC workshops

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