On Starfishes and Community

Purple Linqia Starfish

The Linqia starfish is one of the most resilient creatures in the Great Barrier Reef. When a piece of that starfish breaks off, it regenerates, and the cast off piece also has the remarkable ability to form an entirely new starfish. So not only does the original starfish survive, the piece that it lost becomes another member of the community. The loss is actually a gain.

We see this in our daily lives, as well.

Companies send their best people out to open up a new branch to develop a new area. If done right, the company will see more market share, resulting in higher profits.

Churches send their missionaries off to plant new communities of followers around the world. The loss of a couple of hands from one church may result in the creation of a thriving community.

Our children go off and create their own communities and families. It doesn't hurt us that they're gone. We miss them, of course, but they go on to thrive in the world and hopefully, have a positive impact on it.

At one point in time, the Linqia population grew so large that they were deemed a nuisance that needed to be gotten rid of. Someone thought it would be a great idea to set off underwater explosions to kill them, but what ended up happening was the broken pieces regenerated and the population grew even larger. Eventually, scientists came up with a way to control the population of Linqia.

What was the one thing that killed this community?

Poison.

Poison comes in many forms. Companies, churches, families... they can all fall prey to some form of poison or another. Secrecy, lack of communication, resentment, anger... ignoring those potential poisons will undo the strongest of communities.

Knowing

"Faith is taking the first step… even when you don't see the whole staircase." MLK

spiral staircase.jpg

This quote has had me thinking. With Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s holiday coming up, most people are thinking about where they'll go on their Monday off. I'm thinking about the staircase.

The staircase and where it leads worry me now. My faith has been worn down. I'm a supreme optimist with a healthy dose of realism and a dash of cynicism to keep my feet squarely on the ground. Most days, I can get through the daily obligations of being me. Some days, though, I'm frozen just thinking about the staircase.

I took a big step the other day... one that I'm sad I had to take, but one that any idiot could have seen needed to happen. Speaking to someone a few days before, I said the words, "Life's too short to be miserable." As those words came out of my mouth, I wondered how I could be so inauthentic as to say them out loud and not apply them to myself. It's not that I'm full of shit. I was just afraid of the staircase… and I have scarce amounts of faith left in myself and my decisions when it comes to this part of my life.

After declaring those words a second time in the middle of a parking lot with strangers looking on (because who doesn't love public displays of tension?), I made a decision to not live miserably any longer. I drove in circles for about an hour and finally ended up at the door of a dear friend and intuitive counselor

She wasn't home… but I did reach her over the phone and, after hearing that I finally made the move she'd been warning I'd have to make, she agreed to meet me two hours later when she finished all of her errands.

When Shawna answered the door, I felt immediately relaxed. She wasn't mad at me for being late. She just let me know that our time would be shorter. No problem, I said. I knew what I needed to ask. I wrote my three questions down on a small pad of paper in her office and waited while she invited Spirit to our meeting.

"Greetings… I feel you giggling inside… and I feel your worries, too."

Shawna is an intuitive counselor who channels a spirit guide. Whether you believe or not is not my concern. This is my story and this is what I know. I know that no matter what I've ever wanted to discuss, Shawna's spirit guide has gone around it and pierced through to the things that I really needed to confront. I know that she knew things I didn't want to know… things I kept hidden so deeply, I never thought about them. I know that I've ignored Spirit's advice on one particular matter for so long that part of my heart has atrophied. I have to admit that her guidance was right, which was why I was there.

I just needed some answers about the next steps on the staircase.

I asked my questions and received straight forward guidance. She told me exactly what I needed to be careful about and what I could relax about. What's funny is that I was worrying about things I didn't need to be worried about, and because my mind was busy fighting imaginary monsters, I wasn't putting enough attention on the things I needed to focus on. After our meeting, I rallied and went to work.

By the next morning, I was taking the first steps on the staircase and continue climbing out and up.

Step by step, I can feel my faith returning.

~~~

If you are unsure about your next steps and would like to speak with Shawna about a meeting in person or over the phone, call 1-800-KNOWING. 

Wrapping Up Another Year of Lessons

Yesterday was Locker Clean Out day for my middle schooler. After a year of waking up at the crack of dawn to drive her 10 miles to the nearest bus stop by 7am, we're all ready to unset our alarms and wake up with the sun.

The end of the school year is always a great time to reflect on the past year. The Joneses learned a lot this year. The kids learned academics and some new sports, and we adults learned a few things this year, as well.  

We learned that just because you have a lot of money and went to a good school, you may not be smart enough to go into business with. We learned that people who constantly pop buzz words into conversations don't know jack shit and they are to be avoided at all cost. We learned that bullies in the workplace need to be knocked down or taken out immediately or their behavior will fester and ruin a perfectly good business. We learned that very few people do well without constant supervision. But the best lesson of all is that we don't need to put up with a lot of bullshit in our lives in order to pay the bills.

Those lessons are burned in our minds now and will not soon be forgotten. As much as I'd like to do horrible things to the people that jacked up our plans this year, I've decided that the only way to pass the test is to move on.

What lessons did YOU learn this year?