En route to Nepal again, this time with a plane change in Taipei and an overnight in Bangkok. I’ve travelled rather extensively, especially in recent years, and in the lead up to my departure, people often ask if I’m excited about my trip. The truth is almost always that my excitement
really doesn’t kick into gear until sometime after my travels actually begin. On this trip, I was in the waiting area at my gate at SFO when I glanced over and saw the board at the opposite gate announcing a flight to Istanbul. The world can seem so large and unreachable on a day to day basis, and then I saw that sign at the airport and remembered that all it really takes is an airplane or two to be once again immersed in that seemingly unreachable world. A flutter of excitement took hold in me and I knew my travels had again begun.
In recent months, I’ve been lolling about in the lap of love with my new sweetheart and as I notice the excitement building for this time in Nepal, I recognize that there are many different pulls in life: forces, desires, energies that move me (and all of us) this way and that in our lives and in the world. I’ve somehow managed to forge a life for myself which allows for various movements and creative energies to flow. As I was meditating on the plane on the first leg of my trip, I noticed a strong sensation of strength in my belly and a broadness in my chest. It was unmistakably the arising of the quality of “capacity.” While moving “into the world,” as this trip and my travels often feel like, I am sensing my capacity. I don’t know quite how to explain it really, but it is empowering. This arising sense of capacity is reminding me that the expression of my work in the world is very important to me. By the time I post this, I’ll be back in Nepal and returned to Nepal Orphans Home where I’ll be assisting for a couple of weeks with various educational and organizational development projects. I’ll also also get to reconnect with many of the 130+ children there and hope to continue to develop a mentoring role with some of the young adults there as they continue to find their personal paths towards self-determination and independence.
A key word you’ll often read in this and other posts on this site is “manifestation” (enter the term in the search bar here and you’ll see what I mean). The more I’ve studied myself and my motivations, the more I recognize that manifestation is perhaps the underlying driver for my life and for much of human life. There is a force in us all which desires to become not only more than we already are, but as much as we are capable of becoming in this lifetime. It is the place where the spiritual (which includes our inherent desire for selflessness and personal betterment) meets the survival (the instinctive forces that give strength to our drives). That force or desire for full manifestation unfortunately gets muted in many people, either because they come to doubt in their own abilities and capacities, they don’t believe in their inherent deservingness, or because their lives end up becoming overly focused on day-to-day responsibilities and survival. When people have mid-life crises, or crises at any age, it is often because their wheels of manifestation get stuck in the mud and there is no release in sight. When we start to realize that we haven’t achieved or accomplished as much as we had hoped, we either double down on the distractions in our lives or kick and squirm in hopes of extrication and the possibility of greater personal manifestation.
There are a four primary facets to this diamond of manifestation: Service, creative, spiritual and relational. Some would rename that first facet to professional rather than service, but for me, my most important professional manifestation is now in the realm of service. I’ve had my business engagements through my adult life and I think the modicum of success I’ve had there has allowed me to check that box. Manifesting creatively is also important to me, and that continues to move and grow, from photography to piano and performing to my food blog to woodworking. I do have some interest in expanding my photography more professionally, perhaps leading travel photography workshops in places like Kathmandu. My fermented food blog also continues to grow, just yesterday crossing the threshold of 3,000 email subscribers.
So manifestation is not just about growing, it’s really about becoming, becoming all that we were meant to become. While we all continue to grow and learn, every human manifestation is different, as each individual is uniquely different. We all have different inherent capacities/loves/passions and we all are exposed to different familial, cultural and socio-economic opportunities and influences.
And so this drive for manifestation again brings me to Kathmandu where my service work feels far from complete. It has become clear to me over the past few years that being of service to something larger than myself is critical in terms of my own manifestation. I feel very blessed to have come upon an organization like Nepal Orphans Home which is founded on love, service, selflessness and integrity.In NOH, I have found a home where my skills and capacities are appreciated. It is also a place which touches my heart, where I feel loved and valued and where my love and support can naturally flow.
As a fun side note, while reading some of my older posts here that mention the word “manifestation,” I ran across “Shoulds” and the Rumblings of Manifestation from 2010. In it, I mention the following “rumbling:”
“I do have fantasies stirring about in me of running an orphanage somewhere or building a school in a remote corner of the world. That kind of project I find very stimulating as it connects more to my heart as well as uses my practical, more worldly skills. Who knows what, really, but the rumblings are there.”
I hadn’t remembered that my orphanage thoughts had gone back so far until I re-read that, but I love how faint distant rumblings can unfold into the manifestation of the life we end up living and the person we end up becoming.