The Rubber Ball Effect

It is a glorious February afternoon, one of those warm winter afternoons were one has a strong desire to leave work early and enjoy some time out in nature. A few trees have pink blossoms and some daffodils and crocus are beginning to peak through the soil. As I sit down on a park bench, I am reminded of a quote I read by Kahlil Gabran “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms.”

As we begin a new decade or even a new year it is common to contemplate the deeper meaning of life. So many of us have searched for satisfaction and meaning in the material realms, only to be left feeling empty and frustrated. We set our goals on achieving all this “outward success” without paying much attention to our inner needs and longings. We make long lists of all we want to achieve during the year and with some hard work and determination we achieve some of the goals, other goals we do not manage to accomplish. We may buy our dream car, our dream home and get the promotion we were after, only to discover that the job is terribly stressful and the thrill of driving the fast car wears off. No matter how much “stuff” we keep buying, we just cannot keep up with the latest and fanciest gadgets that the advances in technology bring our way. This leaves us feeling empty, frustrated and wishing for a miracle. Maybe the miracle we need is love. Zelda Fitzgerald said “I don’t want to live. I want to love first, and live incidentally.”

As we turn inwards to find healing, balance and the answers to life’s biggest questions we can begin to connect with our true source of being and move away from the constant striving of the ego, always wanting more gadgets, more success, more possessions, more achievements, more, more, more of everything! ¬†Instead we have a choice of being able to live our lives as creative, empowered individuals who are in tune with our divine nature. We can choose to live consciously with integrity and put love into action, we can also choose to serve others and ask “How can I serve you?” instead of always asking “How can I get what I want?”

My attention wanders over to a group of children playing ball and I am reminded of a quote by Brian Dyson the CEO of Coca Cola Enterprises from 1959-1994, “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends, and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

As I sit here on the bench this glorious late winter’s afternoon, I feel deep gratitude for the wise ones who show us the importance of loving first, that deep contentment can be found in our relationships with family, friends and learning to connect with our divine self.

Recently I had the pleasure of being part of the “Living on Purpose” program run by the ToDo Institute and at the end of the program I knew deep in my heart that love really is the answer. The only thing we can do with our life is give it away. All our accomplishments and all the stuff we accumulate does not fulfill the profound yearning of the spirit. Our purpose as spiritual beings is to practice selflessness, unconditional love, honesty and sincerity of thought and action, and to show kindness and support to other fellow travelers on this journey we call life.

“Love is the Answer”

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