A few years ago, Eugene & I sat across from a dear friend who had just returned from working for the Peace Corps in Africa. I recall clearly the weekend before she left two years prior to that...the boxes packed up in her sunlit apartment, the runs to Starbucks for complicated drinks she wanted to savor before departing. I remember saying, “What if you meet a guy over there? Then what?”
Well, y’all...she did meet a guy. #PeaceCorpsRomance. And, he happened to be sitting across from us, too, at one of our favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh. Here was another moment I can recall so clearly.We talked about how they met. We talked about marriage (Eugene and I were newlyweds and surprise they were getting married, too), we talked about where we’d like to live, and then the conversation turned to dreams for what we wanted to do in the future. I talked about opening a yoga studio. And, I remember my friend’s now husband speaking with such fervor about building beautiful, thoughtfully designed homes in communities that feel...well...like communities.
Don’t you love being a part of conversations like that? Where people’s faces come to life? Where their hands become animated with the thing that they want to bring into the world and won’t let go? I sure do.
“Awe is what moves us forward.” - Joseph Campbell
In order to study this field of home and community design, my good friend and he would have to pack up and move to a very small town far from where both of them grew up. So, they married and off to Eufaula, Oklahoma they went.
I haven’t seen her in a few years, but we talk and follow each other via social media. Last week, I happened to come across her Facebook page with an announcement that her husband (yes, the Peace Corps romance) opened up a company doing exactly what he had shared with us that evening over sweet potato fries! Of course I clicked on its link! And, oh my gosh did it give me shivers. Here were videos and drawings and vibrant pictures and excitement surrounding the creation of homes built in such a way to foster community. Incredible! He was doing the thing. He put it out there and is clearly making it happen.
So, why do I share this with you? Because it’s a reminder and an inspiration. It’s a reminder of satya,that meaning truth or true nature in Sanskrit. When we practice satya, we are doing more than not telling lies. We’re learning to be honest with ourselves. And, in this example, we’re being honest about our interests and curiosities without allowing emotions to get in the way. Satya teaches us that we are more than what we feel or think in this moment and that we can actually change that. It gives us the ability to get out of our own way and to allow ourselves to be pulled by awe and curiosity without worrying so much of the outcome.
You can do the thing. You know more than you think you do. You have knowledge and gifts to share. You don’t need to be so afraid. So go for it. Oh, and a big shout out to the people who love and support us along our ways to doing the thing, too (here’s looking at you Eugene Matullo).