In the midst of my challenges, I am tempted to panic and say, “I am out of here. This is too much. I can’t do it.” But then I remember what my practice of Zen is teaching me: “Complete things, Gavin. Follow them through, whether it is education, apprenticeships or new year’s resolutions”.
My favourite quote from the Bible is, “In grassy meadows He lets me lie, by tranquil streams He leads me to restore my spirit” (Psalm 23). When I repeat it like a mantra, I am transported to another place, a place of peace, calm and serenity. In this place, my heart returns to a centre point, a point in which I can rest in confidence of being deeply loved. Believe it or not, this is my experience of Heaven on earth. It is not a place of buzz and excitement, downing pints with friends in a pub and chatting up women! Despite what the world says, it is here among the meadows and streams that give me life, meaning, aliveness, compassion, resilience and enduring vigilance. And then at the right moment, I can return to the world and plunge into dreams that set my heart on fire.
Letting my dreams grow
We all have dreams that are buried deep within and we have to listen to them and nourish them if we want them to blossom. In a way, it doesn’t matter what people think of our dreams. They are unique and precious to each of us. We are the ones who are responsible for their realisation with help from our inner strength, secret strength or God. It is important to maintain our energy and direction as we pursue our dreams. If, for example, I am working on a mental health project and I find myself getting stressed, then I need to STOP and ask myself: “Am I really pursuing my dream here? What kind of message am I conveying if I am the one who is in turmoil?… Relax, Gavin. Return to stillness and embody your dream. Let your dream come true”.