Thursday, March 23, 2017

How Do We Affect Others?



 

How do we know how we affect others? Many times you have heard me say that I often feel that we live more than one life in this lifetime, and I know that many of you feel the same way too. Along the way, different people become part of our life for a while, then when we move on, we are involved in new activities with new circles of friends, co-workers, associates and peers.

Another example of this just came up for me yesterday. An old friend of mine from Atlanta, Akbar Imhotep, a professional storyteller, writer and poet who I have not seen in many years, looked me up and contacted me through email. How did he think to do that? A magazine that I helped create 17 years ago in Atlanta, Oracle 20/20, recently published an article of mine. The publisher of that magazine, Sherry Henderson, still sends me a copy every month and reads this newsletter. Akbar reads the magazine. He is a good man and an engaging performer, a talent that he has worked hard to achieve.

My point is that we often do not know how we affect the lives of others. We only get a glimpse once in a while. Some years back, another person, a writer and teacher from Chicago, wrote to me to let me know that my first poetry book made such an impression on him that he was inspired to write and become a teacher. And I never met this person, emphasizing the point that often we affect people in ways that we do not even realize and these people might be unknown to us, unless they contact us.

I met Akbar back when I used to make my living as a freelance business writer and decided to publish a second book of poetry just for fun, or perhaps it is accurate to say that I wanted to express some thoughts and feelings that were different than the brochures, articles, press releases, annual reports and ads that I was paid to write.

So as part of doing promotions, performances and public readings, I created events that also involved other writers, and got me more involved with writers groups, musicians and other artists.

The artist who illustrated my book, Donna Pinter, at one point suggested that I approach the local metaphysical paper to write articles for them. So I volunteered to write one article a month for free just for the variety of the experience and the editor mentored me in that writing. When my mentor died, the publisher asked if I would like to be the next editor, and I accepted and did that, but then the publisher got cancer and shut down the business. Later, readers of that paper approached me about starting a new publication. Writing for these publications is how I learned about metaphysics. My job involved meeting lots of people, interviewing them, reading their books, listening to their recordings, attending their events, checking out what they were doing and then publishing what I found out.

So that is how I went from being a freelance business writer and a self published poet to the editor of very influential magazines that also co-sponsored major events. The first magazine I created was Aquarius, which is now in its 24th year, and Oracle 20/20, which is now in its 17th year. It brings a smile to my face knowing that I created things that have lasted this long. And when I read Oracle 20/20 every month, I always find interesting articles.

While editing, I simultaneously spent 10 years teaching creative writing to adults  at a community arts center, and several years teaching metaphysics at The Inner Space/Hoot Owl Attic, which is a bookstore and school in the Atlanta area, comparable to Isis in Denver.

Every so often, when something comes up, like Akbar contacting me, I look back and think about what a different life that was, a whole chapter of activities and connections which were very vibrant then, but faded into fragmented memories now.

What is important about this is that we have a sign that we made some positive impression on another even way back then, and the significance may be something other than what we think it is. All this is part of our learning experience in this life.

Often, as we proceed with our lives, we wonder what our purpose is and what were the important things we did. Perhaps the answer we are getting is that there was not one thing that was most important. There is value in everything we have done.

In fact, I do not think that we have a purpose in life. That is a concept that people sometimes express, but I think that what is really happening is that we are here simply to enjoy the experience of living and make the most of it.

What I believe is that if we treat other people the way we would like to be treated, every day good things happen between ourselves and others. When we choose to do something or learn something just because we are interested in it our consciousness expands, our view of the world shifts in accord with our new experiences, and new opportunities open for us. 

Perhaps it is more accurate to say that we are simply spirits having human experiences. Being deeply appreciative of humor, I also like the author Kurt Vonnegut's idea that we on Earth are really just a zoo that exists for the entertainment of the critters and beings on other planets. You could certainly make a case for that, couldn't you?

All my life, I have been drawn to learn and do new things because my curiosity fuels my desire, and I feel that what is really behind all that is our spirit guides are pointing out directions for us to explore.

Consider this perspective. Some of those big positions we held, the promotions, the raises, the awards we got were not really the most important developments in our life. Maybe something else is.

There are people who have thanked me for readings or healings that I did for them long ago that I might not be able to remember clearly, but they tell me that those things really made a difference in their lives. How rewarding is that?

What do you want to do next with your life? How can I help?

I am ready whenever you are.

Thank all of you for being part of my life. 

Life is good. I am happy to be here now. And I am always happy to hear from you.