We've all heard the saying that nothing ever really happens until we're able to share the news with someone. Hallmark exists for this very reason. A baby is born and announcements are made - news about promotions and raises are usually only a secret long enough for that first phone call to be made. Good news (and bad news for that matter) travels pretty fast as we can all attest to having made or received one of those phone calls at some point in our lives. Somehow, sharing just makes it more real, more important or more exciting. The dinner table is a place that is made for sharing. Families gather around the table for a meal and to hear about everyone's day or maybe to ask questions or share ideas....you know, good ol' fashioned conversation. This notion became very clear to me in a recent meditation that I had. My meditation showed family and friends gathered around a huge banquet/feast with an abundance of food, wine and high spirits and the theme of this meditation was very much focused on the importance of sharing - sharing bread, sharing conversations and laughs, sharing time, sharing support, and last but not least, sharing our gifts. In my mind, this scene had a very Knights of the Round Table kind of vibe to it with huge turkey legs and big personalities.
This is where my meditation got interesting....
My field of vision was narrowed between 2 men around the table - a bearded man and a bald man. The bearded man was conversing with the bald man and was about to offer him a gift. The bearded man had heard last year that there was a lot of money in cup-making. The bearded man was very interested in making a lot of money but had no interest in cup-making whatsoever, but he didn't care. He wanted to make the money that came with being a cup-maker so he did it anyway. The bearded man did not share his disdain for making cups with the bald man. He simply handed the bald man a cup he had made in hopes that maybe the bald man would receive this gift well and tell others that he knew of a good cup-maker in town. The bald man took the cup, held it in his hand and inspected it while trying to look appreciative. The cup was poorly designed both in design and craftsmanship. The weight of the cup was off making it very unbalanced and there were holes in the bottom making the cup very non-functional. Aside from that, it was not a very attractive cup. The bald man thanked the bearded man for the gift but knew in his heart that he would not be boasting to his friends about the new cup-maker he had dinner with.
My field of vision then panned across the table to another set of men having a great conversation- a long-haired man and a smiling man. The smiling man had a passion for making cups that took him all the way back to his childhood. When the smiling man was done with his chores, he could be found making cups for the pure joy of it. He enjoyed practicing new techniques in designing cups and truly cared about the quality. When he wasn't making cups, he was talking about cups or talking about making cups and doing so with passion. The smiling man also had a gift for his dinner friend with long hair. The smiling man handed the long-haired man one of his beautifully designed cups as a gift and the long-haired man had never seen such a beautifully made cup in his life. As the long-haired man inspected his cup, he knew he was holding a work-of-art that was designed with love and care. He also knew that it would be the best cup he would ever own and couldn't wait to tell all of his friends about the new cup-maker he had dinner with.
My field of vision pulled back now to be able to see the entire dinner party where both cup gift giving acts had just taken place and it became so clear to me by looking at the side-by-side comparisons of the exact same act taking place simultaneously what the lesson in this meditation was all about.
If we love what we do for a living, we will produce a high-quality product or service that will be appreciated by all those who receive it and the news will spread like wildfire. It will be the ultimate win/win situation where the producer enjoys making it and the receiver enjoys having it. If we don't love what we do for a living, we will produce a sub-standard or poor quality product or service that will not be appreciated and most likely never spoken about again.
The end of the meditation panned high above the banquet feast where the underlying message became clear as day and it's a message we've all heard before.
Find the thing that puts a smile on your face and a fire in your belly - find your cup, your gift - and share it with the world. The world will be better for it.
-Dawn Marie. © Copyright, 2017, The Zen Room