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I have been walking across a lot of bridges lately. The mere act of walking across a bridge that creates a lot of emotions like serenity and tranquility, a sense of gratitude for the one who created the bridge for us, a feeling of inspiration within to share our experience with others and create bridges for those who may have never experienced the joy of walking across one… Sometimes, the landscape on either side of the bridge may be world’s apart, but often, the differences are more in our perception than in reality. Sometimes, the bridge may be over calmly flowing shallow waters, but often, the value of a bridge is truly appreciated when it helps us cross over turbulent, deep waters. Sometimes, the mere act of crossing a bridge may require courage, particularly if the bridge starts to wobble with our first step, and at other times, we may feel doubt, resistance and trepidation about the unknowns what we may find on the other side of yet to be explored landscapes.

The crossing of bridges does not happen merely in the physical realm. It happens often in our work life that we are challenged to cross bridges and/or create bridges for others to cross and meet each other. One example of bridge-work happens at conferences, particularly those with an international flavor about them. A kaleidoscope of cultures, languages, ideas, and perspectives for the current state-of-the-art, and diverse visions of the future and the paths to pursue to advance the state-of-the-art are brought together in international meetings of minds. New partnerships are forged by those who are willing to put aside their egos in favor of collaboration; those who are reluctant to take the first step to cross over the waters of not-invented-here syndrome, or even meet their potential collaborators halfway across the bridge, are left on the sidelines on obsolescence. I have personally witnessed all of these scenarios in the aerospace conferences that I often attend ~ those individuals and companies who take advantage of the bridges created by the organizers to form mini-friendships create tremendous new value for the global community and inspire others to do the same!

We may be familiar with the challenges which are posed to us when we would rather stay put, in our comfort zone, rather than cross a bridge to say hello to a new neighbor who moved in just a few doors down. We are familiar with the challenge of starting a conversation with a new face that we encounter in our travels, particularly if our initial attempt at reaching out isn’t met with warmth. Some of us may be familiar with the challenge of arriving in a brand new country, half a world apart, and not even knowing where the river lies, let alone knowing about how, why and where of building a bridge to cross the culture gap. What are some challenges you have faced in crossing bridges? Or in constructing bridges for others to cross?

In the spiritual realm, crossing of bridges represents opportunities to share and exchange our family and community values, our beliefs, our customs and more with people and the communities that they represent. Bridge-building is one of the stated purposes of our spiritually oriented conversations every Sunday on twitter (and beyond) in #SpiritChat. The group of people who gather and share every week, contribute to the building and repair of the bridges that have been built by the community over time. The ‘elders’ (regulars) of the community serve as the strong pylons and often hold the hands of the ‘younger’ ones, to encourage them to step forward in connection. The ‘younger’ ones who are new to the community, bring an infusion of energy, new ideas, new materials for bridge construction and encourage new perspectives and questions. It is our willingness to show up and be present with our light that keeps the community and her bridges relevant, crossable, and strong.

We all have the light to be the love that is a ‘bridge person’. Don’t we?

Kumud

P.S. Join us in #SpiritChat Sunday Novemeber 1st 2015, at 9amET/2pmUTC/7:30pm India (after a one-hour shift ahead of the clocks from 1pmUTC to 2pmUTC in North America). Bring your light and your love ~ you are the community, and only you can be the bridge for some people who see you as the bright light that you are. I will make sure to bring some questions 🙂

Bridge over Rocky River