Yesterday while sitting in church listening to Rev. Alice’s message, I tweeted something that was so pivotal for me. I wish I could say that it was new information for my soul, but it wasn’t. I became new and different in the hearing and thus the doing; I saw the unfolding of my own self awareness. One of the foundational points of the day was based on what I know as a Zen saying, “Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water.” Which was brought to life by the musical guest “Georgia” Kyle Shiver who brought the funk, the rock and sounds of the deep south together with an expanding consciousness of how the tasks in our lives: really are just tasks and the true moment of blessing is when we allow ourselves to become more aware, awake and enlightened in the doing.
It is so easy to buckle under the pressure of being a provider – the one who is called to chop wood and carry water. Neither of which are easy tasks and when we combine them with the weight of our emotions, thoughts and the stuff of life, the doing and the living becomes very arduous. So much so, we forget our truth, step away from our goodness, lose sight of the joy, detach from the delight, or hide from the hope and the essence of why these things are ours individually and collectively to do. Whatever it is in your life that feels like chopping wood and carrying water is the thing that only you can do and without your light, there are facets of that task and the ultimate outcome that would go unknown, unseen and undiscovered.
A few friends of mine read my tweet and sort of wigged out, called me because they know me – I am so not the wood chopping and water carrying type; or so they thought. But in truth and in theory I am, we all are. So, from my heart people calm down, awaken to what is yours to do and just do it; like only you can do.
So as I continue my own journey of awakening, I am increasingly aware that what felt heavy now is lighter. What once was a burden has become a benefit. The wood I chop today builds a fire and warms a heart or a home tonight. The water that I carry in the heat of the day quenches the thirsty and washes the dust from the feet of people I may never know. While both of these tasks call me into a new way of being; a new flow of life; the truth is made clear; old things are passing away and behold all things are made new.
I invite you this day to awaken to the tasks in your own lives and allow the doing to become greater, more significant and purposeful to you. Consider and complete the statement, “Every day I…” and soon you will find your own enlightenment and know your own awakening. The task may never seem to change, but each and every one of us is an evolutional being and soul in motion and everything we touch becomes so much more in our hands.