Dear Friends, Fans & Family....
Happy Fall! We hope you are heading calmly into the changing seasons ahead.
Last January daughter Annie announced that she was signing a contract to teach this year at an American school in Dubai. My first thought was, wow, my beautiful girl is so brave and true and so willing to offer her many gifts and talents to the world. She is expanding her life experience and making a quantum leap into a brilliant future. I am so proud of her.
My second thought was Oh my god, the Middle East. I immediately began to hyperventilate. Because even though Dubai is located in the supposedly modern United Arab Emirates, it’s also just a stone’s throw from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Oman, and Iran. All I had heard about Dubai was that it was an immensely wealthy mecca of international business and banking, and that it had an indoor ski resort and huge man-made islands shaped like palm trees. But everyone assured me that there are no terrorist bombings in Dubai, and it has little or no crime (largely because the punishment for such acts is death.) Which of course made me feel much better.
But then I came to my senses and remembered that Annie is a very wise soul who is quite capable of consciously creating her own reality, and following her heart wherever it leads her. My main job is to shut up, cheer her on, and basically get out of the way. And quit worrying.
Annie’s latest report from Dubai is that her students (mostly native Emirates) are basically sweet, (considering they are 8th graders), the other teachers at the school are very nice, and the people of Dubai in general are incredibly friendly and helpful. She has not once felt un-safe in any way. If she leaves her purse in the grocery store by mistake, someone comes running out to bring it to her. This might not happen in certain parts of New York City or Detroit.
Of course let’s not be idiots. Real risks and dangers do exist, and we all need to be soberly mindful and attentive to such threats, so we can do what’s necessary to take care of ourselves and others.
But worry is something else. Worry, at least in my experience, is an insidious addictive habit that sucks the life out of everything and everyone it touches. And that free-floating anxiety can be a seductive habit for those of us who are died-in-the-wool 12-stepping co-dependents. Because early on some of us as kids were taught (from the example of the grown-ups around us) that worry is a positive and proper emotion. If you worried about someone it meant that you cared, that you were concerned for their welfare, and that by attaching these sticky icky invisible strings to them, it would somehow steer them clear of danger and failure. And make you a better person in the process.
When I first heard Maher Baba’s lovely quote, “Don’t worry, be happy,” I remember thinking, rather snippily, “That’s easy for you to say. You’re enlightened and you don’t have to pay the rent.”
But he was right. Worry doesn’t work. It really and truly doesn’t help the person I’m worrying about, and it just makes me feel crappy. And maybe even more to the point, all that negativity just clogs up the creative field, for everybody.
Webster’s Dictionary tells us that worry comes from a word meaning “to strangle, injure, twist, or choke, to harass or treat roughly, to puck at, push on repeatedly, annoy, bother, vex, to feel distressed in the mind, be anxious or uneasy.”
I’ve read that our old friend Mark Twain was fond of saying, “I am an old man, and I have known many troubles. Most of ‘em never happened.”
So on this lovely Fall day, we hope you can spend some time in a beautiful wild place, or just take a ramble through your neighborhood in the autumn leaves.
Thanks for staying tuned.
Love from Jan & JD
Click here for details of these and all coming events
• October 18
Music & Message at Two Rivers Center for Spiritual Living
Grand Junction, CO
• November 1
Music & Message at High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist
Colorado Springs, CO
• November 8
Music & Message at Unity of the Mountains
• November 22
Music & Message at Unity of Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO
• November 29
Music & Message at Unity of Bon Air