Sharing Space -- and Trials

There are pockets and spaces here in St. Petersburg that I'm convinced no one knows about. In fact, there are quite a few of them--essentially abandoned and breathtakingly beautiful. The strangest thing about this, is not only are they off the beaten path, but finding that path is virtually impossible. One road in; one road out. They're tucked into areas where it looks like there are just houses or the coastline and that the land just drops off into oblivion. These are my favorite places. 

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Every once in a while I find myself in one of these places--usually in awe and almost definitely alone. There might be the occasional dog walker or runner, or a dolphin fin in the water--but for the most part it's just the space, my thoughts and me.

Not all our paths lead to out-of-the-way places, but all of our paths have led to here. Each of us came here--to National (and to my blog) from somewhere else--whether it was from a different school, from a different career, or from a different Life. There's so much diversity, experience, and wisdom. Each of us brings something (many things) very special to the table. Some have had more struggles in their lives than others. We always carry this with us and it comes out through our daily lives. 

Plato said, "Be Kind, for Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." 

I was really reminded of this quote this week. I've been dealing with a lot of people obviously going through a lot of trials. We are all taking midterms--and that's taking its toll on many of us. And outside of school, many are struggling with financial issues, searching for work, and seeking solutions for their own health and well-being. In some cases, it's truly easy to approach these people with compassion, but in others, when people are angry, frustrated and upset--and I don't know why--it's not so easy. The last thing anyone wants to do with a person that's screaming, insistent, or downright rude, is to listen with an open heart and mind. Perspective is a beautiful thing. I have to remind myself not to get caught up in frustration, and keep seeking solutions (and helping them seek solutions as well). 

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When I'm out in practice, I'll be dealing with the same things. People from all different paths will converge into one place--my practice. I won't know what brings them here, how they got here, or maybe even the true nature of their illness. All that I can do is approach each and every person with that same compassion, listen to everything they're telling me, and work towards and help them work towards solutions. 

Study hard Everyone. Learn. Listen. There's far more to know, than what's in our books. Remember.