I will be the first to admit that sometimes I can be anxious, controlling or judgmental. I find myself attached to ideas of how, who, when and why. I am still undoing years of listening to my mind instead of my heart. More often than not, my most important lessons are where I least expect to look.
These lessons come when I’m either stepping out of my comfort zone or learning the art and practice of deep, eternal trust.
Several weeks ago I was at my first ever music festival (I’m a serial introvert) and my eyes spotted a transgender woman making her way across a sea of writhing bodies. I watched my mind go from a split second of judgment and confusion, if I’m being completely honest, to sincere compassion for her and a curiosity about her life. I realized I’d never been friends with a transgendered person and that I clearly had unconscious assumptions. I made it a point to try to connect with her during the festival.
Hours later she walked right up to me while I was sitting in what happened to be her teahouse, appropriately named Kuan Yin, after the Buddhist Goddess of compassion.
I asked her about how she came to be connected to Kuan Yin, traveling with this beautiful offering. She shared with me her path to creating the life she’s always dreamed of…. Being in service while surrounding herself with loving, accepting people on a spiritual path, studying Buddhism, and training as a High Priestess!
I had so many questions for her and we talked for hours, our knees touching and hanging on each others' every word. I shared with her about my own budding relationship with Kuan Yin, that I have a 3 ft statue of her in my small home, and that I've even been to a Kuan Yin silent retreat! She recounted for me the first time she ever saw a thangka painting of her while traveling in China.
She described how the peace she had always been looking for washed over her body like a warm bath of undying love.
She shared with me her failures and her struggles, and how she persevered by consistently comes back to the feminine principles of manifestation. I realized I had a burning question for her: What is the difference between manifestation and manipulation? Her response blew me away.
She said “Manipulation is striking a deal with fear and staking your soul on the outcome, while manifestation is co-creating with the spirit of God inside of you and completely releasing the results.”
She said that anytime she is working towards a goal, she raises up her hands to the sky and speaks the words ‘En Shallah’ which is Arabic for ‘Only If God Wills’. My heart opened. In a world where transphobia and Islamophobia reign, I softened in gratitude for being able to hear her wisdom in that moment… knowing that if so many of us did the same, just took time to ask those burning questions or second guessed our own judgments, we just might live in a different world.
This experience showed me that fears, whether through outward oppression, or the prisons we so often lock our own selves in, keep everyone living small. This woman showed me that when we step out of our comfort zone, release attachments and societal expectations and always come back to compassion, that transformation takes place. Walls come down and in the face of adversity, the truest self emerges.
Where can we look deeper or beyond our initial judgments of others to receive the wisdom behind the veils of illusion, fear or control? Where can we continue to let even more love in? Leave a comment below!