We have come to call who we are a holistic community. We are people who see the bigger picture, collectively and individually. We inherently know there is an interrelated web that connects everything, and we acknowledge it in the life choices we make. We are healers and therapists, teachers and spiritual guides, artists and shamans, and men and women who lead otherwise normal lives while instinctively recognizing that we are all part of the whole. We always were and will always be.

Sometimes it is quite easy to feel the connection to everything. The morning walk before the sun rises, just as the birds begin their song. A heart-touching seminar that changes our life.

We know how good that feels. We may find ourselves wanting to share how we feel with others in our lives, our friends and family – wanting to inspire them so they are right there with us, sensing that same connection with all of life, deep down in the core of who we are.

But we learn, sometimes through painful experiences in relationship with others, that we cannot make that leap for someone else. All we can do is invite them to the experience.

The Zen proverb says: “Before enlightenment – chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment – chop wood, carry water.” It also applies to all of us in the holistic community who may feel like we have the secret, that we see more and know more than others about the nature of reality.

As we now take in more of the picture and see things in a new way, our way forward is clear: We must remain humble.

Sometimes in our quest to be spiritual, in our steadfast knowing that we understand the Truth, we view ourselves as better than, or wiser than, other people. We sometimes judge others as less than. Sometimes we judge ourselves, as members of the holistic community, as hypocrites when we don’t live up to the high standards we have set for ourselves. It’s not easy to walk the walk when we anoint ourselves as saints.

The truth of the matter is that each of us – every person on the planet – is a spiritual being having a human experience, even if we don’t sense the extraordinary. In reality, no one is any more special than anyone else.

You, with your unique gifts, and me with mine, are just two pieces of the larger puzzle, interlocked among many others. The puzzle would not be complete without us. And, our two pieces, sitting alone, mean nothing without all of the others.

It is when we separate ourselves from each other – seeking the specialness that seems to exist in our select groups (yes, even the holistic one) – that we lose touch with our humanity.

In the final act, all of us on the world’s stage will come together in a group. The first thing we do is remove the labels we have placed on ourselves. Then we take a hand, and take one more, creating a giant circle. And then we look around, marveling at the light in our eyes and the shared love in all of our hearts. And we say to ourselves, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?”

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