|Sunset in Assisi|
"The ultimate aim of the quest, if one is to return, must be neither release nor ecstasy for oneself, but the wisdom and power to serve." -- Joseph Campbell
My five weeks of pilgrimage has ended and it's back to work in the morning. I'll be in California for one more week and still have some meetings in Silicon Valley but tomorrow I begin answering the hundreds of emails, returning phone calls and doing the work of being Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.
What an amazing five weeks it has been. I have met wonderful people, visited sacred sites, eaten wonderful food (the diet begins tomorrow too!), prayed and meditated in redwood groves, in the middle of olive trees and ancient churches, and have had the chance to discuss spirituality and entrepreneurship with young and old around the world.
I read the quote from Joseph Campbell above in The Art of the Pilgrimage, by Phil Cousineau, when I was staying with the Franciscan nuns in Assisi. The words have stuck with me as I have spent the last few weeks roaming the world in search of something that is still being revealed. The wisdom and power to serve. Ecstasy is good; very good but the goal of the calltrepreneur, is to answer something greater than ourselves while serving the greater good. How will these past few weeks help me, and hopefully others, do that?
Time will tell. But one thing I have learned even more deeply than I knew before. It is something else I read in The Art of Pilgrimage. The words of Nadia Boulanger who said, "Never forget that your days are blessed." It's easy to forget on some days that I, that we, are blessed. Some days it is impossible to forget. I have been living those days for the last few weeks and I wonder how I, how we, better share those blessings with others?
Sometimes the gratitude of our lives is overwhelming. The best way I know to give it away is by practicing generosity with our time, our money, our spirit, our work, our lives. Living the life of the calltrepreneur, sharing our gifts with others, is one way to express our gratitude for the blessings of life. In the coming weeks and months we will continue to explore how to best do that.
Many thank you cards and 467 emails await me in the morning. I'll end each card and email the way I always do with "blessings, Don", hoping that each person remembers what we should never forget - our days are blessed. We don't need to travel halfway across the world to remember, we only need take another breath.