The Sun Shines On

“How do you feel?” Jorge Luis Delgado asked me as we sat together on the bus that would take us back to the hotel.

It had been a long day. The Solar Disc Activation ceremonies were over. We had made our good-byes to our host families, boarded our boats, spent the next three or four hours in happy chatter as we sailed back to shore, and made a memorable stop at one of the floating islands. Now we were headed back to the hotel for dinner and celebration.

“You know,” I replied, “I guess I must be tired, but mostly what I feel is . . . just . . . good.”

It was all I could say, really. There weren’t words for how I felt, which seemed almost ridiculous for a woman who is a professional writer and editor. But there it was. No words. Only delicious peace and internal glow.

“Do you know why that is?” he asked.

“I’m not sure,” I said.

“When we work with our hearts open, we do not get so fatigued,” he replied.

I knew he was right. His words washed over me and settled into my bones as truth. I thought about the shamanic work I did with clients. I often did journey work with clients on Friday evenings, after having gotten up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. We wouldn’t finish until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. sometimes, yet I would come away from the work high as a kite. I’d always found it curious, but I’d never tried to explain it to myself, other than assuming it was the result of doing the work and seeing its impact on the client. But he was right. I was not only fully present with my client during the work on such nights, my heart was always wide open.

The same was true for the shamanic clearing work on houses and the spiritual coaching. As I reflected on his words, I saw that it was also true with the writing coaching, editing, and other work I did. When my heart was open, the work didn’t deplete me. Yes, body and mind needed some rest at the end of a long day, but it was more like adding juice to a battery that still had plenty of charge to it than trying to recharge a dead battery.

I recalled my days in corporate America. I’d held management positions that required ten to twelve hour days, demanded broad expertise, and provided endless helpings of stress. I was good at what I did and I always strived to serve the greater good. But it depleted me and I was never at my best when overwhelmed by stress. I’ve no doubt that more than one person who reported to me in those days would be able to attest to my being a pretty demanding boss.

When I left the corporate world, I realized—not immediately, but after a time—that no amount of money and no promotion would have provided what I sought and staying in that world would likely have eventually killed me. It had never been an environment in which I could work with an open heart, at least not for long. In fact, the more open my heart had become in that world, the more problematic that world was for me and the more problematic I was for whomever I reported to.

One of the most telling experiences I had in the corporate world happened months before I left the last company I would work at for any length of time. It was 7:00 p.m. or so. Everyone had left but the President, the Vice-President of Client Services, and me. The V-P of Client Services and I were sitting in the lobby, talking through some issue. The President came out and joined in the discussion. At some point, one of them presented a scenario and asked me what I would think about it if it was offered up. My heart bypassing my brain, I told the truth, instead of what was politically correct.

“I guess I’d ask what love would have me do next,” I replied.

The V-P of Client Services, a good friend as well trusted colleague, looked at me quizzically for a moment and then said, “Oh, I get it. It’s like, ‘What would Jesus do?’”

The President? He looked from one to the other of us and said nothing. But the look on his face said it all. We were nuts as far as he was concerned. I might as well have suggested that we consult the tarot or pull in an astrologer or even call up Warren Buffet for advice. My spontaneous comment was way too heart-centered. I couldn’t be trusted.

Of course, he already suspected that of me. I was gone after a time and my colleague was gone a while later. We weren’t calculating enough and we couldn’t be trusted to sacrifice people—including ourselves—for the sake of his agenda. We were toast.

Sitting next to Jorge Luis Delgado on a bus driving from Puno, Peru to our hotel in Chucuito, I realized that I wouldn’t have changed anything in my life. Everything had led me to a life and a body of work that allowed and even required an open heart. In that moment, sitting next to Jorge Luis, I was in a state of grace and no words were needed between us. We sat in peaceful silence. The sun had set . . . but it was still shining within.

Copyright 2011 by Melanie Mulhall

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5 Responses to “The Sun Shines On”

  1. Cindy Morris Says:

    I agree with you, Melanie. When I left the Social Work department at the VA I also felt that no amount of money could assuage the misery of working in such a soul-crushing environment. To live and work with an open heart is a commitment of my own. It’s not always made for an easy ride. But such as it is.
    Cindy Morris
    (one of the astrologers brought in by those in the know)

  2. Priscilla Says:

    Melanie your story about the company president and colleague is heartbreaking. It’s exactly that need to shut down the heart at work, a shutting down that may not have been introduced to the world in capitalism but was certainly baptized by capitalism, that has brought us to the brink of destroying the livable earth. Only feeling, connecting, nurturing, and intimacy–those practices of the open heart–will have a prayer of saving us now.

    • Melanie Mulhall Says:

      Priscilla,

      Yes, shutting down the heart has negatively impacted planet Earth. People like me ultimaely leave instead of shutting down the heart, but it’s not an answer. I spent a good deal of time after leaving that particular place in inquiry about preservation of soul in the workplace. I studied quantum physics and its relationship to group dynamics. I explored subtle energy. Ultimately, of course, I surrenedered and became a shaman. And it is true that I have done corporate shamanism at times since then. But there must be an overarching heartening of the human population if we are to evolve as humans and save our wonderful Mother. We are entering the New Pachacuti–the time of the return of the sun. We have a unique opportunity at this time to make a difference. At this time, the spirit world, the devas, the earth energy is easier to access. What we need is just an ear, and then two, and then three. I believe we will awaken and I hope it will be enough and in time.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Melanie

  3. Priscilla Says:

    Melanie, a friend of mine recently heard Gary Snyder speak. During a Q & A someone asked how we can “save the planet.” Snyder thought for a few moments and then said, “The planet doesn’t need us to save it. The planet needs us to save ourselves. If we learned how to be better people, we would be doing good work.” There was stunned silence as a roomful of activists absorbed his words.

    • Melanie Mulhall Says:

      Priscilla,

      I love it! He’s right, of course. If we “save ourselves” we might survive as a species. We’ve done very stupid things to the planet, but Mother Earth will still be here and will eventually heal. It could be argued that if we (humans) did ourselves in as a species, Earth might be better off. But if we remember who we are, remember the Oneness, we will also do the good work he speaks of. Something to dream and act into being.

      Thanks for the great comments.

      Melanie

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