For virtually every Sunday of my short life on social media, I have had the privilege of spending an hour or so on twitter, being part of the #SpiritChat community. In the form of questions and answers, with guest hosts and friends who step up to host in my absence, we the people have stood fast to our goal of “transforming the spirit with conversations in social media”. Over the years, many (hundreds?) have come through the virtual doors that formally ‘open’ every Sunday at 9amET to share their ‘answers’ to ‘questions’ posed during our gatherings.
As we research and probe and pry open our hearts and minds in the company of those of varying life backgrounds and experiences, we manage to take a deeper look at our beliefs, our faiths, our values and our actions. We may not always like what this self-exploration may bring us face to face with, but my thesis is that we all somehow walk away from our community experience with some agglomerated wisdom that sticks our hearts opens a little bit more every week.
It isn’t that the #SpiritChat community is some kind of homogeneous community with a single mindset. In fact, we are perhaps all grateful that it is exactly the opposite – a kaleidoscope of heterogenity! At the end of the day (or the hour), the issue is not whether we agree or disagree with each other – it is whether we can look at each other with a little bit more love in our heart’s eyes. And if we walk away with a little bit more empathy, a sense of friendship, an attitude of joy, or even a realization of the cause(s) of the pain and hurt that we carry around with us, then it is indeed time well spent in sharing and learning within a safe space.
I have often felt that I am the greatest beneficiary of the community’s loving heart. If the amount of stretching that often occurrs for me – before, during and after the chat – is any indication of ‘progress’, then I have the ‘spiritual stretch marks’ to show for many a new self-birth over the years 🙂 The creative energy of the community ensures that we all keep growing and evolving and involving. I am grateful that my stories of ‘walking’ and photos of being in nature and my attempts at poetry are received with grace by the community. In symbiosis, the creative energy of the community continues to inspire many to experience even greater freedom in their practice and work.
As some of you know, it was @waynemcevilly (piano viruoso extraordinaire) who inspired me to create the Sunday #SpiritChat on twitter, five years ago. Wayne’s creative, fun-loving and carefree attitude taught this staid, lackadaisical engineer to lighten up and learn to ‘go with the flow’. I have learnt the virtues of ‘practicing patience’, ‘art of showing up with a smile’, ‘this too shall pass for that is nature’s way’, ‘be kinder to yourself than you expect others to be towards you’, ‘don’t try so darn hard because a lot of it is beyond your control’, ‘give people time and space and that includes you’, ‘talk about the good stuff for there are many out there talking to them about the bad stuff’, ‘always and never are like hot chili peppers so use them sparingly’, ‘make time for tea and cookies’, and much more. All this agglomerated ‘wisdom’ from hosting the chat and associating with all of you – every single one of you!
And so, it continues. The need today to have conversations that ‘transform the spirit’ is no less, perhaps much greater, than it was in July 2011. I know in my heart that our conversations have just begun. For if the conversations that I have with myself after the #SpiritChat hour every week are any indication, there is an infinity of creative freedom that remains to be expressed. And who better to transform the ‘spirit of conversations’ in our world at large than some of the most kind, loving and generous-of-heart people that I have had the privilege to connect with?
Namaste, my friends. Stay tuned. For the best of our creativity is yet to come…
P.S. ICYMI The first #SpiritChat blog post (July 29th 2011) – On Slowing Down. And do join us, Sunday July 31st 2016 at 9amET on twitter – bring a sample of your creative energy to share with the community. Cake and cookies are always welcoome too. Thank you!