Have you ever noticed that all the answers you need appear in your life exactly where they are supposed to if you let them? I don’t mean you get all the answers you WANT exactly when you want them. I mean you get them when you are ready for them. It’s really true if you think about it. In the last week, that point has re-inforced on multiple platforms in my life.
One of my top ten goals for 2016 is to read more. Now if I just put “I want to read more” in my planner on my goal setting exercise it’s not a very narrow or specific goal. Using some of the skills sets I’ve learned from one of my many mentors I instead wrote, “I will finish one new book per month in 2016.” Now thats a solid goal! It’s attainable. It’s tangible. It has built in accountability tracking points. I wish I had the confidence to make it two new books per month, but with my writing and speaking projects I wanted to keep it realistic.
To warm up for the project I grabbed an old book from the bookshelf during the Christmas season and got a head start. The book I selected was Karate-do: My way of Life by Master Gichin Funakoshi. Master Funakoshi is widely regarded as the father of modern karate and was responsible for introducing the art to the Japanese mainland from Okinawa in the early 1900s. I’ve probably read the book a half-dozen times, but I hadn’t read the book in at least 15 years. The last time I read it I was a much younger man an a new karate student. As I flipped through the pages during the Christmas holiday I was blown away by the different perspective I had on the book at this different season of my life.
As I neared the end of the book I found myself savoring every page and not wanting to finish it. I bet you have all had that feeling with books that hit you at the exact right moment in your life, haven’t you? You never wanted it to end. A few days before New Year’s Day a special friend gave me a gift. It was a book wrapped in holiday paper with a note. In the note she thanked me for being a great friend and said she thought that this new book would resonate with me and my beliefs. She told me that when she read the book that she savored every word and that she never wanted it to end.
I immediately thought, “This must be the next book I’m supposed to read! It is way too large a coincidence that I have been reading a book that I never wanted to end just as my friend gives me a new book that she described to be exactly the same way in her life.”
Over the New Year’s weekend I was struggling. I had been feeling lethargic from a hectic end to the holiday season. I was dealing with trying to let go of a number of the mileposts of my life that were passed in 2015. I’ve been waiting for more information from the Universe in general and I’ve been wondering where it was going to come from. In one of my deep conversations with Christiana I even broke down and was in despair because I didn’t know who my next Mr. Miyagi was and when he was coming. The time I had been spending with Master Funakoshi in my heart and mind was a wonderful connection to a virtual Sensei I have followed much of my adult life, but I wanted more. I wanted my new Master to appear and identify themselves in person.
In fact when we went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens over the holiday I became uncontrollably emotional in the last scene (spoiler alert stop reading if you haven’t seen the movie) when Rey hands the lightsaber to Luke at the top of the mountain signifying she’s ready to begin her training in earnest and that Luke is ready to be the Master. Wow!
Well with a bit of time to reflect, a good therapy session and some New Year’s goal setting work, I started to get my mojo back a few days ago. I had finished Karate-do:My Way of Life and was excited to begin a new chapter and a new book in 2016. I filled up the bathtub, made a cup of tea and I grabbed my new book from my friend. I sat in the tub and opened the first page of The Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz. On page one there was a small drawing. Under the drawing was the word Introduction in bold and underlined. Below that sat two words that titled the introduction. The two words were:
I literally began to tremble while sitting in the tub. I got confirmation of the feeling I got even the very first time I held the book, that this book was about to change everything. I won’t give away the story because you should read the book on your own, but in a nutshell the book starts with a story about a Master who spoke about love and his words touched everyone. He sounds very much like the mentor and Master I am seeking. The story goes on to include a humble man who wants to learn from the master who receives three visitors as he prepares for the Master to arrive. In the end the the humble man does not physically see his desired Master again but he has an awakening. In his awakening he realizes this:
The man woke up, and his heart was filled with happiness, because he understood what the Master had taught him. The Master loved him so much that that he sent three people to give him the greatest lesson: That Master lives within everyone…
An explosion of love and joy and contentment filled my heart as I read these words. I put the book down next to the tub, took off my reading glasses and I sat there in the water and wept for nearly ten minutes.
The Master lives in everyone! Well that will certainly simplify the search, won’t it? Throughout my life I have had countless mentors. I have been blessed with two remarkable parents one who is still with me in this plane of existence and one who teaches me still from beyond. Both of them and each of the other Masters that have appeared in my life have appeared at the exact time I needed them and they stayed for the exact amount of time they were supposed to. I may not always get all the answers I want, but I certainly get what I need.
So I begin today with a lightness of step and a joy in my heart. I await the next Master to appear in my life either in the form of a stranger, a friend or a deity. I may not know exactly when or where my next Mr. Miyagi is coming from, but I do know one thing. He’s already here if I let him be….